“It literally needed everything”: See the mind blowing transformation of this Victorian house in Sunderland

Have a look inside this 19th century home in Sunderland, which was once owned by civil engineer Henry Hay Wake, who designed Roker Pier

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 3:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2021, 10:07 am

The historical Victorian property, in Ashbrooke, was in danger of falling down, but Lee Patrickson and his family rescued the neglected period house when they bought it in 2012.

Lee and his wife, Helleni, took on the challenging task of renovating the home alongside working full time jobs. The refurbishment lasted four years and involved fitting electrics and repairing the roof, while also trying to retain all the beautiful original features, which Lee uncovered in the home.

He said: “We knew it was a big project and we knew it needed a lot of work, but we fell in love with the house, because we love period properties.

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The Victorian property in Ashbrooke has been completely transformed/Photo: @sunderland_victoria_terrace

“When we first bought the house everyone thought that we were mad, basically. It literally needed everything. We’ve done a new roof, full electric, brand new heating system, we’ve fitted underfloor heating all the way through the ground floor.

"The house itself has five toilets, three bathrooms, so it was a big, big job, which is why it took so long.”

The ten bedroom property in Thornhill Gardens had stood empty for almost 30 years before Lee and his family got it. Dating back to the 1870s , it was once home to civil engineer Henry Hay Wake, who designed Roker Pier. Lee said the biggest challenge was modernising the house, while preserving its heritage.

"We kind of saved it from falling down. It's quite nice to rescue a house like this, because it was a shame that it had been left for so long and got into the bad condition that it was in.

The transformation of the garden/ Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace

"We’re so lucky because it had lots of original old period features. Some of those features were actually a nice surprise that we didn’t realise existed until after we bought the house because they were all covered.

"The hardest challenge was retaining everything that was there, but at the same time try to modernise the house; retrospectively fit electrics and thing like that.

"We wanted to modernise the house as best as we can in terms of technology.”

The full renovation journey has been documented on the home’s Instagram account, @sunderland_victorian_terrace, which is followed by almost 2,000 people. Lee has advised new home owners to focus on how they want their house to look in the end and not to give up.

The third landing library is unrecognisable after the refurb./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace

"Don't give up because it is hard. It's very, very tough. Especially if it needs a lot of work. Sticking together with your family will get you through everything and you'll get there in the end.

"Keep that imagination going and keep trying to see the end picture. Even if you just draw what you want the house to look like and sketch out this room and keep that picture in your head, and you’ll achieve that in the end.”

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See the transformation of this Victorian terrace into stunning home with 50,000 ...
The authentic ceiling has been restored./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
Lee with his wife Helleni and their children Isaac and Tabitha watching Sunderland play at Wembley in May 2019./Photo: Lee Patrickson
The front left bay window./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The main living room before and after the renovation./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The front lounge./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The centre room on the first floor./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The master bathroom - before and after./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The kitchen - before and after. /Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The Jack and Jill en suite has had quite a makeover./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The house used to belong to civil engineer Henry Hay Wake./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace
The garage./Photo: @sunderland_victorian_terrace