£1.7m Calder House goes on the market

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ONE of the grandest properties in the Garstang area has gone on the market - with an asking price of around £1.7m.

It is believed the elegant Yorkshire stone gentleman's residence, Calder House, Barnacre with Bonds, has changed ownership only a handful of times since it was built in about 1810.

Calder House was orignally home to the Jackson family, and later to their relatives the Healeys, before being bought at auction by Mr Thomas Cassidy, in 1969 for 21,700.

Set in beautiful, topiary bordered gardens, both the interior and exterior reflect an elegance of a by-gone age in a labyrinth of rooms.

The style though combines ancient and updated - William Morris-style stained glass windows and Victorian decor (including original marble topped furniture), and bright, modern and airy in others, including the large kitchen.

Patsy Stothert and Michelle Cannon, two of the six children of Mr Cassidy, recall happy days at the house in their younger years.

Among their memories are their father keeping up local Yuletide traditions, including inviting carol singers in from All Saints Church, Barnacre and St Helens, Churchtown.

The Cassidy's extended family had games and parties on the lawn, including a wedding reception for one of the other Cassidy daughters, Bernadette.

Mr Cassidy, head of a Blackpool-based toy manufacturing company, died earlier this year and his widow has moved to Thornton.

Daughters Patsy and Michelle say they are sad to see the house go, and are keen for it to be sold to someone who will show the same 'TLC' given by its previous occupants.

They also hope the new owner will continue to maintain a feature for which it has been noted for decades - possibly a century or more - its topiary hedges, which are clipped and shaped by specialists every eighteen months.

The sisters pointed out that the house even has some of its original bell-pulls intact - which in Victorian times were used to summon domestic servants from the butler's pantry to the living room.

Calder House's first owners were the Jacksons, Quaker entrepreneurs who took over the Oakenclough paper mill in the Victorian era.

The Jacksons were known throughout the area for their enterprise and religion. Several of the family are buried at the neighbouring Friends Meeting House.

The house later became home to the Jackson's relatives, the Healeys (the junction of Garstang Road and Calder House Lane is still known as "Healey's Corner") until it was sold to Mr Cassidy.

A spokesman for Garstang-based Garside Waddingham estate agents who are handling the sale said: "To our knowledge Calder House has only changed hands once since 1895."

Garstang historian Mr Paul Smith said there had been various changes to Calder House but added: "It has to be one of the most interesting properties in the area."

The property comprises six-bedrooms, two bathrooms and three attic rooms, home included a reception hall, dining room, lounge, dining/kitchen area, utility room, bathroom, inner hall, butler's pantry, wine cellar and cloakroom.

It also includes landscaped gardens, a fruit garden, shrubberies, orchard and an adjoining paddock and what is described as "one of the best examples of topiary in the North West."

Also included in the sale is a separate two-bedroom self-contained cottage, possibly used in the past by domestic workers or garden staff, a coach house and a partly-converted granny cottage.

Its topiary garden is described as one of the finest in the North West.For more details contact Garside Waddingham, Market Place, Garstang (Tel:01995 606484).