IN THIS day and age very little can truly be called unique... but it's a word which only goes part of the way to describing Durham House.

Dating back to 1847, proof of which is etched on the headstone of the original door, Durham House has had a rather interesting history, featuring as it has in the foreground of numerous paintings and photographs of Durham, with the cathedral as its backdrop.

Durham House once fronted onto Durham’s Racecourse and the former county cricket pitch where Sir Ian Botham played his last game for Durham. Today it is university playing fields.

In 2002 the former chaplaincy and school underwent a no expense spared bottom up renovation, the dream of a local entrepreneur who created many unique features in it.

Today the house has a natural flow through the sun room and kitchen to the snooker room and sunken lounge and dining room, all of which have hardwood French windows overlooking the playing fields and river beyond that. And how many homes have an area in the midst of the living space for a baby grand piano?

Durham House is entered through an archway and into a private courtyard with four large garages.

Durham House - Bradley Hal

Durham House - Bradley Hal

From here you can't help but be mesmerised by the bottle window spanning two storeys which illuminates the spiral staircase and offers, from the outside, a glimpse of what lies in store inside.

Enter the house via the crucifix door you find yourself in the hall, off of which are two cloakrooms, a sun room and a utility room.

Also accessed from the hall – down an illuminated staircase – is the full sized snooker room with an oak panelled wall. (The ready to play snooker table is included in the sale).

Two stone statues guard the hall which leads to the remainder of the ground floor accommodation, which comprises the kitchen, study with views through mullioned windows over the cricket pitch, and the open plan lounge and dining room which runs the full width of the rear of the house and open out on to a balcony via three sets of double French doors.

Durham House - Bradley Hall

Durham House - Bradley Hall

Great efforts have been made to add features to the property with a galleried light well, niches, oak doors and changes of level. Even the radiators were imported from Italy. All these touches give Durham House an old world charm combined alongside modern standards of insulation and heating.

The first floor has a large half landing with a galleried light well and French windows leading to a huge balcony with elevated views of the river. This is also accessed from the family bathroom with an elevated Jacuzzi bath, bidet, shower and dressing area, as well as the master bedroom, which benefits from a dressing room and en-suite bathroom.

A further en-suite bedroom completes this floor, but not the accommodation, because upstairs again are a further three en-suite bedrooms, two of which enjoy excellent views of the river, and a gorgeous south-facing lounge with floor-to-ceiling window.

Durham House - Bradley Hal

Durham House - Bradley Hal

Externally the front of the house has a large deck with raised seating area and a sunken garden with a summerhouse and an original well – a feature common to most of the houses on old Elvet in the past. It also benefits from a secure workshop and bike store.

Although it sounds as though the current owners have done everything imaginable to the property, that's not strictly true. Durham House has indicative planning consent for the development of nine holiday lets which, on conservative estimates, could produce a gross income of over 400k/pa , so there is scope for the new owners to make their mark on the future of this historic home.

Durham House is centrally located haven guaranteed to be a sound investment as well as a great family home, and while you may enjoy the lush green of the playing fields and the river from its windows, you are just a 400m to Durham market place.

Durham House is on the market at a guide price of £1.85m.

For more information or to arrange a viewing, please call Bradley Hall's Durham office on 0191 6870399.