Monday, 27 June 2016

Listed Cotswold farmhouse for auction


Two of you emailed me about this faded Cotswold beauty - up for auction on June 30th.
Gretton Farm, in the village of Gretton about nine miles from Cheltenham, is Grade II* listed and dates from the mid 17th century.
It needs a lot of work - as the pictures indicate - and that star on the listing will add extra costs to the renovation. As David said: "I suspect the hammer fall will only be a down payment on a big project". Dan had similar thoughts:
Big fan of the site, looking for my own as probably most of your readers are. Thought this might be of interest but a bit too big for my ambitions (pockets!)
However, it's an impressive building, sitting in around a quarter of an acre of garden area. There's an option to buy extra parking land and, if you're not too fussed about having neighbours, the village location is attractive.
There are three bedrooms upstairs, plus three attic rooms. I was particularly taken with the mural:





The bathroom is downstairs, along with two reception rooms, kitchen (an ugly extension) and a  lovely hall:


There are lots of original features and the attached former diaries offer potential.


The roof clearly needs work and the effect of that can be seen in some of the internal pix - gaffer taping the ceiling just isn't going to do it...!



My own feeling is that the guide price of £325k is pricey for a listed building needing this amount of work - and pushing it out through auction is one way to avoid a buyer dropping out after the survey.
There's not a lot of land, (something David commented on too), largely because most was sold off and built on in the mid-'90s, according to planning records.



Having said that, if there was ever a wreck that deserved to be brought back to its former glory, it's Gretton Farm. For the right buyer, this would make a stunning home in a lovely area.
Up for auction on Thursday June 30th with a guide price of £325k, via Knight Frank. Details and more pictures here and here.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Three farmhouses with barns thrown in


Blimey, I've got such a lot of houses waiting on my 'to post' list. Not least because you've been busy sending me emails with the most gorgeous 'wrecks', while I've been relaxing on a sunny balcony* overlooking Tuscan hills.
Let's start with three Cumbrian farmhouses with extra buildings.
First the gorgeous property above and below, at Kirklinton, Hethersgill, five miles from Carlisle.
Hall Hills farmhouse has three bedrooms, study and bathroom upstairs; two reception, kitchen, dining room and study downstairs, plus a substantial basement/cellar.



There are original fireplaces in most rooms and lots of period details. But what makes this place particularly special is the shedload of extra buildings.
Outside is a farmyard surrounded by farm buildings and barn. There's also a rather lovely - but structurally unsound - second house:



The main house, the farmhouse, is to the left. Unsound house to right
Most of the extra buildings may prove too costly to renovate, and the agent's details suggest demolition and rebuild (the barn comes with planning permission to convert - hence the price).
There's an acre of land and quite stunning views over the surrounding countryside.


Hall Hills in on the market through PFK with a guide price of £325k. Details and more pictures here and on Zoopla here.
The five-bedroom farmhouse below, at Great Urswick, comes with gardens rather than land but it does have a rather more usable barn.


The 18th century house has some nice original details - such as a stone pantry - and a pretty walled garden (well, I see pretty...)


There are five bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, two reception rooms, kitchen and utility downstairs.



Outside is a single storey detached barn, and a more interesting two-storey attached stone-floored garage/barn, both with electricity connected.




On the market at £360k through Corrie and Co. Details and more pictures here and here.
Finally, the handsome farmhouse below, at Newtown, about 25 miles from Carlisle, also comes with a range of buildings, most attached to the main farmhouse and surrounding the courtyard.



The farmhouse itself has four bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, three reception rooms, store and kitchen downstairs and then an odd bit with an extra first-floor living room accessed from the kitchen.




Outside is a gated driveway leading to the courtyard, a gaggle of farm buildings, barn and shed, plus two acres of land including a paddock.




The whole lot is on the market with a guide price of £310k, through H&H King. Details and more pictures here and here.

*Tuscany is sort-of like Cumbria...


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

School and schoolhouse in Cumbrian Lake District

 

Personally I think there should be a ban on classrooms with gorgeous views. Given a choice between gazing out over Matterdale and watching algebraic formulae squiggle across a blackboard, I know where my attention would be.
Perhaps that's one reason this stunning former school in Cumbria's Lake District closed down in 1970.
The school and adjoining headmasters' house became an outdoor pursuits residential centre for local schools, until the foot and mouth outbreak forced its closure in 2001. Ownership was then transferred to the Parish council, in the hope it might be used as a community hall, before finally being put on the market to fund the building of a purpose-built hall.
The property consists of the school - a massive main hall, two big schoolrooms, entrance hall, kitchen, pantry and loo.
The main hall and larger classroom have open fires, and the substantial hall includes washbasins and a cast bath (which really creeped me out - forced baths??).





Aren't those windows fabulous?
The kitchen interconnects with the adjoining headmaster's house, which has a living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom.
Outside is the school yard/parking area, some outside loos and the school field.



Another patch of land behind it has been sold separately (meeting minutes) - you'll want to find out about its intended use.
The location is fabulous. Not just the views from the windows, but it's position in a stunning walking area.

Pic from Keswick Rambling Club, here

Matterdale New School on the left, former village hall sold last year on right
Price-wise it's a tad high at £300k but unrenovated buildings of this size in the Lake District National Park are rare. Matterdale is a small community of a few hundred people, around eight miles from Penrith.
Matterdale New School is the market through Penrith Farmer and Kidd, details and more pictures here and on Zoopla here.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Lovely (not haunted) Seafield House up for auction


Seafield House, in the Devon resort of Westward Ho! goes under the hammer tomorrow. You may have already seen some of the press about the 12-bed former B&B. Because, according to the story that did the rounds last month, it's supposed to be haunted.
Now, setting aside whether you do/don't believe in ghosts (or, like spotting a big spider on the ceiling, you'd just rather not be in the same room as one), I did try to find out where that 'haunted' tag came from.
The story originated in the Western Daily Press, which said neighbours claimed to hear strange noises and see a dead old lady waving at them.
Though the story didn't include any quotes from these "neighbours". Which is shame because clearly they'd have to have pretty damn good hearing...


By the time the story was copied by the Telegraph and AOL, the neighbours had become "locals" - still un-named and unquoted. The best I could find is that 'Haunted House' and 'Spooky House' were local nicknames, carried through to the Facebook group pictured above.
These things bother me. Not just the sloppy journalism of stories that get repeated without filling in the gaps, but because being a wreck-lover, I think it's just plain houseist to call every dilapidated old pile 'haunted'. Even if it looks like this:

Stunning pic from 2011, taken by Nick Woodrow. More here

Seafield House is mad-looking and lovely and sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic.



Built in 1885 as the summer home of London banker Brinsley de Courcey Nixon (clearly some hefty banker bonuses even then) it's had a happy holiday-focused past, flipping between family home and holiday B&B, with a short spell as requisitioned offer accommodation during the war.
The Westward Ho! History blog does a fabulous job of outlining Seafield House's past with some lovely pictures, including this one from the '50s:


Downstairs are five reception-ish rooms (a couple had been converted to bedrooms), plus kitchen, bathroom, loo. and a grand hallway. On the first floor are six bedrooms and bathroom, and a further five bedrooms on the second floor. Many of the rooms have sea views, others overlook a rather less appealing a caravan park. It needs a great deal of work - inside and out.






Outside is dilapidated garage and a grassed garden area - a fair bit of which seems to have fallen into the sea since its B&B heydays. For the best view of the location, have a look at Jason Ford's quadcopter video from 2013, below.


Seafield House is up for auction on Wednesday May 25th, at 3pm, with a guide price of £400k, via Seldons. Details here

Picture by Jonathan Billinger for Geograph. More here