‘James Bond’ house with a view to kill for of mag­i­cal Ilk­ley Moor

This for­mer pump­ing sta­tion is now a high tech home on one of York­shire’s best-known land­marks. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - FRONT PAGE -

AS cheeky ad­di­tions to York­shire’s un­of­fi­cial an­them go, Ilkey Moor is where the ducks play foot­ball, the nuns play rugby and the sheep fly back­wards.

It’s also where Su­san and Lon­nie Salmon call home af­ter buy­ing a for­mer water pump­ing sta­tion perched at the bot­tom of the fa­mous beauty spot.

“The chance to live on Ilk­ley Moor was one of the things that re­ally ap­pealed to Lon­nie, that and the fact that this is a very dif­fer­ent kind of prop­erty. As soon as he saw it that was it even though when we first viewed it was a dark, dis­mal day,” says Su­san.

Although it is set back off Wells Road and just min­utes from the town cen­tre, it comes with ku­dos as one of just three prop­er­ties on the moor. The oth­ers are White Wells, a vis­i­tor at­trac­tion best known for its icy plunge pool, and a cot­tage.

The cou­ple, orig­i­nally from Scot­land, bought the Pump House in 2008 af­ter re­lo­cat­ing with work.

Built in 1848, it be­longed to York­shire Water, which gained plan­ning per­mis­sion to con­vert it into a home. De­vel­op­ers Kings­ford then bought it and car­ried out a sen­si­tive con­ver­sion en­sur­ing that the ex­te­rior of the build­ing re­tained its orig­i­nal in­tegrity. In­side, they in­stalled a new first floor and cre­ated an “up­side down” lay out. The up­per level was a kitchen with a sep­a­rate liv­ing area , while the ground floor had four bed­rooms and two bath­rooms.

The con­ver­sion was al­most com­plete when Lon­nie and Su­san bought it but they were keen to stamp their own mark on the in­te­rior and wanted to al­ter the space to suit their life­style.

Although they aren’t keen to say ex­actly how much they spent, it was a re­mark­able sum. “About as much as some­one might spend on their first house,” says Su­san.

“We wanted to change it to suit our tastes. One of the first things we did was to make the first floor com­pletely open plan.”

A large chunk of the bud­get was spent on cre­at­ing a base­ment that is now home to a cinema room, dress­ing room and work­shop for Lon­nie, who has an en­gi­neer­ing back­ground. More money was spent on un­der­floor heat­ing.

Lon­nie loves mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and so an­other £40,000 went on the sound and light­ing sys­tem. There are over­head Linn speak­ers in all the rooms, which have LAN points.

Con­tin­u­ing the high tech theme, there are re­mote con­trol blinds in the en-suite bathroom, which also has a Bette bath with mood light­ing from where you can watch the Tile­vi­sion TV. GAD­GETS: James Bond would be im­pressed with the high tech house and it could be for your eyes only if you buy it. It boasts a £40,000 sound and light­ing sys­tem in­clud­ing speak­ers in all the rooms and a cinema room in the base­ment. The own­ers made the first floor open plan and cre­ated an “up­side down” lay­out of the rooms.

The garage has a Ger­man multi storey sys­tem with space on the lower ground and ground floor level and a hy­draulic lift that can take a car be­tween the two.

Es­tate agent Lester Hurst, of Hunters, Ilk­ley, who is mar­ket­ing the prop­erty for sale at £675,000, calls it: “a house that James Bond would be proud of” and de­clares that the first floor para­pet bal­cony is just the place for a vodka mar­tini, shaken not stirred.

“We in­vested a lot in the light­ing, which has been a real suc­cess and it looks re­ally at­mo­spheric at night,” says Su­san, who also re­placed the de­vel­oper’s kitchen with a swankier ver­sion boast­ing gloss black cab­i­nets and white Co­rian work­top plus Neff elec­tric and steam ovens, wine cooler and the first Gut­mann Fu­tura ex­trac­tor in Bri­tain, which pops up from the cen­tre is­land when needed.

The ground floor was also re­con­fig­ured to cre­ate three bed­rooms, one of which is a sen­sa­tional mas­ter be­d­room with an enor­mous en-suite, a house bathroom and a util­ity room.

“We thought the mas­ter be­d­room was too small so we knocked two bed­rooms into one and made a gi­ant mas­ter suite with a great view of the moor from the bath.”

The decor and fur­nish­ing was a chal­lenge as the cou­ple’s pre­vi­ous prop­erty was more tra­di­tional, whereas the Pump House de­manded a con­tem­po­rary treat­ment.

Some of the old fur­ni­ture was used, in­clud­ing a Ralph Lau­ren cab­i­net, that was brought in through a slid­ing win­dow in the base­ment that leads onto the lower ground floor of the garage.

The din­ing ta­ble is from Pons­ford’s in Sh­effield and so­fas up­stairs are from Bo Con­cept at Red­brick Mill, Bat­ley. The white one fea­tured in Quan­tum of So­lace.

“We bought that be­cause Lon­nie is a huge James Bond fan but it took us a while to fur­nish the house be­cause we’d never done any­thing mod­ern be­fore. We got in­spi­ra­tion from mag­a­zines and from look­ing round Red­brick Mill.”

The walls are painted in largely neu­tral colours but are dec­o­rated with large scale framed pho­to­graphs fea­tur­ing lo­cal scenes by Andy Sav­age.

“There is only one win­dow on the first floor and so the pho­to­graphs are the view,” says Su­san, whose favourite spot is the para­pet bal­cony at one end of the first floor, which over­looks the moor.

“I love sit­ting there with a cup of tea look­ing over the moor. It is amaz­ing. It changes colour all the time. Some­times it is pur­ple, some­times golden brown or bronze or green and all the shades in be­tween.”

The cou­ple are sell­ing their home due to work com­mit­ments else­where, but Su­san adds: “I love the house and I will re­ally miss it. There is some­thing very mag­i­cal about it and we feel very priv­i­leged to have been part of its his­tory.”

The Pump House is for sale through Hunters, Ilk­ley, and costs £675,000, tel: 01943 660500, www. hunter­snet.co.uk

Su­san and Lon­nie’s use­ful con­tacts: Pons­ford, Sh­effield, www.pons­ford.co.uk and Red­brick Mill, Bat­ley, www. red­brick­mill.co.uk for con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture. House of El­liott, Ben Rhy­d­ding for blinds and soft fur­nish­ings, tel: 01943 601936. Lapi­cida, Knares­brough, for lime­stone and mar­ble floor­ing, www.lapi­cida.com

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