Home of Inspiration, Words and Books

31st August 2011

Earlier today, George F. White announced the sale of the County Durham home of Anne Fine, one of the UK’s foremost children’s writers.

Former Children’s Laureate and author of more than 50 books, Anne is to sell Gray Lane House near Barnard Castle, where she has lived for over 20 years. Two of the most notable books that were written here include The Road of Bones, written in a very icy winter, about Stalinist Russia, and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2007, and Flour Babies, a comedy, which won the medal in 1992.

This detached Grade 11 Georgian Listed house set in beautifully secluded, walled gardens, was bought with the money Anne earned from the sales of one of her most famous books, Madame Doubtfire, and its re-incarnation as a Hollywood blockbuster. During the time Anne has lived here it has been the peaceful base for her subsequent writing, and the 2 years she spent as the 2nd Children’s Laureate.

This 18th Century period home features 3 reception rooms, 1 of which has become Anne’s book-lined library, the 2nd a cosy sitting room, and the 3rd, which she built herself, a light-filled study overlooking the garden. There is a spacious family kitchen, and a large workshop and garage complete the accommodation. Upstairs, there are 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms and staircases at both the front and the back.

The setting for Anne’s Georgian Gem is its walled garden, with mature trees, lawns and beds, leading to open country and riverside walks by the Tees. So in spite of being only ¼ mile from the town it enjoys a perfectly secluded setting.

Anne is genuinely sad at the prospect of parting with the house that has been her home so long. As she explains: “I have loved living here, and the main reason we’re selling is because of the size of the gardens, but we will be definitely staying in the area. Gray Lane House has served as the inspiration for a number of my books, and was the base for the two unbelievably busy years I spent as Children’s Laureate.”

Continuing, she describes how the house has been perfect for her busy lifestyle: “It’s so cosy and welcoming – a wonderful place to come home to after working abroad, or the hustle of major cities. It’s also been a fantastic family home with plenty of space for when our children return for extended periods of time.”

Sheryl Sowden of George F White is understandably delighted to be selling the house on Anne’s behalf. “It is rare to find such a property in the town that combines such excellent family accommodation and potential with gardens, privacy, parking and convenience. We anticipate that enormous amounts of interest will be shown in Gray Lane House and are delighted to have been selected to handle the sale.

Gray Lane House can be viewed by prior arrangement through The George F White Barnard Castle office, on 01833 690390.

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