This stunning Grade II Listed three -storey home, which has four to five bedrooms and a detached garage is located near Ribchester. Built as a dower house in 1665 by the notable Lancashire Talbot family, its lovely gardens adjoin the River Ribble (to which it has fishing rights), just downstream of an ancient Roman ford and Grade II Listed 18th- Century bridge.
I bought New Hall in 1996, having returned to the UK from California as a widow with a young son, recalls Margaret. When I saw it for the first time, it seemed like a wonderful castle, strong and safe in its beautiful riverside setting, but it was empty and needed renovating. From a practical point of view, its location was ideal, being just nine minutes drive from Stonyhurst School and within easy reach of amenities in the village, Longridge, Preston and Manchester.
We moved in immediately but had builders in every day, remembers Margaret. I researched everything carefully and thoroughly to ensure the restoration was sensitive and sympathetic. I even hired an historian from the University of Manchester, who climbed into the loft and took wood samples from the beams one proved to be 13th century. I looked at other 17th-century houses, studied old building techniques and sourced matching materials through architectural salvage and so on, paying attention to every detail. For instance, the hand-hewn floorboards were nailed with handmade white metal nails that wouldnt stain, and the front door was hand-carved from reclaimed oak with the Talbot motif of the hunting dog. Externally, the automated wrought iron gates, which I had copied from a 17th-century drawing, are flanked by reclaimed stone pillars believed to be of local Roman origin.
Some furniture and fittings such as bookcases, internal shutters and coat pegs I had handmade, explains Margaret. I bought carefully chosen items of period furniture too; some furniture may be for purchase by separate negotiation. The tanked foundations provide dry cellarage and the house is made very warm by comprehensive under-floor heating and by the large Aga in the kitchen. Theres also a wood burning stove in the TV room, where French doors open to the elevated terrace which I had built around the house. The terrace has lovely views over the river and has an 8-person hot tub, great for teenage parties, and a covered outdoor seating area. The terrace walls are covered by roses, like a great cascade. Reclaimed steps lead down to the rest of the garden, which comprises mature trees and lawns. Here I planted thousands of daffodils and narcissus, which together with the cherry blossom are beautiful in the spring.
The river bank has been reinforced and secured with five-ton blocks of stone, put together like a dry stone wall and incorporating a rest pool for the salmon, adds Margaret. I will miss the tranquillity and the sound of the river, and I will especially miss my art studio on the top floor the views have provided an endless source of inspiration for my paintings.
The accommodation comprises:
With smooth faced York stone flagged floor, solid oak studded entrance door with central carved panel of dog, iron door knocker, carved panel ceiling with central Lancashire rose relief.
With smooth faced York stone flagged floor, leaded light non-opening window to Lounge with fleurs-de-lyse design, cross beamed ceiling, solid oak studded inner entrance door with iron door knocker.
5.72m x 4.65m (18'9" x 15'3")
With smooth faced York stone flagged floor, feature cross beamed ceiling, five panel mullion window to front with leaded light glazing and central fleur-de-lyse design in central opening, recessed stone fireplace with multi-fuel stove and carved oak panelling to one wall, exposed stone to two walls, side two panel mullion window, rear double opening oak French doors to terrace garden with double opening wrought iron security gates.
9.47m x 4.52m (31'1" x 14'10")
With smooth faced York stone flagged floor, front four panel leaded light mullion window, two side oak casement windows, feature inglenook fireplace with oak beam over and featuring two carved flower and leaf stone panels, fitted electric four oven Aga, cross beamed ceiling open to kitchen area with solid oak floor, oak casement window, Belfast sink unit with granite surfaces set in oak unit, Lacanche propane dual fuel range with hotplate and Farnair ducted extractor canopy over, two rear SS windows, central heating radiator, cross beamed ceiling.
With two piece suite comprising low suite WC, pedestal wash hand basin, part tile walls, oak door to cellar.
(under kitchen). With oil fired central heating boiler.
Oak Break staircase to first floor
With four section casement window, exposed stone to one wall.
With exposed stone to one wall, beamed ceiling.
With four piece suite comprising; low suite WC, walk-in shower area with rainhead shower and separate hand held shower unit, centre roll top bath with claw and ball feet, wide sink unit with mixer tap, four panel mullion window and separate side oak non-opening window, cross beamed ceiling, marble tile floor and walls.
5.64m x 4.57m (18'6" x 15')
With four panel mullion window with leaded light glazing, two side panel mullion windows with carved oak window shutters, cross beamed ceiling, oak plank floor, Victorian cast-iron fireplace.
5.59m x 3.78m (18'4" x 12'5")
With four panel mullion window with leaded light glazing, two six panel oak casement windows, side double mullion window, oak plank floor, cross beamed ceiling.
With three panel mullion window with central opening and fleur-de-lyse design.
Break staircase to first floor
With oak balustrade.
With exposed stone to one wall.
With double mullion window.
Main landing area
With exposed stone to one wall.
With four panel mullion window, pedestal wash hand basin, low suite WC, corner bath with shower attachment, oak panelling to one wall, exposed roof truss.
5.41m x 3.78m (17'9" x 12'5")
With four panel mullion window to front, side double mullion window, oak panelling to one wall, beamed ceiling.
5.64m x 4.60m (18'6" x 15'1")
With four panel mullion window with leaded light glazing, side double mullion window, rear six panelled oak casement window, oak plank floor.
With double mullion window and leaded light glazing.
The property lies in approximately 11/2 acres of formal gardens with road frontage to Blackburn Road and river frontage to the River Ribble on the other elevation.The gardens are mainly laid to lawn and incorporate mature trees, shrubs and a selection of fruit trees including apple and damson. Adjoining the property is a large stone flagged sun terrace with stone balustrade featuring two stone mounted dogs. There is a timber garden store shed and the driveway is accessed by electrically operated double opening wrought iron entrance gates which lead to a large L-shaped garage block with stone flag roof, electric light and power. There are cobbled paths and original set paving areas with well-placed garden lighting. A wide stone staircase leads from the upper sun terrace to the principal lawned areas which abound the banks of the River Ribble the boundaries of which go halfway into the river itself.
Ribble Valley Council Tax Band GFreehold tenure and free from chief rentUnderfloor central heating to heat floor fired by oil with a storage tank in the garden and a boiler situated in the cellar