Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Four Southern beauties to renovate


We're going south today. Largely because I'm aware I've spent rather too many weeks recently showing you do-uppers in the North and Wales, but also because several of you have asked me to look southwards.
I'm starting here, with this extraordinary former church on the A46, just outside the village of Cold Ashton, and about 10 minutes from Bath.



Unusually for a church, it comes with a fair bit of land - which almost makes up for its roadside frontage, and some conversion work has clearly already been done.
Although I'm with reader Liam (who sent me the link) that the works haven't exactly enhanced this gorgeous building:
For my money the mezzanine that's been put in on the upper floor would go and I'd have an open plan living space, with the bedrooms downstairs in the current 'kitchen' area. Something about dividing up tall windows in old church buildings doesn't sit with me.

Also, the bed and that safe? Someone was looking after the widow's mite..

The church is Grade II listed, with gorgeous valley views (ignoring the A46), and quite stunning original windows from which to admire those views. And a tower! It has a tower!





It's up for auction next week - 27th February - through Hollis Morgan, with a guide price of £230k. Details and more pictures here.
My next pick is not too far from our Gloucestershire church, this time in Trowbridge. There's a sort-of ecclesiastical link too, in that this particular property is the former lodge house to the cemetery.



And, assuming you don't have a problem with your neighbours being dead, it's an equally interesting and pretty would-be home.





Three bedrooms, two reception rooms, kitchen, bathroom (downstairs) and an overgrown but promising garden, plus the added security of private access to the cemetery after hours...From the agent's notes:
The main gates to the cemetery are locked overnight. The purchaser will be issued with keys to the main gates and to the exit onto Downside Park to allow access.


As I said, as long as you don't have problem with dead neighbours, this is a pretty house with some lovely period details, although you'll want to tackle that trespassing foliage.
On the market through Kavanaghs at £240k. Details and more pictures here and here.
My final two picks this week are in Devon. Bear with me on the first one because it's definitely on the pricey side, but hey - sometimes you need a lottery-win style renovation dream.


Rumleigh House is about a mile from the village of Bere Alston and about 13 from Plymouth. Grade II Listed and owned by the same family since 1929, it's currently sub-divided into three apartments and a separate cottage.



There are extensive gardens (the property was formerly a market garden) and around six acres of land. And fabulous views.


It's big - 10 bedrooms, eight reception rooms and four bathrooms, although that's in part because of the split into separate living areas.
There's also another 23 acres plus a bunch of outbuildings (largely the former market garden business) up for sale separately. I hate it when they do that; split up properties to max return...
Anyway, Rumleigh House is quite gorgeous enough in its own right. Lots of lovely bits, lots of big rooms, lots of potential. Lots of work and investment needed.




On the market through Strutt & Parker at £750k for the house, garden and six acres (£250k for the market garden land and buildings). Details and more pictures here and here.
And finally, Church Cottage, just outside the Devon village of Blackborough, was sent to me by reader Jo. Jo is one of the readers who asked me to look at properties in the South next, specifically could I "do Devon, please?"


Not sure I've entirely dealt with her plea given that I've only featured two Devon properties - and one being one she sent me (sorry!), but I'll wander back to Devon and Cornwall at some point soon.
As Jo said, the area tends to be light on affordable "wrecks" although she does suggest looking North West of Exeter to get more for your money.
Anyway, back to Church Cottage.




Living room, kitchen, bathroom and separate loo downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs, with large garden and threequarters of an acre of paddock outside.
I loved the deep windowsills and farmhouse doors - work to do but also an attractive base to work with. Also, I wasn't sure, but does it look to you like some of the windows have been replaced?
Gorgeous views (and at least the road looks rather quieter than the one in front of the Cold Ashton church) and a good location about six miles from the M5 and around 20 from Exeter.




On the market through Stags at £240k. Details and more pictures here and brochure here.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Two for one properties - renovation "twofers"


I've picked out two "two-fers" for you today. Two x two-for-one properties - twofers squared, perhaps?
I'm a fan of bundling of buildings and the potential that comes with having a main residence and a second place to do-up. And these two are especially interesting.
The first, Bede House and the Old School House, are in the Lincolnshire village of Wrangle, between Boston and Skegness.
The four-bedroom Bede House used to belong to nearby St Giles Academy and, according the agent's notes (which are worth a read: "I can't stop thinking what a fantastic opportunity we have here for the right buyer, but then I ask myself who is the right buyer?" Indeed) was knocked down and completely rebuilt from the same bricks by the current owner in 1988. Some people really like jigsaws.


And bricks...


The house needs work, the schoolhouse needs much more work but also comes with planning permission to turn it into a three bedroom home.


The name, Bede House, sounds grand but relates to its origins as an almshouse - bedehouse, and school, formed from the legacy of a 16th century vicar. There's a really interesting and detailed account here, published by an amateur historian in in 1963.
The house has good-sized rooms - as well as the four bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, there are three reception rooms and a large kitchen downstairs.



The schoolhouse is basically one large room, with some conversion works begun, and the whole site sites within around half an acre of garden and close to the A52.



Note planning permission for the school house conversion was granted in 2009, you'll want to check the works done since then are enough to satisfy planners.
On the market through Fairweather at £265k. Details and more pictures here and here.
My next twofer pick is this brace of cottages in the village of Cogenhoe, just outside Northampton.




Both cottages are listed, both are three storey, both need work, both have their own deeds.
There are outbuildings too and the whole bundle sits in around 0.4 acre of land (albeit accessed via a shared driveway with your neighbour).





One house has two bedrooms and an upstairs bathroom, the other three bedrooms and a downstairs bathroom. Both have a lounge and kitchen downstairs. Clearly the potential is to knock them together to create one lovely big village home in a gorgeous big garden.
Or stick two more houses in the garden and sell the lot. But that's not how we roll here on 'Wreck..'
Regular reader Amanda tipped me off about the property and, as she said:
"It's a lovely old farmhouse - to be accurate, two-thirds of the original farmhouse - with a large garden (years ago, its owner obtained planning permission to build in the garden, and although this has long lapsed, it might be reconsidered. Although personally I would rather keep the glorious garden.) When I first knew it, it was owned by an eccentric bachelor who lived in the main part of the house, which he inherited from his mother, and later bought the smaller and more run-down second third of the building to store his overflow books...I know how much this house has been loved in the past, and would be very happy to know it was in the hands of someone who would care about it again. Yes, I'm sentimental about it - but I think future owners could be as well."


On the market through Jackson Grundy with a guide price of £385k. Details and more pictures here and here.


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Three big Scottish manses near the sea


It's just started to snow as I type this. Flimsy flakes drifting down, replacing the morning's ice-cold drizzle. Let's go to Scotland.
This handsome manse is one of two I've picked out from the Church of Scotland's property listing. They may be on the pricier side to my usual renovation picks, but the size of the properties and their west coast locations make them beautiful bargains.
The Manse at Appin, above and below, is on the Argyll coast between Oban and Fort William. It's Grade C listed, with lovely big rooms and lots of period details.




Four bedrooms plus bathroom upstairs; two reception rooms, kitchen and utility downstairs, plus a third room and shower room as potential granny flat or guest suite.

There are gardens on all sides, plus garage and parking - and those gorgeous open views.



On the market at offers over £320k. Details and more pictures here and here and pdf here.
My second manse pick is in an equally lovely location on the Isle of Gigha, off the Kintyre penisula. I'm a massive fan of this whole area of Scotland, Local Hero is one of my favourite films (an annual family Christmas watch) and regular readers will already know how much I love Mull.
And I love the concept of an island owned by its residents.


The manse is just outside Ardminish, Gigha's village and ferry port. On a smaller plot of land compared to the manse at Appin, and with more renovation to do (and fewer connected services), but none-the-less a big, handsome building in a gorgeous bit of Britain.




Five bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper floors; two reception rooms and large kitchen downstairs.


On the market through Church of Scotland property at offers over £265k. Details and more pictures here and here and pdf here.
My third pick is a former manse, built in the 1820s and owned by the same family since 1943.


Situated close to breathtaking Clachan Sands on North Uist, it's the most remote of my choices - and also the cheapest.


The Manse at Trumisgarry Glebe makes up for its remote and rather windswept-looking location with possibly the liveliest approach to pattern matching I've seen.
Definitely an old-lady gone house but a lady I would have loved to have met!







Set in large gardens, The Manse has three bedrooms upstairs, a downstairs bathroom and downstairs shower room, plus two large reception rooms, kitchen, hall and storerooms. The layout's a bit higgledy piggedley but lots of potential.

On the market through Skye Property Centre at offers over £140k. Details and more pictures here.