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DRINK stop; Homes & Gardens.

Byline: BY KATE WOLFE

ONCE upon a time, horses and carriages travelling between Ashbourne, Derby, Stoke and Leek, halted in front of Old Beams at Waterhouses.

Sited on the edge of the Peak National Park, Mine Host would dart into the adjoining stone-built wine cellar for a few jars of porter for the passengers.

These days, the former coaching inn is an imposing Grade II Listed five-bedroom family home and the porter house is a one-bedroom self-contained annexe.

The annexe has its own kitchen, living room and shower room. This, together with the fact that four bedrooms have their own en-suite bathrooms, makes Old Beams equally suitable as a home for a large extended family, or for reversion to its former role as tourist lodgings.

The three-storey house is on the market at pounds 475,000 through Bury and Hilton's Ashbourne or Leek offices.

The whole house has been sensitively restored to retain many of its original features.

The oak door opens into a wood-panelled reception hall with a stone fireplace. The wall dividing the 32ft 4ins sitting room and adjoining 14ft lounge has been opened up, leaving the two areas partitioned by an imposing central stone fireplace with a ceiling-height mantel.

Oak beams abound throughout the house and, in the huge limestone-floored dining kitchen, the units have been craftsman-built in distressed oak, to match the beams. A spacious old oak dresser has been built into the dining area wall.

The adjoining double-height conservatory has a trompe l'oeil wall concealing a door to an adjoining inner hall and cloakroom. Roof blinds and a ceiling fan make summer dining in it comfortable.

Adjacent to the conservatory, there is a stone and brick laundry room. An adjoining 20ft 3ins by 8ft 11ins building with a sink unit, in what was the coaching inn's wine storage area, is used as garage space but suggests several alternative uses.

Gardens including lawns, shrub and flower beds and mature trees, are to the front, side and rear of the house. Stone steps in the rear garden lead up to a small pond and a gravelled path to a secret garden.

This has raised vegetable beds, a low maintenance gravelled area, another pond and a greenhouse and stone and tiled pigsty.

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BEAM ME UP: the dining room showing off its many oak beams and (left) the impressive fireplace and charming garden
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2006
Words:396
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