Spectacular conversion of a former church, within the conveniently placed village of Letham
The Steeple is believed to date from the early 19th century. The village itself was planned in 1788 as a textile village, by the improving laird, George Dempster, who owned the nearby Dunnichen Estate. John Gifford in The Buildings of Scotland, Dundee and Angus (Pevsner Architectural Guides), describes how the Church off the Square is now a house. Built at the beginning of the C19 by James Hawkins, an advocate and heir to the Dunnichen Estate. . . with a tall and battlemented west tower. . . Rectangular windows in the sides of main block, the south very tall. . . At the top stage, a panel in each side, the west with a clock face. . . Discreet east extension of 2010. After World War II the church was used as a joiner's workshop. It was acquired by the sellers in 2007 who then set about an ambitious programme of restoration and renovation, which was completed in 2009.
The Steeple, with its prominent tower, now comprises an extremely interesting and well designed house, which has greatly enriched the original structure. With its large south facing church windows, it is a light and spacious home. The sitting room is overlooked by a galleried landing, and is linked through to the open plan dining kitchen and living room, and off this is the garden room/dining room. One bedroom, currently used as a study, is at ground floor level, with three further bedrooms at first floor level. Above this is the large playroom, which has considerable potential to create further accommodation, if required, subject to any necessary planning consents. As such The Steeple is ideal for entertaining and is also well laid out for modern family living.
A particular feature of the house is the use of oak beams by Gaeton Goubet, a renowned locally based craftsman who uses traditional methods, together with oak doors. The house also benefits from geothermal heating, a heat recovery system, two discreet solar panels, which together with a wood burning stove provide heating and hot water to a hygienic tank. There is underfloor heating at ground floor level, and radiators on the first and second floors. The works involved a complete renovation including re-roofing and stripping the property back to the walls. The house was extended in 2012 with the timber clad dining room. As such The Steeple is a contemporary house but within a traditional shell. It is fully double glazed.
Outside there are gravelled parking areas to the front and side of the house. The enclosed garden mainly comprises a lawn, together with wooden decking which links to the dining room, raised vegetable borders and two wooden garden sheds.
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The Steeple is a refreshing find in a rural village: strong, modern design and a 21st century layout within a sensitively preserved late Georgian shell. The sellers vision and efforts really have resulted in an achievement to be proud of. This is a property that deserves to be viewed and would make a highly original family home.Ruaraidh Ogilvie