DAVID McGeorge describes the moment he and his wife Linda first saw their cottage home as “being hit by a lucky horseshoe.”
“It was the first place we looked at,” says David, a native of the Deep South of the USA. “But I said to Linda that we could probably see another 20 places and not find another like this. So we bought it.”
Newton House is a traditional 19th century country cottage in an area of Gnosall known as The Rank.
“It’s so peaceful here,” says David. “You can walk out of your front door, take a left and within minutes you’re at the canalside, or strolling in open countryside.
“And Gnosall is such a perfect place to live. It has a modern doctors’ surgery, a butchers and bakers - in fact it’s got all we need. We hardly ever go to Stafford or Newport.”
Newton House is actually two buildings. The main house is a pleasant, traditional three bedroom property. But there is also a useful, self-contained annexe with a further two bedrooms.
This is where Linda’s elderly parents came to live in their final years.
“It was ideal for us to be on hand, while allowing them their own space and independence,” says David.
Sadly, now the couple have passed away, the house has become rather too big for David and Linda.
“We’ll be so sorry to go,” he says. “We came here 12 years ago, and I feel we were very lucky to find a cottage like this in such an ideal location.”
David came to England from the USA 20 years ago. His wife Linda, a nurse in Telford, comes from the north of England.
“I’ve always thought of myself as a home bird, and this cottage has proved to be a real home for us,” he says.
“It’s wonderful to come home to a place like this. You can really relax.”
For such “home birds”, their plans for the future couldn’t be more contrasting.
The couple, now both in their sixties, have no family left here in the UK - so they’re setting off on a “great adventure”, touring the USA in a caravan.
“We’ll head for Florida at first,” says David. “My mother, who is 90 years old now, lives there.
“Then we’re going to set off to explore the USA and Canada. It’s going to be quite a trip.”
Their beloved dogs, golden retrievers Lucy and Molly will accompany them on the trip.
“While we’re sorry to be leaving Gnosall and this house, we’re both very excited about what lies ahead,” says David.
Newton House, meanwhile, will welcome new owners. And they’ll have plenty of options.
“The people before us did quite a lot to the cottage,” says David. “And we’ve completely renovated the kitchen.
“But in essence, it’s still a traditional English country cottage.”
The annexe could be used as a home office, guest accommodation, or for grown-up children or grandparents.
And, of course, with the right planning consent, the new owners could connect both buildings.
The agents, James Du Pavey of Eccleshall, strongly recommend internal inspection of Newton House.
They point out that the house is set in a good plot, with gardens and a garage.
There are open firesand gas central heating.
And, of course, it is situated in a quiet corner of Gnosall, which remains a thriving village with plenty of amenities, all within easy walking distance.
“When I first saw the place I felt like I’d been hit by a lucky horseshoe,” says David.
“We’ve had a lovely time here . . . and if we don’t find what we’re looking for, we can always come back.”