“THIS is a very different house,” says Jane Charlton. “There is just not another one like it anywhere.”
Jane should be forgiven her sense of natural pride. It is very unlikely that there is another property like the Old Golf Club House in York – or anywhere else for that matter. It is, as the selling agents R M English say in their brochure, “a unique property”.
It was built in 1911 as the clubhouse for Fulford Golf Club.
Time and place move on, of course, and the clubhouse was first converted into a domestic property in the 1930s – Fulford members having long since decamped to a new home in Heslington. But it is under the sensitive hands of Jane and husband Albert that this property, tucked away with just three other neighbouring houses in leafy Naburn Lane, has really blossomed.
Arts and crafts architect John Penty created the building inside and out, with trademark distinctive high, curved and beamed ceilings, spacious entertaining rooms, beautiful wood panelling and expansive fireplaces.
But this is also a home which is very much of today. The modern comforts include a stylish new kitchen and smart contemporary bathrooms.
The couple arrived 18 years ago from Oxford (though both are native North-Easterners) when Jane was appointed as a senior lecturer in fine arts at York St John College – now university. While Jane’s artistic eye is evident throughout, it was Albert who took on the role of overseeing the major refurbishment work that was to include adding an attic extension (with a bespoke winding staircase), recovering and restoring fireplaces, renovating windows, laying down new floors and… well the list is exhaustive.
The spacious, imposing dining hallway is a superb space with a huge, high ceiling and an eyecatching fireplace set in exposed brick and tile and solid wood decorative surround. Light streams in from two deep windows to the front and there are double doors opening through to an inner hallway, off which there are two ground floor bedrooms (created from what was once the old clubhouse dining room). One of these has an ensuite shower room and both have doors opening onto a covered veranda that runs the length of the back of the house (and more of that later).
Retracing our steps, we find a delightfully-fitted kitchen with attractive mellow maple floor and base units and contrasting granite work surfaces, fitted cupboards and a utility area and cloakroom.
There’s also a snug study with deep bookshelves and alcoves and plenty of space to sprawl around in.
“This is very much Albert’s place,”
Jane says of what, at the moment at least, is very much a gentleman’s retreat. Still, she does have her own space.
Which is where we return to that veranda. It’s an original feature which, like the rest of the house, has been refurbished and improved – in this instance it has been enclosed and split into two distinct parts. The first has provided artist Jane with a fine, bright studio area.
The second section is a fine summer area, a 21ft-plus long garden room, again looking out over the rolling lawns and with doors into the main living room.
Ah yes, the living room. This is a simply delightful spot, big and beautiful, warmed on this day by a roaring fire in the hearth of yet another feature fireplace with herring bone brick patterned surround and a wood mantel and panelled wall above. The wood, Albert tells me, as it is in the rest of the house, is American Tulip, a deep burnished and distinguished chocolate brown.
Above us is yet another high ceiling, this one curving and rolling its way around the room, set off by deep period coving and cornice work. All of which, incidentally, has been painstakingly restored using a moulding from the original work.
In one corner of the room is a characterful curved Oriel window providing a relaxing reading area – and again with good views over the garden. It’s a garden which is extremely private, and that runs extensively to lawn, set off with mature trees, shrubs and flower beds – and open views across open land.
It’s also south-facing, and you can imagine how wonderful it must be when the sun shines.
There is also a final flourish to see – this one a more private, getaway- from-it-all spot in the shape of an extensive attic extension. It is reached via a bespoke winding staircase that takes you up to a guest bedroom and en-suite bathroom.
It’s a fine conclusion to a very fine home. Par for the course?
AT A GLANCE...
The Old Golf Club House, Naburn Lane, Fulford
Reception rooms: 3 (plus studio and garden room)
Gardens: Gravelled parking area to front, extensive private garden to rear
Wow factor: Arts and crafts wonder – but the real wow is the beautiful living room with feature working fire and delightful Oriel window
Price: Offers around £460,000
Contact: R M English
Phone 01904 697900