Wednesday, 4 December 2019

A country manor and a village school for sale

Couple of interesting properties in Yorkshire to show you today. One very big, one potentially big.
Camblesforth Hall, just outside Selby, is a gorgeous, Grade I listed country mansion with an impressive architectural pedigree.
The Grade 1 listing (and obviously the price...) puts the task of renovating this stately beauty out of reach of probably all of my Wreck readers, but that won't stop us daydreaming ; )
However, presumably the Hall's current owner decided dreaming wouldn't pay the bills. The Hall has been the subject of several planning applications with a couple of property businesses listed at the address, but it looks as if the plans have lapsed without work beginning.
And, while the price tag of offers over £750k might be a bit rich for Wreck readers, that's half the Hall's 2007 £1.5m market price.

The pictures of Camblesforth Hall are quite stunning (albeit all listed as being from 2017). Ten bedrooms, a gaggle of reception rooms, kitchen and so forth, multiple bathrooms, plus outbuildings, gardens (including a swimming pool and tennis court), courtyard, dovecote, and over two acres. 

With around 30 acres available to buy separately, and all in lovely bit of the North Yorkshire countryside, close enough to transport links and main cities.

The lack of recent pictures is a concern. The Grade 1 listing is a concern. The scale and responsibility of renovating something so precious, is a concern. But you never know, it could be yours.
Camblesforth Hall is on the market through Blenkin and Co. Details and more pictures here and here.
My next pick is also challenging - not least because the price is simply "offers invited".
Normally, that's not something I would go for, but the fact that it's a local authority selling off this particular building, and that it doesn't come with any permissions or approval in place for change of use, suggests a potential bargain.

The property is the former Gembling Primary School site, in Gembling, about five miles from Driffield and similar distance from Hutton Cranswick.
A very pretty village school with a separate brick store/boiler block, a modular classroom and a decent bit of land and garden area.

The decision to close the school, back in 2013, prompted protests at the time and the property is currently being marketed as a commercial development. However, the sales particulars mention conversion for residential use and the ancillary planning letter is worth a read.
On the market through East Riding Council. Details here (click on the top PDF document)

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Abandoned country mansion and land

Oh my. Several of you have sent me links to this particular Welsh wreck. Which, I should mention, is up for auction next week (on November 27th).
Blaen Blodau Hall, at New Inn, is undeniably beautiful. The Grade II listed property comes with around two-and-a-half acres of land - much of it rather enthusiastically cleared - accessed via a quiet lane and its own. long drive. Lovely.

Inside are (hopefully) three reception rooms, a sort-of kitchen, hall four bedrooms and a bathroom.
I say hopefully because most of Blaen Blodau is unviewable for safety reasons - the agent suggests standing in the front doorway is about as far as you'll get in terms of inspecting the house.
No matter. It's pretty clear the property is going to need rather more than a job-lot of Dulux and some reclaimed floorboards. Indeed, the view from said front door into the hall suggests that all the new wood is gamely holding up the old wood.

Here's the kitcheny bit, by the way. And below it the basement (very Evil Dead).

Wales Online said it's been empty for over 30 years, although little is known about the history of the property or, indeed, why it is now on the market.
According to Zoopla, it last sold in 1999, and the only image from that time shows the house looking quite dapper. But by 2008, it had been abandoned and Mark Baker, in 'Forgotten Homes in Wales' showed a disintegrating Blaen Blodau with a tree tumbling into its side.
In 2009, the empty property also attracted the attention of photographer Paul White who has been documenting Wales' loveliest abandoned mansions since 1989. 
His blog - - is a joy and his pictures of Blaen Blodau, from 2009, show a beautiful, stately building surrounded by trees. Paul writes: 
An air of calmness enveloped the house and grounds and one could imagine once some of the high branches were thinned and more light could enter the house and grounds that this would be a wonderful place to live.

Agents John Francis may have got rather too carried away with the tree "thinning" but that calmness is there even in the 2019 pictures of this lovely house.

What was also interesting is that, below Paul's 2009 post, two people have commented on having had distant relatives who had previously owned the property. That may or may not be true, but it's pretty clear that whoever did buy Blaen Blodau in 1999, abandoned it soon after.
The property had originally been linked to Blaen Blodau farm - nearby and a working farm run by the Jones family - and there had been (is still?) a coach house.
However, I digress. What you need to know is that the house and it's land are up for auction next week through John Francis with a guide price of £40-£50k (expect to pay triple that). Deep pockets and a lot of heart will get you a quite stunning-looking home in the middle of a very pretty bit of Carmarthenshire. Details here and here.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Two big but neglected Yorkshire village homes

I was sorry to see this particular wreck arrive onto the market because it's a house I once lived in. And loved living in.
The house is in Cottingham, a large village/small town just outside Hull. It's five bedrooms (albeit one was only big enough to hold my drum kit, as I remember), upstairs bathroom, two good-size reception rooms and kitchen, and an impressive hall and staircase.

Outside are two gardens and there is (or was) parking behind the house, plus a garage. And it's in a nice position; a short walk from the lively village centre.

So far so good.
But the house is on the market via online auction, and auctions mean risk. The timer system on bids means you may not get chance to have a survey done and you need to be sure you have the cash in place to complete the sale within a month. Plus, if you do pull out, you'll lose around £6k or £7k in deposit and fees.
It's pretty clear 16 Beck Bank needs a full refurb job and that there have been issues with leaks, but it's also clear to me that little if anything has been done to the house in the 13 or so years since I lived there. The same curtains, the same carpets, the same kitchen.

Which is a shame because this is actually a really lovely house. Gorgeous big rooms (I had a couple of fabulous parties there...) and the walled side garden was really sweet.
It's not the most secluded of homes - I remember the position, sitting right on the street, could be annoying - but for a serial doer-upper, there's a lot of potential.
On the market through Pattinson with a bidding reserve of £160k. Details here and on Zoopla here.
Also looking rather sorry for itself is this big detached property in another east Yorkshire village.

The four bedroom home comes with a decent parcel of land and outbuildings (some include asbestos).
It's in the coastal village of Bempton - it of the cliffs and birds - around three miles from Bridlington.
The house is massive, and unusual. Packed with original features (a plaque suggests it dates from 1789) and a crazy mix of furniture and furnishings.

There are big fireplaces and chunky windows, but also weird rooms with random staircases (in a bathroom) and what looks like the original well in the garden.
Outside the outbuildings are packed with auction finds and scrap - clearly a former business and the reason there is just so much stuff everywhere. Would love to know more about the owner.

As with Beck Bank, this house on Bempton's High Street has plenty of potential once everything is cleared away. A decent location and, particularly if you demolish some of those outbuildings, plenty of land to work with.
On the market through Nicholas Belt with a  guide price of £289k. Details and more pictures here and here.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Double properties - chapels plus cottages

Stuff happens and life gets in the way of our renovation dream plans. I know that. 
But maybe we're dealing with a bit more stuff nowadays, because I do seem to be seeing an awful lot of part finished do-ups coming onto the market.
Like these two handsome but abandoned Welsh chapel projects.
Capel Tygwdd is in Ceredigion - a beautiful bit of west Wales I know well. Close to the villages of Cwm Cou and Cenarth, and around five miles from the market town of Newcastle Emlyn.
The property consists of the chapel, the adjacent Sunday School, and around an acre of garden land, surrounded by gorgeous rural views.

The big stuff seems to have been done on the main building, the church, with a new (slate) roof, concrete floors and refurbished windows. A big hole in one side is poised for windows onto the views, and the Sunday school is waiting to be turned into the two-bedroom cottage in the (approved) plans.

The property also has permission for a garage and workshop, and separate public access to the little graveyard is already in place.
Water and electricity are connected but drainage needs sorting.
All in all, a lovely project in a pretty location for someone looking to step in after much of the heavy lifting is done.

On the market through both Dai Lewis and John Francis at offers around £275k. Details here and here.
Capel Bethel (below) is in Powys, in the village of Dinas Mawddwy, about 12 miles from Machynlleth.

Arriving on the market at different stage of conversion/renovation, it is habitable while you work.
The property consists of a gorgeous big and part-converted chapel, with planning permission to turn it into a four-bedroom house, plus a nicely renovated detached two-bedroom cottage.

There are masses of original features in both buildings, services connected to the site, pretty views, and a garden to the front. Pedestrian access is mentioned but not vehicles, so that could be an issue for works. And there isn't a lot of land overall.

However, the village location, within the Snowdonia National Park, is attractive and the work already completed on the cottage means this is property comfortable to live/work in or to finish off and let out the cottage and carry on living in the chapel.
The chapel itself has basically been turned into a big storage area downstairs with an open-plan living space on the second floor and a further attic floor with some works completed.

Lots of space for your money!
On the market through Morris, Marshall and Poole at £220k. Details and more pictures here and here.
Finally, if you prefer to take on a project from the start (or don't have the budget for my part-finished picks) this chapel and cottage in Carmarthen will be right up your street.

In the village of Rhydargaeau, the property (sent to me by reader Jacky) consists of a cute as a button chapel, a separate but rather miserable-looking two-bedroom chapel house, and the pretty vestry.

The vestry - attached to cottage but accessed by external staircase

Between the chapel and the chapel house and vestry is a graveyard - an issue you'll have to negotiate and address. But there's gated access to the graveyard and garden area and plenty of space for vans and vehicles during the works.

And the best bit? It's on the market as a job lot for just £95k. Bargain ; )
Agent is Dai Lewis. Details and more pictures of Capel Horeb here and here.