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Features > Autumn > Country Homes > A Colourful History
BD223: A Colourful History
With its peaceful setting and stylish blend of traditional and contemporary features, it’s hard to imagine that Nichola Carr’s relaxed and rambling Northumberland home was once at the heart of cross-border skirmishes.
The building dates back to the 1700s and was originally part of a bastle - one of a network of fortified farmhouses across the county and edging into Scotland - its stout walls designed to deter raiders from the north and keep both stock and family safe. ‘I have photographs of it in the 1970s when it was still a working farm and my parents’ friends used to rent it,’ says Nichola. ‘They used to get water from a well with a pumping station at the bottom of the field and the courtyard was where they used to hold the farm sales. I uncovered all of its cobbles by hand.’ She and her husband Andrew already had a series of home renovations under their belts when their half of the original farmhouse and its cluster of outbuildings came on the market. ’It was purely the location, with its beautiful views, and the potential in the building that drew us,’ she says. ‘It was dilapidated but the stonework was just fabulous. We used to come when it was for sale and sneak in through an open door at the back and just imagine how it could be.’
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