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The Gatehouse: a pretty pink house in Dullingham, Cambridgeshire

Anthea Davidson outside The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell
Anthea Davidson outside The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell

As the only pink house in Station Road in Dullingham, The Gatehouse – a charming and beautifully presented period property near the centre of this sought-after village – certainly catches the eye.

The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell
The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell

It has five bedrooms, three reception rooms and three bathrooms, and comes with a private established garden, a detached studio and barn and views over paddocks.

Anthea and Ian Davidson have lived at the five-bedroom house for 26 years. As their children have now flown the nest, they are on the lookout for something smaller.

The Gatehouse is believed to have been built in its original form around 200 years ago.

“It has lots of period features,” said Anthea, an artist who has exhibited her works in Bury St Edmunds and Horningsea.

The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell
The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell

“It was three thatched cottages which were rebuilt as one house in the late 1950s, but it has retained a period feel. It’s got inglenook fireplaces and beams and things, so it feels like an old house but it has all the conveniences of a new one.”

One of Anthea’s favourite rooms is the sitting room. “It’s got such a wonderful fireplace,” she said. “I suppose my second favourite is now the kitchen. We sit in there, we eat in there, cook in there. We’ve got some comfy chairs in there, as well as a big table, and in fact the dining room is almost redundant in a way.

“It gets used on high days and holidays, though, and does double up as a snug because we’ve got a big log-burner in there. During the winter it’s quite a nice place to sit and read the papers.”

Of the changes that the couple have implemented over the last quarter of a century, Anthea, a former member – and chairman – of East Cambridgeshire District Council who represented her home village for eight years, said: “We’ve redone the kitchen twice, extended the kitchen, redone all three bathrooms twice – other than that it’s really just been decorating.

The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell
The Gatehouse, Dullingham Picture: Keith Heppell

“We renovated the forge, which was almost derelict. That’s now my art studio/summer garden room. We doubled the size of the kitchen and it’s now got lots of French windows. It’s really opened up the house to the garden.

“Obviously, at this time of year it’s not so attractive, but it’s a very pretty, almost cottagey garden.”

The couple repainted the pale pink exterior of The Gatehouse a more traditional ‘Suffolk pink’.

Expanding on her hobby, which has brought her some success, Anthea said: “I paint large canvases in acrylics; mainly landscapes, but I have a go at most things.”

The mother and grandmother recalled that the house was rather “dated” when they moved in and describes her taste in interior design as “eclectic”.

She clearly loves the place and admits she will miss not just the house and garden, but also the views. So why are they moving?

“Well, we’ve got five bedrooms, three bathrooms and there’s just the two of us living here now,” she said. “The family’s grown up and gone elsewhere, so we’re really looking for somewhere a bit smaller, hopefully in the same area.

“My preferred area is beween Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds – Lavenham, that sort of way – but I think we won’t go too far because we know the area and like it.

“We’ll be looking for another village situation – we’re not ready to move into a town yet!”



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