The restoration game

Mount Gerald House
Mount Gerald House

Few house owners can have lavished as much love and attention on a property as Pauline McGachy has given to this house.

When she and husband Stephen moved in in 2007, they became owners of the downstairs only, as it had been converted into flats.

But when they realised their growing families needed more space, they set about acquiring the top floor as well. When they finally managed to buy it, they realised they were actually embarking on a rescue mission.

The top floor had been empty for three years and had been allowed to become delapidated and fall into decay, so Pauline set about her mission to turn it back into the beautiful home it had obviously once been.

“It was in a terrible condition but we saw so many features in it.

“The hallway has little angels in the cornicing and they seemed to speak to me and say ‘come and live here’!”

“Well, that’s just how I felt – it’s such a beautiful, beautiful property.”

“We got new floorboards and joists as well as new windows in place. We spent a lot of money doing it up.”

Her research in the archive’s told her the house had been built in 1874 for a captain in the Navy and then passed into ownership of the mighty Carron Company, as a manager’s home.

The grandeur is still evident and Pauline’s labour of love rediscovered the beauty of the amazing cornicing and ceiling roses as well as the beautiful full-length bay windows that flood the lounge and master bedroom with light.

She also adored the marble fireplaces in the living room and dining room as well as the inner glass door that is decorated with roses.

She set about making sure that everything was in keeping with the period feel.

“The first thing I bought was an old-fashioned telephone that would be in keeping with the style. I have loved putting the character back into the house!”

Some things are modern, though – notably the luxurious bathroom with a large jacuzzi bath.

Pauline and Stephen have also been busy putting the style back into the garden, 3/4 of an acre, where they keep chickens.

The couple built a pond as a feature, creating a space the whole family can enjoy. They used cobbles that were already there to create a feature and now, as well as a patio, there is a children’s play area and a jacuzzi.

Sadly, the house is now too big for the two of them, but they move on knowing they have helped restore it to former glory.