Elegant living in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter
Greestone House is an outstanding Grade II listed family home in the city’s historic centre with unrivalled views of Lincoln Cathedral.
Set in stunning, mature grounds Greestone House is an exceptional medieval residence that combines a wealth of character and period charm, blended with a modern touch of style and sophistication.
Dating back to the 13th century, this handsome stone property has been lovingly restored and refurbished to create a warm, inviting family home by the current owners, Martin and Nicola Key.
The couple, who have three young children aged under 10, moved here in 2016 after searching for a house in the city with both history and character, and which was also in easy walking distance of shops and restaurants.
They fell in love with this exceptional house the moment they were shown into the beautiful walled gardens by JHWalter’s agent Ben Kendall, before they had even ventured inside.
“As soon as we walked through the garden gate, we decided we had to buy it then and there,” says Martin. “Not only did it offer magnificent gardens, fabulous views of the city and Cathedral, but also an abundance of parking and living space.
“Having the capacity to walk into the city centre, as well as being within the Cathedral Quarter, means one can do without the use of a car, which makes for a nice change of pace,” he explains. “When we’re in the garden, the noise of the city is blocked off and you feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside.”
Peaceful city centre setting
Greestone House is set behind wrought iron railings with lawns and formal gardens, well established trees and a pathway leading to the house. With glorious grounds extending to about 0.65 acres, the landscaped gardens, which comprise formal and informal areas, provide a beautiful outlook from the house with superb views over Lincoln.
A secluded paved terrace area leading from the garden room provides an ideal entertaining area with established borders, mature specimen shrubs and box hedging.
The main gardens have been lovingly maintained and are laid to lawn with water features, a variety of specimen trees, shrubs, well stocked herbaceous borders and well grown trees.
Taking pride of place at the end of the garden is a stunning folly constructed from 11th and 12th century stonework, dating back to 1860.
“When we bought the property, the folly was in a very poor state and was supported by multiple large wooden props. We had it professionally restored by a master stonemason and constructed it so it will last another couple of hundred years, so the next few owners can enjoy it,” says Martin. “It’s mainly been used by the children as an imaginative place where they can play their favourite games.”
The quiet and tranquil patio at the end of the garden has proved ideal for entertaining.
“The garden has the space and safety so that adults can enjoy a drink and a chat while the children play, without the fear of them escaping,” says Martin. “We have also installed a perimeter pathway for the children who love riding their bikes and go-karts, and the play equipment makes for excellent entertainment for children’s parties.
“Our garden is like an oasis of calm away from the city,” he explains. “Because it’s fully enclosed, it’s very quiet and you can easily forget you’re right in the middle of a city.”
Labour of love
This substantial and impressive period manor house, which was once a boarding house for the girls’ school, is arranged over three floors of around 8,000 sq ft.
Since buying Greestone House, the Keys have carefully carried out a full refurbishment of the whole property and grounds.
“The house has had all new bathrooms, floorings, a bar installed, as well as all of the sash windows being fully refurbished – when we moved in only one or two windows opened!” Martin explains.
Today this fine six-bedroom residence provides light, spacious and versatile living, featuring a reception hall with oak flooring, dining room with ornate cornicing and open fireplace, kitchen/breakfast room with a four-oven AGA, reception room with sash bay windows, family room with feature fireplace, cosy snug and garden room to the ground floor.
Upstairs, on the first floor are three bedrooms, one with en-suite, family bathroom and drawing room, with three further bedrooms, one with en-suite, family bathroom and office on the second floor.
The family are now planning their move to a property they own in Florida and Martin says they will all miss the location and character of Greestone House: “It is a truly incredible house and we feel blessed to have owned it.”