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Old Northumberland church restored to former glory

Posted by Trevor
September 12, 2011 in Community

St. Mary’s Church in Northumberland, built in 1857 for Thomas Riddell, has been sold by auction and will be converted into a private dwelling. Features will include a mezzanine floor and a converted crypt.

The successful bidders, who paid £170,000 for the building, now face the challenge of transforming the old church into a stunning and unique family home, while retaining its considerable external charm.

The construction is of ashlar dressed rock-faced stone with a roof of Lakeland slate. Boasting many of the attributes of Victorian buildings, the outside of the church is adorned with angels, gargoyles and ornate mouldings and has stained glass windows, a spire and an octagonal belfry.

Exciting plans to maximise the living space include the incorporation of  mezzanine flooring  mezzanine flooring in some areas, which will allow the construction of four bedrooms and a family bathroom. A new kitchen, utility room and cloakroom will be installed under the mezzanine on the ground floor and the original crypt will be used as storage space. The double height of the church will be retained for the living and dining rooms, preserving the richly decorated arched roof mouldings and allowing maximum natural light throughout.

Deconsecrated some years ago and listed as a Grade II building in 1969, the church was part of Felton Hall which came to the Riddell family around 1800. It was designed for the private worship of the family by Gilbert Blount, the architect of several Catholic churches in the19th century, including Our Lady and St. Catherine of Siena in London.

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