Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Three rural wrecks in Southern England


Let's talk wrecks. Tumbling-walls, greenery-clothed, rain-soaked wrecks. My three picks today are at different stages of wreckiness and definitely a step beyond your average do-up.
Starting with this former school in Suffolk. The Old School was built in 1872 and closed during the war, it's been abandoned since then.
Seventy years later, the Johnsons have had outline plans drawn up and approved to turn it into a three-bed home and it's on the market at £160k.
The Old School is in the tiny village of Redlingfield, around four miles from the market town of Eye and seven from Diss.
It's basically the school hall with its two entrances, sitting on a reasonable-size plot of land in a pretty setting. Here's how it looked in its glory days:


Here's the school today:






I do hate to see lovely buildings neglected by their owners.
On the market through Durrants with a guide price of £160k. More here and here.
Reader Ollie told me about the derelict former country mansion, below, in Essex. It's such a mess that I struggled to find an appealing picture - that, plus the £1.5m price tag will put it out of reach of probably all of you. However, it's another example of gorgeous building sinfully left to rot.
This is how Ford Place once looked:



And here's Ford Place now:




Ford Place is at North Stifford, or possible South Ockenden (it was bit unclear), on Stifford Hill. There's some fascinating background on the building here, and on here on previous attempts to redevelop the site.
Ford Place is Grade II listed (having lost its Grade I listing following a fire) and comes with around five acres, including a listed walled garden/courtyard.
On the market through Quirk Deacon, details here. Incidentally, last year it was on the market at £1.25m, and in 2010 at £750k. Seems the value is in the land Ford Place sits on, rather than the building.


My final pick - above and below - looks pretty much normal after those two wrecks. It's only really the missing floor covered by a grubby carpet that gives it away:


Derelict it may be, but it's also a nicely-shaped, detached cottage in a lovely rural setting just outside the small village of Broomsgreen, Gloucestershire.


There are three rooms and a bathroom downstairs, and upstairs three bedrooms and a large "landing room/bedroom".
Outside is a garden, carport and conservatory (which you'll want to replace).
On the market through John Goodwin at £185k. Details here and here.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Vectis Hall, Isle of Wight


This gorgeous former school was sent to me by reader Lyn, who tipped me off that this Grade II listed building at Ryde, on the lovely Isle of Wight, was finally on the market.
Vectis Hall, was built in 1812 and was originally the first free school in Ryde, according to Historic England. In the Ryde Conservation Appraisal of 2011, it was listed as "a building of considerable historic interest", albeit already empty and semi-derelict by then.


The building had been used in the past for dances and events but various local bids to stop the hall's owners' from leaving it to rot had floundered, despite the actions of local pressure groups and compulsory repairs notices from the council. The last attempt to get the owners to repair the hall was made a couple of months before it was put on the market.
It's a sad story I hear time and again from my readers, of wonderful, historic buildings in their area neglected by private owners and mishandled by local development bodies, often until they reach the stage where they argue demolition is the only option.
The example that always gets me is the Lord Line building in my home city. I've spent thirty years driving past that art deco symbol of Hull's fishing and merchant navy past, dreaming of being able to buy it and bring it back to life.


Anyway, back to Vectis Hall. The mostly single-storey building was first listed in 1972.


There are five rooms, including the double-height Main Hall, and a "bedroom" on the first floor. I particularly love the graffiti on the far wall in this photo:



The Ryde estate agent was clearly taken with his or her visit to the building. I don't think I've ever read a description like this:
When you open the first set of doors you are met by by two further doors that tower way above your heard [sic] and simply ooze originality & character. These doors open to a mystical world of history and stories dating back through the centuries.
My guess is this is a building that estate agent also loves and has probably spent a lot of years hoping to play their own part in resurrecting Vectis Hall by finding a sympathetic buyer. I really hope they manage to find a renovator rather than a demolisher.
On the market through Pittis with a guide price of £150k. You'll need to be quick - best and final offers by Tuesday July 18th. Details here.


Friday, 23 June 2017

Two Cumbrian village homes with a twist


These two are on the pricier side compared to my usual picks, but both are big village properties with a twist, hence my showing them to you.
First, a former school plus annex in the Cumbrian village of Casterton, just outside Kirkby Lonsdale. 
The Old School has that 'stopped in time' feel to it that I love.





It also has a lovely location - posh village near enough to M6 for commuting and to national parks for wandering, and sits in good-size grounds, next to the village church and a stream.
That location, plus the size of the space - two buildings and grounds - and the planning consent to switch from school to four-bed home, all contributed to the £350k price tag.
But it's very pretty.



On the market through Dacre Son & Hartley. More details and pictures here and here.
My second pick is this Grade II listed farmhouse. As with The Old School, it's detached, stone-built, and comes with a fair bit of land. In the case of The Croft it's a chunky 1.9 acres.


The Croft is in the pretty village of Hethersgill, again with good commuting links for the M6 and plenty of gorgeous rural Cumbrian on the doorstep.
What's also almost on the doorstep is the Black Lion pub (two doors away) and, in the grounds of the house, it's own lake. My fishing-mad brother would love this house!


Lovely village setting and open views, and a good-sized house overall. Four bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, hall, living room, dining room, kitchen. study and loo downstairs.






All in need of updating and TLC but a handsome space and some lovely features.
On the market through Hayward Tod with a guide price of £269k. Details and more pictures here and here.



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Welsh coastal homes with land, for auction


Couple of handsome Welsh seaside-ish properties for you today, neither are exactly wrecks but both may need rather more than a painting party.
This Welsh farmhouse with land and outbuildings is up for auction in July with a guide price of £180k-£190k.
Four bedrooms, some original features and a fair few later additions that you'll want to replace (that conservatory, for instance). But lots of space and potential.




It's just outside the Ceredigion coastal village of Llangrannog, about 10 miles from Aberaeron and the same again from Cardigan.
Downstairs are reception, wet room, lounge, sitting room, dining room, kitchen/diner, conservatory and storeroom. Three bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, and a further bedroom on the second floor.






Outside is stunning - one-and-a-half acres of paddock and gardens, plus hardstanding for cars and several stone or block-built outbuildings and stables. Definitely has 'Good Life' potential!





On the market through John Francis with a guide price of £180k. Auction date July 5th unless sold. More information and pictures here and here.
Also up for sale in that same auction is this amazing eco-house. Built in 1972 by architect Christopher Day, it's featured in several books and articles.


The original turf roof was replaced by sedum in 2003, and the house has spring-fed water and solar power.
The house has a hall, sitting room, living/dining room, kitchen and three/four bedrooms and sits in a quarter of an acre of land.





The house is at Ty Cwrdd Bach, in the hills above Pontfaen (SA65 9SJ), about 10 miles from Fishguard and the Pembrokeshire coast.
Also on the market through John Francis, with a guide price of £160-£170k. More information and pictures here.