Couple snap up the church where they got married

Anne and Bill Monroe, outside Greystead Old Church, formerly St Luke's, near Kielder.
Anne and Bill Monroe, outside Greystead Old Church, formerly St Luke's, near Kielder.

A historic church holds fond memories for art historians Anne and Bill Monroe.

They were married under its roof, their four children were christened there and Anne remembers visiting it as a child with her parents.

So when St Luke’s, near Kielder, came up for sale, they jumped at the chance to buy it.

The couple embarked on a complete conversion of the 1818 property, working with heritage specialists to restore its historic charm.

Six month later, the church was transformed into Greystead Old Church holiday let, with four bedrooms, a sitting room formed from the original altar area and a newly-created mezzanine level.

There is also an array of original features showcasing its historic past, including a fully-restored Victorian stained-glass window and Gothic archway, as well as exposed Georgian stonework, flagstone flooring and panelling.

Anne and Bill live in the Old Rectory next door and own another holiday let on the same site, The Coach House.

They are busy converting the neighbouring church hall, built in the 1890s, into another holiday let.

And they’ve got ambitious plans for the church in the future. Having just installed a stargazing platform in the grounds for guests, they are now looking to convert the church tower.

Installing a spiral staircase will allow visitors to enjoy the panoramic views, the original church bell dating to 1818 and even view the night skies from a telescope on the roof.

Greystead Old Church is proving very popular with guests and is typically booked out for 48-50 weeks of the year.

Anne said: “Converting the church has been hugely enjoyable. I’ve grown up with it and Bill and I wanted to revive its beautiful period charm for people to enjoy again.

“We have been very pleased with the result, and I was expecting it to be hugely popular, but the amount of bookings we’ve had has surpassed my expectations.

“We knew that in remote areas like this one, it can be difficult obtaining long-term tenancies. It’s a great tourist hub though and being within Northumberland National Park and near the Kielder Observatory is a massive draw for visitors.”

Greystead Old Church is available through Sykes Cottages.