Higham, Colchester, Suffolk CO6
3 Bedrooms -
Situated in superb grounds of 9.7 acres this stunning contemporary house has breathtaking views over the Dedham Vale. There are three large open plan living areas with full height windows overlooking the gardens, kitchen and three bedrooms, one with en-suite facilities. This 1970’s house by Peter Aldington is in a ... Read More »
Situated in superb grounds of 9.7 acres this stunning contemporary house has breathtaking views over the Dedham Vale. There are three large open plan living areas with full height windows overlooking the gardens, kitchen and three bedrooms, one with en-suite facilities. This 1970’s house by Peter Aldington is in a style influenced by Mies van der Rohe. Accommodation extends to 2161 sq.ft.
The house is an important example of post-war British architecture and was commissioned in the 1970’s. Completed in 1974, it received an architectural award in 1978 from the Royal Institute of British Architects. The design is strongly influenced by the iconic Farnsworth House of Mies van der Rohe but has its own unique interior and exterior qualities. It features in a recent RIBA book by Alan Powers, and has been photographed at night for inclusion in a forthcoming volume on post-war British architecture. In the 70’s and 80’s it featured in the Architectural Journal and House and Garden.
It is a contemporary glasshouse with glass wrapping two thirds of the exterior and sits a metre from the ground on impressive steel columns. It is entered across a bridge through an imposing cantilevered door. The visitor is immediately struck by the sense of floating – an unrestricted connection with the wonderful grounds with their mature trees, and beyond across the glorious valley.
It is situated in a desirable and much sought after location in the Constable country – the village of Higham – in a prime and secluded location on a hill from which much of the village and neighboring valley is seen. The grounds are as remarkable as the house, and comprise an ancient walled orchard with glasshouse and potting shed, a formally “secret” garden of scented plants and trees, a cathedral like copse of mature firs, and a wonderful field with a peripheral walk with spectacular views of the Stour and Brett valleys, a pond dwarfed by a handsome example of gunnera and swept by willow as at Giverny, a spectacular copse with a lofty mature copper beech, and what is thought to be one of the few owl houses in East Anglia – a three storey wooden tower exclusively for owls and birds. As the present owners mention one can feel intoxicated by the variety, views and beauty of the grounds and their plants. Indeed the original owners of the house was a devoted gardener and plants woman, and spent many years stocking the garden with the varieties of plant-life seen today. Equally interesting is the range of birds and mammals. Badgers and deer are a common sight at dusk, the former have been known to amble about seemingly oblivious of their human neighbours. At Easter the field is carpeted in daffodils, and there are extensive areas of snowdrops and bluebells. The orchard contains a range of fruit trees and bushes – apples, pears, quinces, damsons, plums, peaches, josterberries, currants, and gooseberries. It has mature herbs and is planted with annual vegetable crops such as squashes, onions and garlic. Rhubarb and mints abound. Grapes can be picked from the three mature vines in the glass house. Towards the end of the summer the field can be laden with crops of walnuts, wild cherry plums, blackberries and elderflower. Cobnuts abound though there is competition from the squirrels.
The village of Higham is a strong community with frequent activities and garden parties. The village has an ancient church that is used for worship and meetings. The river Brett winds through the lower part of the village and footpaths make for wonderful circular walks across the countryside. Higham is a regular host to Point-to-Point racing, and recently has hosted Polo meetings. Close by are farm shops, restaurants, golf-clubs and other amenities and sports. While about equidistant from Ipswich and Colchester many villagers needing to commute to London use the Manningtree station, reached by a charming drive through the water meadows surrounding Dedham, and beyond.
Solid front cantilevered entrance door with full height glazed panels at either side, wood panelled walls and a further cantilevered door leading into the reception room. A door on the left leads to…
Full height window to the front. Wood flooring. Panelling with matching fitted book-casing and cupboards.
Open through to the kitchen and living room. A wonderful double aspect room offering views over the rear garden. Contemporary wood burning stove. Wooden floor. Wood panelled walls with a range of built-in cupboards. Inset lighting. Opening through to…
Fitted units partly to two walls with space for a cooker. Central island with an inset sink and drainer unit and space for a dishwasher. Tiled floor. Full height picture windows overlooking the rear garden. A door off of the kitchen to a pantry cupboard with slate surface and shelving. There are internal wooden sliding doors which can divide and close the kitchen off if desired. An opening to the right leads to the garden room and a door on the left leads into…
Door to the outside. Light tunnel. Stainless steel butler sink with added tap from harvested rainwater tank. Plumbing for a washing machine. Area for hanging outdoor clothes. Hatch to a staircase leading down to a spacious full height cellar providing an extensive storage area and potential living space.
A wonderful double aspect room with full height picture windows overlooking the gardens and grounds. Tiled floor. Inset lighting. Full height sliding glass doors lead back to…
A triple aspect room with full height windows to the side. Wooden flooring. Open contemporary black steel fireplace with a tiled hearth. Wood panelled walls.
On the left hand side of the house there is a door an inner hallway with a light tunnel. Extensive, fitted full height shelved cupboards to one wall. Doors lead off to…
A double aspect room with two full height windows to the front and a window to the side. Wood panelled walls. Wood flooring. Three pairs of double opening doors to built-in wardrobes.
Full height windows to the side. Wood panelled walls. Wood flooring.
Light tunnel in the roof. Fitted with a three piece suite comprising a panel bath with a hand held shower attachment, hand wash basin and a W.C. with a concealed cistern. Wooden flooring. Heated towel radiator. Adjacent door to…
On the approach there is a small dressing area and fitted wardrobes on the right comprising of four full height bi-folding doors. The bedroom has full height windows to the rear and partially to the side offering fantastic views over the garden and Dedham Vale through the trees. Wood flooring. Door to…
Light tunnel in the roof. Panel bath with a mixer tap with a hand held shower attachment, hand wash basin and a W.C. with a concealed cistern. Wooden flooring. Double opening doors to cosmetics cupboard.
Ketelfield is approached via double opening wrought iron gates leading into an extensive shingle driveway providing off road parking and turning. There is a covered carport and the drive area is floodlit at night. The shingle area goes off in two directions where there is a tree lined walk leading to the gardens and a further tree lined walk to the front of the house.
To the front of the property there is a further shingle parking area with a bridge walkway leading to the front of the house. To the right hand side there is a log store / summerhouse and a five bar gate leading to the property’s field and woods.
To the rear of the property there is an extensive lawn garden which is completely surrounded by a wide range of mature trees and shrubs. To the rear of the house there is a raised terrace area which provides a wonderful seating spot and gives lovely views over the garden and out to the valley.
To the left hand side of the garden there is a shingle path leading through a pair of wrought iron gates set into the arch of the Victorian walled vegetable and fruit garden. On the left hand side of vegetable garden there is an extensive Victorian conservatory which backs onto a brick tool and potting shed that also houses the irrigation system and tanks. The garden is walled to the right hand side and laid to lawn with a wide range of planted fruit bushes, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. Water is connected here. A shingle path continues around and leads away to a tranquil, formerly “secret” garden area with shrubs, roses and trees. Walking through the woodland there are various cut paths and a thatched arbour. Double opening gates lead to a more densely populated wooded area where there are a number of specimen trees, particularly firs. On the perimeter of the boundary there are magnificent views over the surrounding countryside, the village of Higham and the Dedham vale. The gardens are a wonderful maze that totals about 9.1 acres.
In the top field there is a unique stilted owl house with the potential for partial conversion to a studies room or tree house. It is possible to walk all around the grounds and through the wooded areas, seeing nothing but wildlife. The grounds variously have bluebells, daffodils, crops of walnuts and cherry plums, mushrooms, cobnuts and more. There is a charming pond.
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