An unexpected surprise awaits

Helston, Matlock
Helston, Matlock

I have walked and driven past this house many, many times and would never have imagined it was anything other than a typical turn-of-the-century family home – albeit with a much-coveted broad bay window.

But as it happens Helston has much more than that hidden behind its impressive facade.

helston, matlock

helston, matlock

Behind the property is a huge garden which is amazingly private.

My jaw did actually drop when the owner John Lowry led me into it from the courtyard area immediately behind the house.

I think it is normally referred to as wow factor and I was definitely impressed.

I was already a little breathless as I had walked up the steep climb to Church Street, from Knowleston Place and Helston was a little further up the street than I had initially imagined but the moment I stepped into that garden I knew it had been worth the walk from the office.

Helston, matlock

Helston, matlock

Mr Lowry and his wife Di have lived in the house for 25 years or more and have added the substantial grounds on during that time.

He said it had been a great spot for their grandchildren to run around and have swings etc, which was probably a bit of an understatement.

I am afraid the picture below right, supplied by the estate agent Fidler Taylor doesn’t do the garden justice as it was taken when the house first went on the market in the autumn last year.

I am amazed that it hasn’t been snapped up, but I guess these are tough times.

Anyway, if want to see other pictures of the garden before deciding whether to view it yourself, the Lowrys have also got the house up for sale with Sally Botham and her pictures, which are online, are more recent.

While we are outside I must mention the barn, pictured left. The house was originally a farm and this was presumably a cow shed with a hayloft but today it would make a fantastic office, studio or even granny annexe type accommodation.

In the late 18th century Helston was transformed into a pub. Mr Lowry says there were five pubs within in just a few hundred yards of this part of Matlock at that time.

It was first called The Blue Ball and then The Star. It was closed by the courts in the 1930s after becoming a house of ill-repute. I will leave that to your imagination.

Another claim to fame, which is a bit more genteel, is that Barry Hines, the author whose book became the film Kes, once lived here.

The house itself is spacious and elegant as you would expect from the era.

You can’t really tell it was once a pub but Mr Lowry did describe the dining room as the former snug bar and upstairs on a storage cupboard door you can just make out the word Gents, if the light is right and you are standing at just the right angle.

Otherwise it is pretty much a normal family home with three bedrooms.

There is a sitting room and large kitchen dining room, with an understairs pantry, as well as the snug.

As well as the bedrooms and family bathroom upstairs there is also a small study which Mr Lowry said was once used as a nursery. It is big enough for a cot but probably not a bed.

What I mustn’t forget to tell you is that from the main bedroom, which incidentally is much more spacious than most, there is a much sought after view of Riber Castle, as I promised you in last week’s preview strap.

So if you want a family home in Matlock, with plenty of space, a large garden, a fascinating if chequered history and a view which will be the envy of many, then Helston is the home for you.

To view contact the agents Fidler Taylor on 01629 580228 or Sally Botham on 01629 760899. Helston, 148 Church Street, Matlock