Five-storey converted Lancashire mill house on the market for £395,000

The Old Mill.The Old Mill.
The Old Mill.
People say they want a home with character. With personality and history. Something rustic. Unique. Well, how does a five-story converted windmill built in the 1800s sound?

Perhaps Lancashire's most unique home, this 19th century four-bedroom home is unconventional in just about every single way possible, which is paradoxically just what you'd expect if someone said the words 'windmill house' to you.

Built in 1801 as - you guessed it - a windmill and on the market for £395,000, The Old Mill takes the concept of rustic living to a whole new plain. Often a cheeky byword for "old and shabby" in estate agent parlance, in this case rustic is very much a unique selling point: let's face it, living in a ancient contraption first pioneered by an Ancient Greek by the name of Heron of Alexandria who slipped off his mortal coil in a year which features only two digits as opposed to the more familiar four is about as rustic as one can get.

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Wonderfully renovated to bring the concept of wind-driven industrial living into a 21st century all about photovoltaic panels and space-age biofuels, The Old Mill offers understandably panoramic views of pretty much everything around the village of Pilling, the Lake District, and the Pennines, as well as a garage with adjoining workshop.

Set in some very British gardens resplendent with a patio and a pond boasting its own mill wheel fountain, the home is accessed via a charming un-paved path which would scream Beatrix Potter if only raised voices weren't surely considered far too uncouth for such a quaint setting.

The home is also surprisingly large, with the ground floor finding enough room to fit a reception room with open plan living space, a kitchen diner, and both front and rear porches. But it is the stairs in this house which are the premier excellent quality.

A charming combination of grand carved staircases where room allows, to wonderfully airy spiral numbers and slightly more testing near-sheer ladders, the range of provision to get people from one floor to another is impressively varied. Whether you're climbing, spinning, or scaling, you'll never be bored, that's for sure.

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Taking multi-tiered living to a whole new level - pun very much intended - the first floor boasts two large double bedrooms and a family bathroom as well as another sitting room with a wrap-around balcony which literally encircles the actual house and which looks like the most fun balcony ever possibly designed. Ever.

With the floors getting evermore narrow as we ascend, the third floor features but one room, but rest easy as it's a good'un: the master bedroom, complete with gorgeous exposed beams and en-suite shower room.

Getting into nose-bleed and oxygen mask territory, the fourth floor is accessed via a fixed ladder, and is ripe for any new ideas from library to windmill gymnasium (great name for a band), while the fifth floor - currently being used as a storage loft - has a poetic fantail balcony from which to recreate any Lancastrian Shakespeare.

Who needs Verona, anyways?