Rooms with views
AILSA Craig is a very special house. Standing regally on the top of the cliff at Caswell Bay, it is so imposing that it is on the shipping map as a navigation point in the Bristol Channel.
As owner Grant Sibbald said: "It was the most expensive house in Swansea when we bought it 30 years ago and it's still the most expensive house now."
With a £2.5 million price tag, that's no surprise. Many people walking on Caswell Beach must have looked up and fondly imagined themselves living in the big white house with the red roof and tall chimneys.
And just as you can see the house from the beach, you can see the beach from the house.
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The views are splendid and the house is so designed as to give almost every room a breathtaking outlook over the bay.
The views were what convinced Maggie Sibbald that Ailsa Craig was the house for her when she and her then fiance Grant first set eyes on it in 1984.
They had their wedding photos taken in the beautiful grounds and raised three children here. "Now the kids are in their 20s and have left home, and the house is far too big for me and Grant now, so we are selling up and looking for something smaller," she explained.
Whichever lucky person owns Ailsa Craig next, Maggie hopes that they will respect the age and original style of the house.
"The house was built in 1919 by Chivers, the jam people, and in 1921 it won European House of the Year award for the architect. I would hate it if someone came in here and ripped out all the original features." It is easy to see why the house won an award. From the moment you step through the ornate porch into the huge oak panelled and parquet floored dining hall, there is a sense of something special.
One room after another wows your socks off. The huge conservatory overlooking the sea . . . the equally large drawing room with an impressive Adam fireplace and window seats from which to relax and enjoy those views . . . the lounge with its original tiled fireplace housing a cosy open fire and beamed ceiling. . . the light-filled breakfast room with two walls of windows overlooking the bay.
And there's the kitchen, with its gas-fired Aga range, Small Bone pine units, blue tiled worktops and Mexican ceramic tiled floor.
Not to mention two big utility rooms, cloakroom, and a room which is described on the particulars as a study, but which Maggie says her two German Shepherd dogs call their own!
Each of the spacious five bedrooms has a wonderful view, including the loft conversion which looks out over the sea in one direction and fields with ponies in the other.
Outside, the grounds are extensive – 2.5 acres of neat lawns, woodland, gardens, tennis court, swimming pool, and a fantastic sun terrace.
The house is approached via a secure, gated entrance along a long tree-lined drive.
There is room for parking many cars and also a double garage.
An impressive package and one that Maggie and Grant will be sad to leave, not just because the house is so beautiful but also because of all the happy times they've shared here.
"It's a real family home," she said.
"It's been filled with the kids and all their friends, and we've had so many parties and gatherings and wonderful Christmas lunches in the hall with the tree up and garlands on the stairs.
"It's a very traditional family home and we very much hope the next person will enjoy it and keep it that way."