Monday, 26 September 2016

Two derelict and lovely Scottish mansions

A lovely email from Frances at the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, prompted me to have a look at Scotland today. And here are two handsome but left-to-rot Scottish manses.
The downside is that the agents have only supplied external photos (which really annoys me...), but given the holes in roofs and broken windows we can make a decent guess at what might be inside.
Above and below is a five bed house at Lochanhead, five miles from Dumfries, sent to me by reader Wendy. Three reception rooms, games room, bar, halls and kitchen downstairs, five bedrooms (four en-suite) on the first floor and four attic rooms above - this was definitely once a party house!
Large gardens (though how much land isn't clear). And a lovely, airy hole in the roof:

The agent, GGM&W, describes the 19th Century house as "derelict and in need of total renovation" and suggests that the buyer may choose to demolish the (unlisted) building and start again. Which might make it, at offers over £150k a rather pricey bit of land. And a waste of a lovely building.
Details here and here.
I mentioned the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership at the start of this email. The work they do, in monitoring and advising on empty homes, is important and part of a network of organisations and websites that I use and that are doing a brilliant job in helping to track and record beautiful buildings left to fall down.
Asknish House, at Lochgair (below) is good example. It had been on my radar for a while but I was put off using it because of the scale of the project and - again - the lack of internal photos. However, an email from reader James prompted me to look at it again.

According to the listing on the (also fabulous) Buildings At Risk register, B-Listed Asknish seems to have been empty since 2007 at least, having last been used in the 1990s as a holiday let.
External inspections in 2009 and 2012 suggested the building was neither secure nor watertight (more here).
Pictures taken in 1990 show what was then a handsome 18th century Georgian country mansion with a stunning interior:

Photos on urban explorer websites 28DaysLater and DerelictPlaces (both massively useful and important) show recent damage and this 2012 report by DerelictPlaces member 'SeaOfLove' is wonderful - stunning photos, some of which I've used below:

Quite often for me, a photo on an agent's site is only the start of the process. I'll get lost down a rabbit hole of information, trying to discover more of the story behind the building. It's the fun bit.
Anyway, back to Asknish House. Strutt & Parker are selling Asknish House with 49 acres of land as Lot 1, and a further 56 acres of farmland as Lot 2.
The Grade-B listed house has 8 bedrooms and dozens of other rooms over three floors. This plan is from 2009 (I suspect the agent hasn't been inside to produce a current floor plan):

The location is quite stunning, including half-a-mile of frontage onto Loch Gair.

On the market at offers over £250k through Strutt & Parker, details here and here.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Convent school and a farmhouse wreck, Cumbria

I have a thing about turning non-houses into houses: hospitals into family homes and pubs into country cottages. But this is the first time I've featured a convent. 
Actually a convent school.
Grade Two-listed St Ursula's Convent School is in a pretty area of Wigton, in Cumbria - about seven miles form the Lake District National Park and about 12 from Carlisle.
It's a gorgeous building. Not sure how much of it needs doing up but a fair bit of it would need re-modelling.
It's a bit of an odd layout - a warren of rooms downstairs - some enormous and others basically cupboard-offices. The agent's details are pretty light on the details bit and, although a kitchen is mentioned, it doesn't look there are bathrooms (although presumably the convent girls at least had access to loos?).

The property is described on Zoopla as detached but the agent's site doesn't mention that and I couldn't work out what the relationship was between the buildings in the pictures.
I think it's the cream buildings with grey-edge windows in the picture below, plus the brown school-like building just peeking out behind that front cream one. If any Cumbrian 'Wreck' readers fancy wandering around and reporting back - that would be much appreciated!

There are good-sized gardens and plenty of parking space. And you get to play in a proper playground!

The property is on the market through YourMove with a guide price of £300k. More here and here.

PS: 'Wreck' reader John emailed to tell me about the Cumbrian wreck below, at Hackthorpe near Penrith. It's up for auction this week (Thursday, 15th September) hence my tacking it on the end here.
Very wrecked (the ceilings bother me most), but very lovely. Not listed, which is a plus, but close to both the A6 and the M6 (a plus or a minus, depending on your commute situation).

A five bedroom farmhouse with adjoining barn and workshop (love the abandoned loom); front garden and rear courtyard.

On the market with Auction House at a guide price of £175k, more here.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Edwardian terrace on four floors, North Yorkshire

Closing date for bids on this gorgeous Edwardian terrace is September 9th, so unless you've got several £hundred K tucked under the sofa cushions, you may miss the boat.
However, we all know 'Wreck' is as much daydreams as reality, so sit back and enjoy this photographic ride.
The five-bed house is on leafy Park Avenue, in Skipton, North Yorkshire. As you'd expect from a house of this period, rooms are big, ceilings are high, windows are tall (lovers of modern-build insulated homes look away now), and wall sockets are few.
There are some gorgeous period details, like the main door, staircase and this window:

and some less handsome additions, like this fireplace and the bathroom.

But overall there's enormous potential here as well as masses of family space.
Downstairs is that handsome hallway, two large reception rooms and this sweet kitchen:

Below that is a basement level with four big cellar/utility areas.

Upstairs are three bedrooms and the bathroom, plus two further bedrooms on the second floor.

(I'm loving that Pollocked door! Definitely artist's garret vibe)
There's a pretty front garden and a good-size rear yard with three stone-flagged outbuildings, plus access to the basement area, and a garage.

On the market through Harrison Boothman with a guide price of £350k and a deadline for tenders of 12noon on Friday, September 9th. More here and here.