After 15 years of living in London, John Kenny felt the pull of his native North and it proved too strong to ignore. “I really missed the North and the South Pennines countryside,” says John, whose only quandary was where to buy.
The dilemma was solved when he met his parents for a walk in Todmorden. “I just fell in love in love with the place and arranged to view eight properties there the following weekend,” he says.
Dawson Weir House, now for sale for £550,000 with fineandcountry.com, was the last house he looked at and it was the outright winner thanks to its Georgian facade, beautiful interiors and its claim to fame as the former home of the radical MP John Fielden.
A blue plaque on the house is there as a lasting reminder of “Honest” John Fielden’s humanity and his tireless efforts in and outside Parliament to improve conditions for mill workers.
Fielden, a Quaker and mill owner, converted what was the Coach and Horses pub into Dawson Weir House in 1811 and spared no expense on giving the building a Georgian makeover.
When John Kenny swapped his three-bedroom flat in Crystal Palace for the six-bedroom house in 2017, it had benefitted from another major renovation and offered him more than four times the space he had in London.
He says: “The previous owners had done a brilliant job on the house but I have upgraded the heating system and invested in two high-efficiency boilers which I can control via an app. I also improved the roof insulation and, because I work from home a lot, I made sure that the property has the best internet connections.”
John is now selling to downsize to a smaller property and says: “I love the house and I will miss it. It’s a wonderful place with a cosy feel and great views onto the canal.”
He plans to stay in Todmorden and adds: “It has a great community spirit, good shops and pubs and amazing walks and bike rides from the door. Todmorden also has trains to Manchester and Leeds.”
Dawson Weir House has a hall, drawing room, dining room, morning room, wine/keeping cellar, a kitchen, pantry and utility room. On the upper floors are six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a games room library, study and studio. Outside, there are parking and seating areas and a private gate to the rear opens onto the canal towpath.
For further details contact: Fine and Country, Halifax, tel: 01422 419890, www.fineandcountry.com