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SECLUDED BUT CONVENIENT; PROPERTY PLACE The redevelopment of Hunt Hall house has been a labour of love for one couple, writes Marsya Lennox.

Byline: Marsya Lennox

It's been a good year for Chris and Clare Griffin. They found a house on the village grapevine, completed its renovation as a labour of love - and then they got married.

The backdrop for their busy 12 months has been the village of Welford-on-Avon in Warwickshire, a popular target for househunters, impressed by its picturesque architecture and place by the river.

Businessman Chris was well placed to find the couple a more permanent home as he already owned a cottage in the village and his local contacts paid off when he heard that Hunt Hall House might come to the market.

"It was owned by an elderly couple who had put their heart and soul into the gardens, and it was their gardener who told me they might be selling," says Chris.

Both Chris and Clare have Gloucestershire roots, their families based in the Cheltenham area, but after both spending time in London, they knew what they wanted in a rural location.

One look at Hunt Hall House convinced them that it was the right place for them. "We wanted privacy, and we bought the house because the location is out of this world. You can walk to the village pub in two minutes - and to the village shop - but there are no neighbours to be seen."

The property ticked all the boxes, a worthy candidate for full renovation and extension.

"In our view, the house that was here did not do the plot justice.

"We got planning permission to extend and built a double garage with an annexe, found an expert team of builders and more or less gutted the old house, re-wiring and replumbing and putting everything back new."

The Griffins employed well-known local architect Jim Richardson to plan the whole project.

"We selected craftsmen to do each job, using the best materials. It has been a labour of love and because we were doing it for ourselves, we decided to spend as much money as it took to make it 100 per cent."

The result is the new-look Hunt Hall House, up and running, fully-finished and ready for a new upmarket role.

So why on earth are the Griffins on the move - especially as they are just getting used to all the home comforts in such a perfect location? The answer is simple.

"We have decided we would like to have children next year," says Chris.

"So it's a good time to move back, nearer our families - and on-hand baby-sitters."

The couple are convinced that Hunt Hall House will find a ready buyer, as all the hard work is done.

"It will suit anyone who just wants to move in, enjoy the best of both worlds and get on with their lives," says Chris.

Hunt Hall House is on the market with a guide price of pounds 1.45 million, reflecting its luxury finishes and generous living space.

"I would say that it's the best house in Welford. That's a bold statement, but property is a very subjective thing and if you like this style of property, you are not going to get anything better," adds Chris.

In store for its next owners are some quality details, planned carefully by Chris and Clare. Among these are the solid oak flooring, guaranteed for 10 years - and the new slate roof, guaranteed for 50 years.

There are no fewer than five bathrooms, each one a showpiece - and the smartest of kitchens, big light and bright with granite surfaces, a large work island with in-built ovens and hob, US-style fridge freezer with ice and water dispenser, natural stone flooring, storage in white painted units - and underfloor heating.

"I can't really decide which is my favourite part of the house," says Chris. "I like its light, airy feeling. It is fantastic for entertaining."

The remodelling has included the addition of one wing to the left of the entrance, some extension to the rear and the creation of two balconies off two of the six bedrooms.

"It is lovely to sit out on the balcony with a cup of coffee in the morning, looking at the views."

The views are worth seeing - looking far into the distance to the south east over unspoilt countryside and to Welford Hill.

"All you can see is the rolling countryside and the trees. You are more likely to see the odd sheep or horse than a person." says Chris.

Hunt Hall House has four reception rooms including a large dining room with fireplace and a drawing room with a marble chimneypiece and double doors to the covered terrace. There is also a sitting room with fireplace and a further study.

Domestic extras include the separate utility room, also fitted out in style with Belfast sink and oak work surfaces.

The new garage block has a first floor annexe, all set up with internal stairs and a first floor bedroom and bathroom, ideal for nanny or teenager.

The grounds add up to just over an acre with a terrace of marble tiles, wide lawns and mature trees, orchard varieties, hedging to the boundaries and planted borders.

Details of Hunt Hall House are available from Sheldon Bosley, 01789 292310.

Hunt Hall House is now under offer.

CAPTION(S):

Hunt Hall House boasts six bedrooms, two with balconies JS140707HALL-8; The big, light and bright kitchen; Clare and Chris Griffin enjoy the views from the balcony at Hunt Hall House JS140707HALL-14; One of the five bathrooms - each one a showpiece; There are four reception rooms to give loads of space for entertaining
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 20, 2007
Words:925
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