Chance to follow in footsteps of the inn crowd at White Swan House
AFTER years of gazing longingly at White Swan House, Belinda and James McKelvie were first off the mark when the property came up for sale.
“We lived in a cottage across the road for ten years and always dreamed of living there. It looks like a doll’s house and we fell in love with it. It wasn’t really the right time for us to buy it but we couldn’t resist,” says Belinda.
The property was built in 1754 as a pub and closed in the 1930s, after which it became a dwelling. When the McKelvies bought the house it was need of renovation and they have spent the last eight years making it more energy- efficient and suitable for modern living.
It now boasts a state-of-the art ground-sourced heat pump, which runs the underfloor heating, and the couple have added insulation to all the external walls. New plumbing and wiring were also installed.
“The house had last been modernised in the 1960s and 70s and so a lot of features had been taken out and replaced with inappropriate new additions like bay windows with bullseye glass,” says James.
“It needed a lot of work to put that right but it also had a lot of original elements like the staircase, beams, doors and an old bread oven.”
The couple, who have two daughters, Lottie, 11, and Phoebe, eight, also changed the layout and created a stunning rear extension.
“We lived in the original part of the house while the extension was being built, which was hard work but well worth it,” says Belinda, who also managed to source Georgian fireplaces and period-style front gates for the property.
The grade two-listed Georgian house now has an entrance hall, cloakroom, sitting room, dining room, study, a large living kitchen with bespoke units and slate worktops plus dining and sitting areas. There is a separate utility room.
Upstairs, there is a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, four further double bedrooms, a house bathroom and a shower room.
Outside, there are extensive gardens and grounds of approximately one acre while the family has created an orchard along with fruit and vegetable plots. There is also a double garage, garden store and workshop.
The McKelvies are selling to move closer to their daughters’ school, though are sad to leave the house and the village.
“We have lived here for 16 years so leaving is going to be a big wrench. It’s a magical village and we’ve also put our heart and soul into the house but it is time to move and we’re going to try city living for a change,” says Belinda.
Nun Monkton, between Harrogate and York, is one of Yorkshire’s most idyllic riverside villages. It is built round a village green with maypole and duck ponds. During the spring and summer months Highland and Galloway cattle graze there freely.