At home in the Peak District - Middle Ollerbrook House, Edale
PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 May 2014
Paula and John Greenlees have found a Hope Valley home that combines countryside charm with easy access to city life
In 2002 Paula and John Greenlees decided to move from their Sheffield home and previous explorations around the Peak District had put it on their list of desirable places to live. John, who works in Sheffield, was impressed that the local Hope Valley stopping train was just on Edale’s doorstep and, if he needed to travel abroad, it’s less than an hour to Manchester airport. One look at an estate agent’s brochure of attractive Middle Ollerbrook House and they made an appointment to view.
Then, as Paula said, ‘When we approached the house from the lane, we fell in love with it straight away. In fact, it felt like coming home, rather than leaving our old house. The thing that clinched it for us was the stunning view of the hills surrounding Edale – Mam Tor and Kinder Scout, in particular.’
Middle Ollerbrook house dates back to the mid-17th century, with later extensions dating from Victorian times. It has many original features, and although the house has been altered to suit contemporary living, John and Paula have made sure that none of its old world charm and character has been lost. It’s believed that it was originally a farmhouse and that some of the rooms were once used as a dairy, possibly where cheese was made, or even where cattle were kept.
The hub of the house is the kitchen, which is a typical farmhouse kitchen and a delightful place where the couple can both relax and entertain. Its focal point is the four-oven Aga, loved by all (especially the family’s Labrador!) and worth its weight in gold as heater, cooker, and even clothes drier.
An elegant dining room with a beamed ceiling, cast-iron stove and mullioned windows with deep oak sills leads from the kitchen through to the beamed sitting room – another favourite place with a huge open fireplace where, as Paula says, ‘we like to read and relax, and it looks wonderful at Christmas with the tree and room full of festive decorations.’
Paula describes their decorating style as ‘contemporary cottage’ with neutral or pastel shades offset by splashes of colour, but in all the rooms your eye immediately wanders to the windows. All have stunning views. ‘There is nothing better than lying in bed with a cup of tea in the morning gazing out of the window towards Mam Tor, or better still, before the world has woken up, listening to the owls calling to each other across the valley,’ says Paula.
The couple have also been busy over the past few years refurbishing Middle Ollerbrook’s three holiday cottages – two attached (Plover and Curlew) and one adjoining (Wagtail). They have redecorated and replaced kitchens and bathrooms, and have achieved a much coveted five-star gold status for Plover and Curlew, while Wagtail has recently been given a contemporary feel and a new kitchen.
Unfortunately, circumstances change and John and Paula have made the decision to put Middle Ollerbrook up for sale. When asked what they will miss most about the property, it’s obviously a difficult question but Paula comments, ‘I think it will be the garden. It is full of shrubs and herbaceous plants – a real cottage garden, with a stunning white wisteria arch leading towards the ha-ha at the bottom. In the good weather we love to sit at the bottom of the garden, with a bottle of wine of course, taking in the valley, which spreads out in front of us, like our own little kingdom.’
‘We’ll also miss the village. Edale has a very friendly community with bookclubs, plays, film nights, WI, zumba, choir, the Country Day on 8th June, the Beer Barrel Race, and much more… It really is a beautiful place to live.’
Middle Ollerbrook House is for sale with Saxton Mee at £1,250,000. For details call 01433 650009. Visit www.saxtonmee.co.uk