Fine and Country Lancaster
Fine & Country
19 Castle Hill
Summerfield, 120 Aldcliffe Road, Lancaster, LA1 5BE
- Truly impressive Victorian residence
- Prime and central city location
- Rich in authentic architectural details
- Grandeur and elegant proportions
- Generous, sunny and private gardens
- Excellent gated parking, double garage
- Delightful canal and nature reserve views
- Three receptions, kitchen, pantry, laundry
- Seven bedrooms, three bath/showers
- Games room and cellars
Perfectly in balance with the size of the house the generous gardens are private and secluded thanks to the varied and well established trees and shrubs. Set back off the road with views over the front garden towards the ever changing vista of the Lancaster Canal there is excellent parking provision and a detached double garage all set within an electric gated entrance. The rear garden isn’t overlooked and is enclosed to make it safe for children and pets. With a large seating terrace, ample level lawn, low upkeep shrubberies and a kitchen garden with orchard, it has open country views towards Lancaster Castle over the unspoilt greenery of the neighbouring Fairfield Nature Reserve. Advantageously positioned Summerfield enjoys a sunny position that illuminates the handsome sandstone elevations.
Accommodation offers an entrance vestibule and hallway, sitting and dining rooms, home office/snug, dining kitchen, cloakroom and rear vestibule. Off the first floor landing are three double bedrooms, a bathroom, shower room and laundry room. On the second floor are three further double bedrooms – the perfect children’s floor.
The cellars extend under the entire footprint of the house and provide a lower hallway, seventh double bedroom (or a great home office) with ensuite shower room, a games room, walk in shelved pantry and two further traditional and presently unmodernised cellar rooms. Once upon a time the house had a conservatory attached, this was sold off decades ago and has now been replaced with a separate house, its presence in no way affects the privacy of Summerfield.
Home is everything and Summerfield has been a much loved one for this family since 2006; now it’s the turn of the next owners to create their own perfect family home, one where future memories will be made.
Local historians Andrew White and Susan Ashworth visited the property and researched the history on behalf of the owners. They reported that Summerfield appears to be one of the later houses to be built on Aldcliffe Road, the Harrison & Hall map of 1887 doesn’t show a building, but by the Ordnance Survey of 1892 it was complete. In the early years it was occupied by Thomas Green, JP who became an Alderman of Lancaster, his wife, Jane, their niece, and one servant, Annie Dearden.
We already lived in Lancaster and had often admired Summerfield from afar. Our fourth child was on the way, we had outgrown our last house so to us this really was the ultimate, the idea of all of this space, both in the house and garden was absolutely wonderful. The location suited us down to the ground as we can walk into the city centre and as they got older the children could walk to school. It has worked well for our growing family, we have used every single bit of the house and thoroughly enjoyed our time here but with the children off to university and jobs, it’s time for us to downsize, we want to stay local as we love all that the city has to offer. It’s been a super family house, we’ve loved it all and been very happy here.
Within a Conservation Area, Aldcliffe Road offers the best of both worlds and provides an attractive balance to life, all that the busy and bustling city of Lancaster has to offer is within walking distance and yet returning home there is a sense of peace and tranquility that pervades this smart and very well regarded residential street that overlooks historic Lancaster Canal at the front and Fairfield Nature Reserve at the back. Aldcliffe Road has a lot of admirers and it’s not hard to see why, there are some beautiful houses along here.
Lancaster has multi-generational appeal with an established cultural and music scene, bars and restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, an excellent range of high street and independent shops and a comprehensive provision of professional services, two universities (Lancaster and Cumbria) and good healthcare with both private and NHS hospitals in the city. Summerfield is convenient for those working at the universities and is within walking distance for the hospitals and children attending the Grammar Schools or Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy.
Whether you need to travel for business or love to get out and about for pleasure, transport links are to hand with convenient access onto the M6 at either J33 or J34 depending on the direction of your travel and a train station scheduling regular services to Manchester, London Euston and Edinburgh on the main West Coast line.
The location has really worked for us. As a place to live it’s quiet. We really value being able to cross the road, get onto the canal tow path and walk in either direction. We’ve got great access to the station, to the countryside and to the city centre, with easy walking to the doctors’ surgery and hospital.
Living here we feel we can experience the best of city life and can easily pop in for shops, the cinema or meals out but when we look out of the windows there’s trees and fields at the back of the house and at the front, the canal. Life on the canal and tow path is fascinating, it’s an ever-changing view with barges slowing passing up, walkers, runners and cyclists… it’s lovely watching the world go by.
First impressions count and Summerfield has tremendous kerb appeal, three handsome floors of imposing late Victorian architecture, golden sandstone elevations, tall sash windows, an impressive front door and approach. Crossing the threshold and the period details keep revealing themselves and never fail to disappoint. The front vestibule has an original patterned ceramic tiled floor, the rear vestibule has one too, but this is a masterly reproduction specially commissioned to replace the damaged original. The inner front door from the vestibule into the hall has beautiful etched glass panels with floral motifs in the style of the Arts and Crafts Movement, walking through and the hallway is welcoming, amply proportioned and the ceiling height soars (it’s a lofty 3.4 meters on the ground floor). Ahead is the staircase with its substantial mahogany newel post and pitch pine strings, handrails and balusters (the fact that there are three per tread gives an indication of the scale of this impressive staircase). Internal doors are pitch pine with burred panels, the rich golden tones chiming well with the fingerplates with brass floriated cross inserts. Cast your eyes up and you’ll note the ornate moulded plaster cornices, the decorative ceiling roses and in some rooms, picture rails as well.
The sitting and dining rooms are at the front of the house, both have low window seats and fireplaces. The dining room fireplace is an original one, carved of pale grey marble, the one in the sitting room isn’t original to the house, but you’d never know as the grey marble surround looks right at home. Both rooms look over the front garden towards the canal and the waterside houses opposite. The third reception room, the snug, is now used as a home office, being on the rear elevation it enjoys views over the back garden and has proved to be a great place to work. There’s a black marble mantelpiece with twin alcove cupboards having unusual top curved detailing. Modern office needs are well catered for with a fitted desk, open shelves and storage cupboards. For an easy life, all three ground floor fireplaces are fitted with gas flame effect fires.
The kitchen is also at the back of the house and so, like the office, enjoys the afternoon and evening sun. French doors open to the flagged terrace and provide a lovely flow in the warmer months when the terrace becomes a much-frequented summer sitting and dining area and route to the garden. The kitchen strikes a chord of modernity with a sleek and contemporary Sie Matic kitchen from wellregarded local suppliers Mark Leigh in Lancaster. Extensive storage is provided by the black granite topped cabinets and with a large peninsular unit extending into a breakfast bar having space for stools making a handy spot for one to sit and chat, whilst the other slowly stirs something on the stove. The Miele induction hob and extractor fan are set into an illuminated recess, there’s also a Miele double oven and dishwasher. The tall larder fridge and freezer are both Siemens. There are two doors into the dining room enabling good circulation, the dining room has a most unusual floor, centrally there are pine floorboards but the perimeter is edged with narrow strips of maple. It’s distinctive and very attractive. Like the front vestibule, the rear one has space for coats to be hung as well as boot storage and a handy bench so you can perch as you take outside footwear off. The downstairs cloakroom is here too, fittings are Victorian in style and continue the character of the house.
The cellars extend under the entire footprint of the house. Two rooms are in daily use (they are tanked, have central heating radiators and engineered oak flooring) and two rooms are virtually untouched (one has a stone topped central table) and provide storage as well as possible scope for upgrading. There’s an overflow bedroom here, a double room with a window in a light well, fitted double wardrobe and an ensuite shower room. The games room has been an absolute boon for a household with four children, the space has taken various forms over the years as the children have grown and interests have come and gone, but it would also accommodate a gym or hobbies space. The walk-in shelved pantry is a great asset and ideal for drinks and bulky storage.
The imposing staircase and light filled stairwell are defining features of Summerfield, deep treads rise gracefully to the first floor via a half landing; it’s worth pausing here to take in the view – you can see Lancaster Castle on the horizon, it’s apparently a vantage point for the annual fireworks display. Off the landing are three double bedrooms, the principal bedroom had exposed pine floorboards and extra tall fitted wardrobes (standard height would have simply looked lost with ceilings this high), matching dressing table and bedside units. The bedrooms are served by a bathroom and separate shower room, both of which are on the first floor and have Victorian style fittings including a roll top tub in the bathroom. A clever touch is the siting of the laundry room on this floor, there’s little sense in taking all of the washing to the ground floor, only to bring it all the way back up once ironed. Here you’ll find a cupboard housing the hot water tank so the room stays aired, plumbing for a washing machine and space for a condenser drier. There’s extra storage units and a handy sink unit should you need to hand wash or soak anything. The pitch pine staircase to the second floor is similar in character and size to the main one, this time with single turned balusters.
The second floor is absolutely perfect for children. Up here all the pine floorboards have been stripped and varnished, there are three double bedrooms, this high up you can imagine how fabulous the views are, indeed for the largest bedroom at the front you’re on a level with the tops of the trees in the front garden, it’s like being in a treehouse, there are also four remote control Velux skylights with fitted blinds in this room so it’s exceptionally light too. There’s good ceiling height up here, exposed pine roof trusses add character and there are fitted wardrobes or storage in all rooms.
We’ve found it to be a great house for having friends and family over. Between the sitting and dining rooms and the kitchen we can accommodate quite a number; we tend to host a drinks party at Christmas which is always a lovely occasion, we have a tree in the sitting room window – because of the ceiling height we have a particularly tall tree which is impressive and enjoyable to decorate. Christmas is particularly special here – the space allows us all to be in the same room when we want to be, but also spread out and do our own thing. One occasion that springs to mind was when we had a marquee on the back lawn to celebrate a 50th birthday. We had a bar, hog roast and band, it was great fun, very memorable indeed. As you can imagine with four children, over the years we’ve had dozens of birthday parties, for the summer ones we’ve been lucky to nearly always have good weather and we’ve been able to be out in the garden. As teenagers when the children have had friends over everyone migrates up to the top floor – it’s ideal, we can’t hear them and there’s plenty of floor space for a sleepover.
Arriving at Summerfield and you drive though imposing stone gate posts, the electric gates glide open and you can pull up either at the front door or drive down the side of the house to the garage, a double with undercroft storage beneath. The drive and parking areas are all laid with beautiful granite blocks, a well-considered and excellent choice, the colour lifts the aesthetic of the surrounds rather than tarmac and unlike gravel, it also means that children may happily ride their scooters and bikes. In the front garden sits a large stone lintel, it used to be above the old range cooker in the kitchen but when the kitchen was redone it was removed and repurposed as a bench, a handy spot to perch with a morning coffee in the sun. At the front the houses opposite are set back behind the canal and their gardens so there’s a greater feeling of space and privacy than in a road where houses face each other directly.
Awakening the day, the rooms at the front of the house capture the morning sun, it then moves round to the back of the house and importantly, the main garden. The top terrace by the French windows from the kitchen basks in the last on the sun’s rays – sat out here on a warm summer’s evening with a glass of something chilled, friends or family gathered round, or just the two of you must be a lovely way to round off the day. The back garden is tiered, the main seating area running straight out from the house. Steps lead down to the large level lawn, right behind the garage an area has been designed to accommodate a trampoline, swing set or climbing frame. Beyond the lawn is a fence (to protect what lies beyond from stray footballs and the like), there’s an apple and pear orchard and a kitchen garden with a shed and raised beds separated by gravel and block paved paths.
Throughout the garden planting is mainly trees and shrubs which were all carefully chosen to provide screening, increased privacy as well as seasonal interest through structure and colour. Outside there are hot and cold water taps as well as a selection of lights, some of which are on motion sensors as well as uplighters under a number of the trees.
On a warm day we open the French windows in the kitchen and all gravitate outside; it’s like an extra room for us. We set up the barbecue here or simply cook inside and take everything outside, it’s so convenient to just wander back and forth – the terrace gets the last of the sun too which is a bonus.
We created the back garden almost from scratch. With four children we needed a big lawn for games and robust shrubs and plants that would withstand ball games. It’s very much a spring garden with daffodils planted in the beds along the edges of the lawn. In the new year there’s a beautiful camellia by the front door, it has red and pink alternating petals; most unusual. We’ve lots of rhododendrons around the garden in pinks and purples, bright reds and a creamy peach which follows the colour scheme in the general planting.
Use Sat Nav LA1 5BE with reference to the directions below:
Approaching from Lancaster city centre on the one way system, drive through impressive Dalton Square and pass Lancaster Town Hall on the left. Straight through the first set of lights (Magistrates’ Court on the left) and at the second set, proceed straight ahead onto Aldcliffe Road. Pass Aldi on the right and continue as the road follows the route of Lancaster Canal (on your left), Summerfield is on the right, it’s No.120 so keep an eye on the houses numbers. Pull in to the gated driveway, there’s plenty of parking.
Included in the sale
Fitted carpets, curtains, curtain poles, blinds, light fittings and kitchen appliances (both integral and free standing) as itemised.
Council Tax Band
Mains electricity, gas, water and drainage. Gas fired central heating from a pair of Worcester boilers which work in tandem. Electric underfloor heating in the kitchen as well as an under unit plinth heater. Fire and security alarms.
Fibre Internet - Download speeds of 900Mbps and Upload speeds of 110 Mbps.
The property is semi-detached.
Dallas Road Primary School
Scotforth Primary School
Moorside Primary School
St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School
LGGS, Lancaster Girls Grammar School
LRGS, Lancaster Royal Grammar School
Ripley St Thomas CoE Academy
Central Lancaster High School
Our Lady’s Catholic College
University of Cumbria in Lancaster
Lancaster and Morecambe College