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The Gables, Smiths Road, Darnick
History, character and intrigue come together in a remarkable house in Darnick Built around 1825, The Gables is an exceptional C-listed late Georgian detached house within the conservation village of Darnick, a short 15minute walk from Melrose and only a mile from Tweedbank railway terminus. Steeped in character, if walls could talk this property’s 3ft thick stone walls could tell a tale or two. The Gables was designed and built by John Smith and his brother Thomas, the sons of a master mason in Darnick. The brothers continued their father’s business as both architects and builders and were highly regarded by Sir Walter Scott and the local gentry – as a result, John Smith built Abbotsford for Sir Walter Scott, along with most of its ancillary structures. John Smith designed The Gables for his brother, Thomas. The house remained in Thomas Smith’s family until the 1920s and has only had three owners since then, including Jock and Margaret Aitken, who bought the house in 1964 prior to their marriage and have lived here since. Facing south to the Eildon Hills, The Gables sits at the apex of the junction between Abbotsford Road and Lyne Road and has a large walled garden at the rear.
Laid mainly to lawn with apple and pear trees, paved patio and double garage - the front garden is also striking, comprising lawn and more notably, neatly clipped and shaped yew trees that are over 100 years old. In addition, the property includes a terraced two-storey outhouse, or bothy, on the other side of the road – presently used for storage but offering scope for other uses. The south-facing pink sandstone house is deceptively spacious in that its two-storey layout comprises living room with fireplace (open fire), dining room with wood-panelled fireplace, study, shower room, large dining kitchen with wood panelled wall, fitted units, built-in storage and walk-in pantry, cloakroom, utility and downstairs double bedroom with a full-length built-in wardrobe and vanity wash basin. Upstairs are three further double bedrooms, the master bedroom a particularly bright room with shelved storage and walk-in wardrobes, while bedrooms two and three each have a fitted wash basin and electric shaver point - one bedroom also has a full length built-in wardrobe. Completing this level is a family bathroom with separate shower and vanity storage.
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“This is a very happy home, full of character and charm and intriguing features,” says Jock. “We raised our family here but now it’s time to let another family create similarly happy memories.”
BSPC Featured Property
Details on: Page 11
The Gables Smiths Road,
Darnick, TD6 9AL
Offers Over £460,000
The Gables has many outstanding period features, including a ‘dancing staircase’ that appears to be self-supporting, has no central point, and when viewed from the top looking down, no two steps are the same. Carefully maintained and upgraded as required over the years, many of the property’s eye-catching features stem from Jock’s expertise in metalwork – the decorative cast iron and wrought iron railings were salvaged, restored and painted. Jock also purchased Darnick’s last remaining street lamp to save it from being demolished. Dating from the 1800s when it would have been a gas lamp, Jock’s painstaking restoration means it now casts a welcoming glow reminiscent of the original gas lamp. Jock and Margaret have old glass photographic plates taken in 1867 when Queen Victoria passed through Darnick on her way to Abbotsford, which show the house and the yew trees in the front garden. “This is a very happy home, full of character and charm and intriguing features,” says Jock. “We raised our family here but now it’s time to let another family create similarly happy memories.”
Published on Dec 3, 2017
A 4 bedroom detached house in excellent condition offering exceptionally spacious family accommodation on 2 floors of Lounge, Dining Room, S...