This handsome Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in the Berwick-upon-Tweed Conservation Area, Northumberland, dates to the late 18th century. The four-bedroom home sits atop Berwick’s ancient rampart walls on the banks of the River Tweed, with vast sash windows that frame spectacular views across the confluence and over the town’s historic bridges. Unfolding across four storeys and extending to almost 3,300 sq ft internally, the house has elegant period proportions and exquisite neoclassical details that have been carefully preserved. Rooms are adorned with original crown moulding and ceiling roses, and an Adam-style fireplace is intricately carved with anchors, shells and fronds of seaweed, a nod to the house’s maritime setting. Bridge Terrace sits in the heart of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with a myriad of cafés, restaurants, independent provisors and a train station – which runs direct services to London, Edinburgh and Newcastle – all within easy walking distance.
Setting the Scene
Rising in the Lowther Hills, the River Tweed runs east through the borders of Scotland and northern England for 97 miles before it enters the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. Three historic bridges connect Berwick’s historic centre with Tweedmouth and Spittal on the opposite side of the river.
Berwick Bridge is the oldest of the crossings, constructed in the mid-17th century after two of the previous timber structures were destroyed by flooding and military action. The Royal Border Bridge, a railway viaduct designed by Robert Stephenson, followed in 1850, and the Royal Tweed Bridge in 1928. This house on Bridge Terrace is wonderfully situated to take in impressive views of the River Tweed and its series of crossings. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
The panelled timber front door is dressed with brass door furniture and set within a rusticated and pilaster-flanked doorcase, painted in deep blue tones that complement the muted ashlar sandstone façade. The door opens from the cobbled street to an entrance hall, where light filters through a spoked fanlight and a red and blue stained-glass window.
At the front of the plan is the living room, where dark stained boards of original pine flooring run underfoot, complementing the whitewashed timber panelling and soft blue tones of the walls. Light floods the space as it pours through a pair of sash windows that overlook the cobbled lane, rampart walls and the historic bridges beyond. The room is replete with Georgian details, with an ornate neoclassical fireplace at one side of the room taking centre stage; atop its fluted pilaster jambs is a frieze decorated with shells, sea grasses and anchors, and a central panel with a rose and thistle. A leather fender seat surrounds the hearth of original bottle green tiles. On the wall opposite are two generous built-in cupboards with a panelled alcove between them – a perfect spot to exhibit a favourite piece of art or a bunch of freshly cut flowers.
Across the hallway is the dining room, where the current owner has arranged a long table and chairs to sit in front of a carved Georgian fireplace decorated with urns and swags. A sash window overlooks the courtyard below, with a bench seat set into its deep, splayed reveal. Beyond the dining room is the kitchen, also with views over the courtyard. The kitchen is composed of sage green-painted cabinetry with a matching worksurface, a six-ring gas cooker and a deep ceramic sink. Cupboards and open shelves are ideal for keeping a collection of recipe books.
A staircase with a Scandinavian pine handrail and balustrades painted in ‘Railings’ by Farrow & Ball winds to the first floor. Here, three double bedrooms and a WC are arranged around a central landing.
At the front of the plan is the primary bedroom, where elegant Georgian proportions, high ceilings and expansive six-over-six sash windows make a wonderfully bright space. Natural light cascades in through the glass, falling across the weathered pine floorboards and delicate crown moulding. From here, views look out towards the mouth of the River Tweed, where fishermen waiting for salmon can be spotted from spring through autumn. An adjacent bedroom has a cosy feel, with walls painted in ‘Berrington Blue’ by Farrow & Ball and an original fireplace sitting on a stone hearth. There is a third bedroom at the rear of the plan.
Stairs descend to the lower-ground floor, which comprises the oldest part of the house that predates the current town walls. Here, there is another double bedroom and a family bathroom. Exposed timber beams run overhead in the timber-panelled bedroom, and an original bread oven and meat hooks hanging from the ceiling provide fantastic historic detail. Behind the timber panelling at one side of the room is a nook fitted with a double bed for additional accommodation; a cosy place to hunker down after a day at the coast. A large storage room is accessed from the bedroom, currently used to hang winter coats and jackets. Panelled walls and timber beams continue in the bathroom, where a clawfoot, roll-top bath sits in the middle of the room.
On the courtyard level are a series of storage and utility rooms, which could be used for keeping wine, storing tools or as a workshop space.
The Great Outdoors
A door opens to a private courtyard, a handy spot for keeping pots of greens and herbs to be used in a meal. The boiler room is also accessed from here, as well as a storage room with an impressive 25-pane window once used for keeping fishing rods and tackle.
Out and About
Bridge Terrace and the surrounding roads form a small, close-knit community at the centre of Berwick’s historical civic society. The house is a short walk from both the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery and Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Barracks and Main Guard, Britain’s earliest barracks building.
There are excellent amenities within Berwick itself, just a few minutes walk from Bridge Terrace, including a great selection of independent bakers, butchers and fishmongers. Eateries include The Mule on Rouge and The Barrels Alehouse pub, alongside microbrewery The Curfew and coffee roasters Northern Edge. Audela restaurant, Atelier wine bar and Indian restaurant Amran’s are also of particular note. There are brilliant independent bookstores and antique shops along Bridge Street. Live music events take place at The Barrels and Radio Rooms, while The Maltings is a theatre and arts institution. Throughout the year, there are food festivals, historic festivals and literary festivals, including the Berwick Film and Media Festival every August. Important local landmarks and day-out destinations include Holy Island, Lindisfarne Castle and Bamburgh Castle, plus stately homes such as Paxton House, Mandeston House and Chillingham Castle.
There is a good selection of state primary, middle and senior schools in Berwick, including Berwick Academy. Longridge Towers is an excellent co-ed independent school for all ages, just a couple of miles outside neighbouring Norham.
Berwick-upon-Tweed is only 45 minutes by train to the centre of both Edinburgh and Newcastle upon Tyne, while London King’s Cross can be reached in around three-and-a-half hours. The train station is a 10-minute walk from Bridge Terrace. The A1 is a short drive away and acts as the main road link to Newcastle and Edinburgh. Additionally, both Edinburgh and Newcastle International Airports offer routes to most European cities and holiday destinations, as well as London Heathrow and other southern English airports.
Council Tax Band: B
Bridge Terrace lies on the edge of the ancient heart of the town and can trace its history to a Roman settlement surrounding a road linking England and Scotland. Although predominately now Georgian in character, many of the grand houses that line the street have their foundations in the medieval period.
Berwick-upon-Tweed itself is the northernmost town in England, situated at the mouth of the River Tweed. A conservation area, Berwick has tremendous historic significance, visible in its architecture. For more than 400 years, it was pivotal to historic border wars between England and Scotland, including the Sack of Berwick in 1296. Due to its strategic location and trading significance, the town was heavily fortified, with much of this architecture remaining evident today. The town is bordered by Elizabethan trace italienne fortified walls, which Bridge Terrace sits beside, and is known for its three iconic bridges that cross the River Tweed.
Berwick is also known for its artistic traditions, with an array of resident artists and illustrators. This is a result of its beauty, its proximity to Edinburgh, its exceptional light and the abundance of light-filled, architecturally significant homes. Renowned artist L. S. Lowry spent a great deal of time in Berwick and painted many scenes here while staying at the Castle Hotel each summer.
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