Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Two Surrey homes commutable to London

I've got a 1920s house and a 1930s house to show you this week - both in leafy (or rather soggy) Surrey.
First the terraced house above, in a lovely setting in the ancient village of Godstone. There's a guide price of £275k, a reduction on a couple of weeks ago and pricey, but not excessive, for a three-bed property in that area of Surrey.
Built in 1924, it needs modernising and the windows and roof look like they may need some attention, but the house has some lovely original features - and the view is to die for!

There are dilapidated gardens to the front and back and the terrace is at Winders Hill, near the end of a private lane. It's on the market through Howard Cundey. More details here.
Next the detached, three-bed home below, in the village of Ash Vale, around 20 minutes from Guildford and a 40 minutes train commute from Ash Vale station to Waterloo.

The house itself is surrounded by fields and wooded areas - "nestled within a quiet location", according to the agent.
Except not exactly - this is the (unmanned) waste treatment plant the house overlooks:

However, it's a decent sized house and an interesting renovation job and, to be fair, the treatment plant isn't exactly on the doorstep (that's the view, above).

It comes with planning permission for a two-storey extension and double garage and it's in a good-size plot.
The house is on the market through Mackenzie Smith at £275k, details here.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Former wreck in Herts and a farmhouse in Wales

Ugo emailed me to tell me a property I featured in 2012 is back on the market - this time with a rather impressive facelift.
I included the former mortuary, in Rickmansworth (above), as part of a post about some unusual properties up for auction. I wrote:
What I really like about this property is the second picture; of the garden and greenhouse behind the mortuary. Just the idea that the mortician whiled away between-body times growing tomatoes...
Here's that garden in 2012:

Anyway, it sold at auction for £151k and, extended and a rather nicely renovated (below), it's now the market at a fiver under £380k, via Hetheringtons.
The greenhouse has gone, the estate agent details don't mention it's former use, but it's nice to see an old building brought back to life - as it were ; )

Allsops auctioneers sold the property back in 2012 so I thought I'd have a look at what they've currently got on the market. The next auction isn't for a month or so but among unsold lots, the Welsh farmhouse below caught my eye.
Garndolbenmaen is a large detached farmhouse with outbuildings and stables, sitting in six-and-a-half acres.
The farmhouse has four bedrooms and shower room upstairs, two reception rooms, loo, dining kitchen and three further rooms downstairs.
It's pretty isolated, sitting between Bwlch-Derwin and Cennin, around 12 miles from Porthmadog,
There's a guide price of £200k and it failed to sell at auction in December (Lot 147). Details here.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Former baronial pile, Gloucestershire

Oh me, oh my - this is one of those lottery winning dream renovations!
Ten bedrooms; eight bathrooms; four reception; enormous ballroom; reams of cellars; servants quarters; two acres (only two?) and - blimey - just about everything your would-be country gent could want.
Except it does need a heck of lot of renovation work, some of which may be explained by those eight bathrooms.
I'm going to show you some more pix before I rabbit on about the house and its odd past.

Those last two pix are of the ballroom. Interest thoroughly piqued? Then I'll begin.
Firstly, I have Wreck reader Ivor to thank for sending me the house (thanks Ivor)... but then it all got a bit complicated.
I could have just put up the pictures and said: "Hey, look at this lovely wreck of a house for sale", but no, no I just had to spend six hours digging around the edges of the web, because: how did a gorgeous building like this, in the middle of one of Gloucestershire's prettiest areas, stay empty for long enough to get into such a state??
The house is Stanley Park, in the village of Selsley, a couple of miles from Stroud.
In 1749 it was "Thomas Pettat's Great House" but largely rebuilt in the 1850s by new owner and new Baronet Samuel Stephens Marling.
The Marlings owned Stanley Park until 1952 when the fourth Baronet, Sir John, sold off what was left of the estate his family "could no longer afford".
Incidentally, John's uncle Sir Percival was awarded the Victoria Cross for risking his life to save one of his men. Percy spent almost 30 years in the Army fighting wars across Africa before retiring - only to sign up again as a volunteer, aged 53, when the First World War started.
He died at Stanley Park in 1936 and his widow Beatrice followed in 1941, when the estate passed to Sir John.
The family lived at the house until around 1947 when John started converting it into flats and, in 1952, sold the estate to Cretra Investments who completed the conversion in 1967. (source)
(still with me?...keep going....)
Sir John died ten years later and his son, Sir Charles, was a bit of a hippy and ran a recording studio for a time - thus kickstarting the career of his more famous daughter Laura Marling. As the dad of daughters, the Marling baronetcy dies with Charlie.
Here's Laura singing a song originally written by her dad:

So much for the Marlings, what of the house? Here's some more pics:

The house is Grade II listed (here) but despite that, no-one seems to have noticed (except presumably Cretra's directors) that it's been slowly falling apart.
And what happened to the flats - 11 are listed in the Land Registry - did everyone just leave??
I admit I've really struggled to find out what happened to the house between 1967 and 2014.
Cretra still owned the site in 2005 and were still developing and selling outbuildings up to 2007.
Last year the company's assets were valued at less than £3k, yet I couldn't find any record of them having sold Stanley Park.
In 2012, someone put Stanley Park on the market at £650k. Today, Frowens are offering it at £595k - details here and Rightmove link (more pix) is here.
Maybe Laura should buy it.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Forge and barn, Suffolk and Northumberland

I need to apologise to Wendy. Readers send me suggestions most days of "wrecks" to feature but Wendy, bless her, has sent me five and so far I've only used the cowshed.
You see most properties I'm sent end up on my B-list of "possibles" because they don't quite fit with the Wreck secret sauce recipe I carry around in my head.
Sometimes they get an outing as an extra in a post, sometimes they hang around on the B-list for weeks, looking hopefully at me, like forgotten toys.

Anyway, two of Wendy's latest suggestions have been sold but two, including the Old Forge pictured top, are getting a mention.
This handsome, unlisted building is in Great Barton, a Suffolk village a couple of miles from Bury St Edmonds. It comes with planning permission and outline architect drawings to turn it into a three-bed home.
The plans and permission are what bumped the price tag up to £195k, and access is via a right of way over a private road.
That, plus the scale of the rebuild (below), is concerning but not necessarily offputting. As Wendy says: "It appears to have a tile floor.  I want it."

The Old Forge is on the market through Bedfords - details here and also on Zoopla here.
Similar, but 270-odd miles further north, is this possible barn conversion, also sent in by Wendy:

Gorgeous location (albeit next door to the farmhouse) and on the market with a reasonable guide price of £115k through Smiths Gore, pdf and more details here.
It comes with planning permission but (as yet) no mains services, plus around 0.8 of an acre of land.
It's at Carrshield, in Northumberland, around nine miles from Alston and 23 from Hexham.