Beautiful barn offers peaceful rural retreat
Dating back to the 1800s, Urnsfield House, which was originally the crew yard part of a farm’s barn complex, has been professionally converted by an architect to offer a unique, contemporary family home.
This five-bedroom stone and brick-built barn conversion with terracotta pantiled roof has been cleverly designed to wrap around an attractive south facing courtyard maximising light and space throughout the seasons.
Owner Anne Beardmore, a retired antiques and interiors professional, has lived here for the past 24 years, together with her son Barney and nine-year-old grandson, as well as the family’s cat and three dogs.
“We moved from the Old Vicarage in North Rauceby and I was ready for a complete change of house and wanted to be in a thriving village. When I first viewed the property, it was love at first sight. I knew it was unique and special. Stepping into the light, contemporary space with impressive vaulted timber ceilings was a complete contrast to our old vicarage.
“The house and grounds are peaceful and relaxing, yet connected to village sounds, such as live music playing in the village pub garden, church bells and cricket games on the playing field.”
Anne describes Urnsfield House as “a wonderful family home for all generations” and says she has enjoyed welcoming friends and family and making many special memories.
“The 40ft long living and dining room is a fabulous space both in winter and summer, and especially if entertaining. At Christmas, it is wonderful with the double-sided stone fireplace, and in warm weather opening up all the full length glass sliding doors makes it perfect for connecting with the outside.
“I’ve enjoyed all aspects of the house and in particular making the most of the living/dining room with south-facing doors into the garden and courtyard featuring a central pond, where even in midwinter, the sun streams in.
“I have loved living here because the house is so private yet connected to the village.
It’s also light, airy and spacious and connected to the garden, so perfect for having gatherings of family and friends. It’s such a relaxing house and setting – I feel like I’m permanently on holiday here.”
The barns were converted in the 1980s by an architect who used this property as a weekend retreat or holiday home. There were three dwellings created: this crew yard, a barn and a coach house.
“We have very nice neighbours; they are there if you want them, but we tend to keep ourselves to ourselves. There’s a lovely young family in the barn and through lockdown we heard lots of happy sounds from the little boy coming from behind the hedge!”
Anne has particularly enjoyed spending time in the sunny, low maintenance garden which features a charming enclosed cottage garden.
“I love my vegetable garden down the side of the property, which is now more of a wild place attracting lots of lovely insects. We managed to buy that piece of land when the property next door was being sold. I absolutely love it and will miss it so much. It has big-headed daisies, hollyhocks, foxgloves and roses and smells divine in summer when the flowers are in bloom!
“It’s a wonderful place to live – so tranquil and private – it’s like being on holiday all the time. We were so happy here, even during lockdown.”
In 1999, the family converted what was once the garage into a completely self-contained section at one end, with underfloor heating downstairs. It is now a very useful extra space for accommodation with a spiral staircase up to the mezzanine bedroom.
Converted in a contemporary way, it features a modern Barbas, circular, gas-fired ‘log burner’.
“The separate, oak-framed double garage was built recently by Lancashire Oak, to be in keeping with the property, and for storage if not vehicles!”
Anne says the house would suit a growing family and can accommodate two generations, having a separate, self-contained annexe and would also be ideal for anyone wanting to run an Airbnb.
Safe and secure
The property is approached through elegant electric gates with security code and intercom system, which were installed by the previous architect owner by a local firm, Openings.
“They make you feel very secure, but in all the years I’ve been here we’ve never had any issues in that way, I’ve always felt extremely safe all the time.”
The property, which backs onto open countryside, is on the boundary of Caythorpe. The village has a playing field and popular cricket club, as well as its own excellent primary school, a well-stocked convenience store with post office, a medical practice and two highly regarded pubs serving food which also offer a takeaway service.
A high-speed rail link to London King’s Cross (the fastest, around an hour) is from Grantham station, just nine miles away, making a door-to-door journey time into central London less than an hour and a half, and there are fast services to cities such as Leeds, as well as across to the Lincolnshire seaside at Skegness.
There is plenty to do in the area, including visiting the National Trust’s Belton House which lies just seven miles away towards Grantham which has 1,300 acres of parkland to explore including an adventure playground, while nearby Ancaster Leisure offers outdoor activities such as go-karting, paintballing, shooting and archery.
“I will always remember the family times we have had here – watching my grandchildren grow up and family events,” says Anne. “I will miss relaxing in the stunning living room and its connection to the seasons and the garden.
I will also miss my wonderful secret cottage garden to the west side of the property, which is full of roses and wonderful flowers, shrubs and an ancient apple tree. It’s truly a haven for nature and a place I love to spend time.
“Previously, I couldn’t bear the thought of moving but the time has come, and I am now ready to go, but not far – only next door!
“After the house is sold, I am having a wood-framed eco house built on part of my land, adjacent to this house on the east side. I have always wanted to have one built and now is finally the time!”