Nunnykirk Hall

Nunnykirk, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 4PB

Offers Over £1,500,000

8 acres

Bedroom Count icon 10

Reception Count icon 5

Bathroom Count icon 5

  • Grade I listed historic property
  • Privately situated in wooded valley adjoining the River Font
  • Potential for restoration into a family home subject to planning
  • Walled garden
  • Tennis court
  • In all about 7.56 acres
  • For sale as a whole

SummaryNunnykirk Hall is a Grade I listed Country House. For the last 45 years it has been occupied as a school and following the recent closure of the school the property is being offered for sale providing a rare opportunity for a purchaser to acquire a beautifully situated property from which to run a business or convert back into a private family home or mixed use property (subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents).The property which has been in the ownership of the vendors family since 1716 occupies a delightful position at the head of a wooded valley benefitting from views to the south and frontage onto the attractive River Font. The town of Morpeth lies approximately 10 miles to the east where the A1 and east coast main railway line can be joined. The attractive small town of Rothbury is less than 9 miles to the north and the A697 trunk road can be joined at Longhorsley 5 miles to the east providing access to Newcastle Aiport (20 miles) and the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (25 miles). Nunnykirk is well placed for access to the Northumberland National Park which lies only 5 miles to the west as well as access to the Northumberland coast with its magnificent beaches, castles and fishing villages.Built in 1825 by the renowned north eastern architect, John Dobson, and has been described “the finest of all Dobson’s early houses” (Pevsner).The property lies within attractive and mature landscaped gardens mainly laid to lawns and includes a large walled garden, former bothy, hard tennis court and school playing field.Opportunities to acquire such a well situated, attractive and historic property to restore to a purchasers own requirements are increasingly rare.HistoryIt is believed that there have been dwellings on the site of Nunnykirk since Saxon times, evidenced by the Nunnykirk Cross discovered in the wall of a cottage demolished in the 19th century and now within the collection of the Great North Museum: Hancock. This pre-dates the ecclesiastical settlement founded at Nunnykirk by the Abbot of Newminster in 1138.Extract from Hodgson’s History of Northumberland published in 1827“Nunnykirk the seat of William Orde esq stands near the head of a winding haugh, a plot of fine level land in a narrow valley, which is shut up on every side with steep woody banks, excepting the south …. This place was comprised in Ranulph de Merlay’s grant of Ritton to Newminster, the abbot of which house with the love for seclusion and taste for riverside scenery which were common to his order, built a chapel, tower and other edifices here, all traces of which are now entirely gone.”After the dissolution of the monasteries, the property passed through the Grey family, coming into the vendor’s family in 1716 when purchased by Edward Ward, who proceeded to build a fine Queen Anne house on the site. In 1825 his greatgrandson, William Orde, commissioned John Dobson to completely remodel the house, creating the property in existence today. The shape of the original early-18th century house can still be clearly seen from the south.Extract from Pevsner“The finest of all Dobson’s early houses. Very nobly Greek, with exquisite ashlar masonry and plenty of honeysuckle friezes. In the centre an oblong hall with gallery and dome on segmental arches. Fine metal railings. Entrance side with broad elaborate porte cochere. The main garden side with an Ionic colonnade of four columns, in front of the recessed centre. Two window projections l. and r. of it. They are two storeys high, the centre has two and a halfstoreys. The house was built in 1825.”After periods of being leased out in the 1920s and 1930s, the house was requisitioned by the army during the second world war. The family returned to occupation after the war until 1977, when the house was leased out as a school.DescriptionA shared private driveway leads to a parking and turning area on the east side of the property. The house which is of attractive Ashlar construction under a Lakeland slate roof has accommodation on three stories with the principal rooms facing south and west. The accommodation, which in total extends to approximately 20,091 sq ft (1866 m2), is illustrated on the floorplans. Whilst the property has most recently been occupied as a school who used ground and first floor reception rooms as classrooms and the bedrooms as dormitories the property retains many original period features including feature fireplaces, ornate plaster work, cornicing and excellent woodwork with doors and shutters veneered in a variety of native and foreign woods.The house benefits from excellent natural light and wellproportioned rooms suitable for a variety of uses. The main features of the house include:• The porte-cochere with ionic columns leading to the outer hall.• The centrally placed inner hall is a particular feature of the house with the impressive coffered dome in the ceiling, cast iron balustrade and semi circular staircase. A notable feature of the hall is the organ given to Charles Orde in 1873 built by Forster and Andrews of Hull. (A condition report on the organ is available upon request).• The drawing room with a large bow window has an impressive reticulated ceiling, white marble fireplace with eagle and snake in the lintel and large gilded pelmet with an eagle (both listed).• The dining room and library are both well-proportioned reception rooms.• The remainder of the ground floor rooms comprise former kitchens, offices and service rooms used for various purposes by the school.The property practically subdivides into the principal accommodation and secondary rooms which if permission were granted for use as a private house could provide six to eight bedrooms on the first floor with a further three or four on the second floor, depending on a purchasers requirements. In addition to which the north wing is well suited to subdivision to provide offices, staff or letting accommodation in well-proportioned rooms.The gardens which lie principally to the south and west of the house are mainly down to lawns and lead down to the attractive River Font. The former school playing field lies to the south of the house providing unrestricted views down the valley. To the north of the house is a large walled garden which is a particular feature of the property and may offer potential for alternative uses. A row of stone built stores and a garage/workshop lie at the southern end of the kitchen garden and to the north lies a former Bothy which is derelict but may have potential for alternative uses. There is a hard surfaced Tennis court (in need of improvement).General InformationNearest PostcodeNE61 4PBDirectionsThe entrance to the property lies approximately twomiles north of Netherwitton with the entrance signed “Nunnykirk” on the west side of the road. A private driveway leads past several residential dwellings before reaching the property after 0.75 miles. Nunnykirk can either be approached from the road which leads from Morpeth to Netherwitton and on to Rothbury, or the A697 turning off at Longhorsley onto West Road which is signposted to Netherwitton.ViewingStrictly by appointment through joint sole selling agents Savills 01904 617800 or Galbraith on 01434 693693. We request you take care when viewing the property for your own personal safety.TenureThe property is offered for sale freehold with vacant possession upon completion.Method of saleNunnykirk is offered for sale by private treaty as a whole. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to register their interest with the selling agents as soon as possible.Rights of Way, Easements & WayleavesThe property is sold subject to, and with the benefit of all existing wayleaves, easements and rights of way, public and private whether specifically mentioned or not.There are believed to be no public rights of way crossing the property. The purchaser will be granted right of access along the entrance driveway subject to paying an agreed proportion of the cost of maintenance, repair and renewal.ServicesA metered Mains water supply but with a private pipe from the meter to the property. Three Phase electricity supply. Central Heating is fuelled by oil with two boilers in the main house and one in the wing. The AGA in the kitchen is also supplied by oil. Drainage is to a Treatment Plant lying within the boundary of a property. Fibre internet connection.Fixtures and FittingsAll items usually designated as fixtures and fittings are included in the sale.Local AuthorityNorthumberland County CouncilCounty HallMorpethNE61 2EFCouncil Tax and Business RatesWe understand that as a school for dyslexic children the property was exempt from business rates.Energy Property CertificateExemptPlanningNunnykirk Hall is a Grade I listed building and was first listed on the 29th May 1987 under list entry number 1041251. A copy of the listing is available from the selling agents.The property has been occupied as a school since 1977 which will determine its current status in terms of Use Class.CovenantThe property will be sold subject to a Covenant to protect the neighbouring properties against uses which may be deemed to be a nuisance.Date of InformationParticulars prepared – September 2022Photographs taken – July2022Ref: 22/09/02 AWBJM