A chance to own a piece of history

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AN historic manor house that was owned by some of Northumberland’s most prominent families has been put on the market.

Beechfield Tower, near Belsay, combines a medieval pele tower from the 1400s with a 17th Century Grade 1 listed country house.

The pele tower was built by the Middleton family, passing to Marjorie Harbottle, heiress to the Harbottle estate, who later married Sir John Fenwick.

Robert Fenwick built the adjoining manor house in 1622 and the estate was later owned by Sir Edward Grey, Sir James Clavering and Sir Charles Monck.

Most recently it was bought by Peter Cussins, founder and Chairman of Cussins Ltd and former Chairman of Cussins Property Group.

However, when he took on the eight-bedroom house in 1995 it needed attention.

Work included building a baronial-style Great Hall, installing zoned central heating, replacing windows and rewiring, while ensuite bathrooms were added and a terrace was created at the top of the tower.

Interior designer Dudley Poplak, who refurbished Highgrove for the Prince and Princess of Wales in the 1980s, was brought in to advise on the decor.

Mr Cussins said: “It looked like a wonderful house, but when we looked a bit closer we realised it needed complete reworking.

“I completely underestimated the challenge, but it has been a wonderfully rewarding project and the refurbishment work has turned it into a magnificent house.”

Outbuildings include stables, a gin gan, staff house, gatehouse and estate office.

The grounds and formal gardens extend to six acres. There is also a lake stocked with trout and a tennis court.

The property is for sale for offers in excess of £3.5million with Strutt &Parker and Sanderson Young.