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A house with a Dickens of a tale to tell
31st of October 2011
mansion house with Charles Dickens connection for sale
Bowes, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 9HU
Guide price £895,000

House With Charles Dickens Connections For Sale
Bowes Hall is a fine Grade II listed mansion house built during the reign of Elizabeth I and extended in the 17th Century in the late Renaissance style.

It's hard to believe looking at Bowes Hall today that it once was a notorious boys' boarding school where unwanted boys were sent out of the way of their parents. Charles Dickens visited Bowes shortly after a shocking incident that took place one evening . . . a murder at the school.

As the story goes, the headmaster, Mr Clarkson, and his wife had been drinking heavily. On his return to the school Mr Clarkson attacked the school usher and as they struggled, Mrs Clarkson entered the fray. In the best Agatha Christie style, the candle went out, and when it was relight, she was lying dead on the floor.

Charles Dickens used the school as inspiration for the abusive boarding school called Dotheboys Hall School featured in one of the writer’s most famous novels - Nicholas Nickleby.

At least now the house is far from Dickensian. It has undergone a meticulous programme of restoration, and has five elegant reception rooms, nine bedrooms, beautiful landscaped grounds, a walled garden and a fenced paddock.

As you'd expect of a house dating back to 1594, there's plenty of history contained within the walls - with many original features such as wooden floors and dressed stone fireplaces. And on the window seats in the dressing room, those poor Dickensian boys have clearly left their mark with a handful of small inscriptions dating back to 1821.

Selling Agents: Jackson Stops & Staff Estate Agents
Tel: 01325 489948
Web: www.jackson-stops.co.uk

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