History in the making

History in the making

The UK is recognised worldwide for its remarkable history and culture. There are many beautiful historic homes across the country, some of which are around 800 years old. From towering manor homes to medieval marvels, here are the most beautiful established properties on the market.

1. Blacksmiths Hill, Northamptonshire, 5 bedrooms

Blacksmiths HIll

This stunning Grade II Listed property is the oldest large dwelling in the village. It was built in 1635, and because it has a high window in the eaves at the end, it is believed to have played a part in the Civil War as an extremely useful look-out place with a view of the whole Cherwell valley to spot any advancing enemy troops.

The first known owner was Edward Jarvis, who farmed 30 acres. A later occupant was Jethro Eely, who was a cutler. He was also treasurer of the Red Lion Friendly Society, a sort of forerunner of Social Security, as it paid benefits to contributing members if they were sick. One more thing about Jethro. In the late 1700s, because of the threat of invasion by Napoleon, a Volunteer Defence Force was set up, and the Aynho branch of the Brackley Division had a good fife and drum band. Jethro was a fife player, and he was so good, that he was sent off to Kings Sutton to help the fife players there improve. The most famous resident of this house was Ted Humphris. Born here in 1901, he left school at 13 to become a gardener’s boy at the Park House. He worked hard and learnt very well, and soon rose to become the head gardener. 

2. Christow, Exeter, 10 bedrooms

A Domesday Manor, Canonteign was given to the canons of St Mary du Val in Normandy circa 1125 and was later conveyed to the Prior and convent of Merton, in Surrey. After the Reformation, it was granted to Lord John Russell and then passed through a series of owners. It was garrisoned for the King during the Civil War and taken by Fairfax in 1645. According to Lysons, it belonged to the Davy family in the 17th century.

In 1812 Sir Edward Pellew, later Lord Viscount Exmouth purchased the manor and it became a farm after 1828 when Exmouth built Canonteign House close by. It was restored by Lady Exmouth in the 1970s and during the last few years, the ancient house has been brought into the 21st century with an extensive and sympathetic renovation. 

Today, it is a comfortable family home, combining the best of its 400-year-old origins with the conveniences of modern technology.

3. Burton, Christchurch, Dorset, 4 Bedrooms

Burton Cottage

Burton Cottage is a delightful, 4 bedroom, quintessential Grade II listed thatched cottage which has recently been completely renovated to provide the perfect countryside residence set within just over half an acre.

This unusually large, light and airy cottage is wonderfully traditional from the outside and inside retains the unique character that only an older property can give. This is now combined with thoughtful and considerate renovations and delightful interior design to give the highest quality finishes resulting in an enchanting family home.

Burton Cottage has an amazing history, being the birthplace of the childhood story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, wrote the original prose of Goldilocks and The Three Bears while living in this house.  Therefore, effectively making it his inspiration for The Three Bears Cottage. 

4. Hooks Lane, Newent, 6 bedrooms

Hooks Lane, Newent

Tucked away in a beautiful yet accessible part of West Gloucestershire, close to the market town of Newent and the cathedral city of Gloucester, is this impressive and unique period home. The property offers spacious and exceptionally well-presented accommodation with a welcoming atmosphere and sits within a large well-maintained plot brimming with unique features.

Brassmills has an interesting history, dating back to the 1600s. The property was initially used as a corn mill before eventually being converted to a manufacturing base for brass pins. In the 1930s, the property was converted into a private residence, with the enormous mill wheel being sold off for scrap during WW2. The last miller based at the property claimed to be a descendent of Guy Fawkes.

5. St Leonards-On-Sea, East Sussex, 4 bedrooms

The Turkish Baths were built in 1875 but were only open for six years before closing due to competition in the area. Uplands Girl's school bought the building and built an extension to the rear which housed a saltwater swimming pool. The school later sold the building and during the 1920's it became a local community hall. During the war, St Leonards Parish Church was destroyed by a bouncing bomb and The Bath House became an emergency church for nearly 10 years playing host to many happy weddings and family occasions. It was then bought in the 1950s and became a science glass factory (Scientific House) until the late 1990's when it fell into disrepair. In 2013 the current vendors bought the derelict building and converted it into a spectacular and unique family home. 

6. Chatham Dockyard, 9 bedrooms

Victorian elegance personified, this magnificent Grade II Listed detached home occupies a prominent position, looking onto a green featuring the Dockyards flag-mast and views of the River Medway beyond, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this historic setting, only interrupted by the Dockyard clock chiming the hour.

Dating from the 1830s, Captain's House sits proudly as a detached residence to the far end of a terrace of 12 properties known as Officers Terrace, all originally constructed by the Admiralty to provide homes and offices for the principal Officers of the Dockyard. In more recent years the current owners have sympathetically updated the property, whilst retaining the character and architectural integrity of this beautiful historic home.

 7. Burnley, Lancashire, 4 bedrooms

A superb restored and modernised period four bedroom grade II listed house of historical importance. Barcroft hall is set in a quiet yet convenient location on the outskirts of Cliviger and is an interesting and attractive home which retains many original period features with a modern contemporary twist.

The Barcroft family who built the Hall were documented as early as the thirteenth century were second only to the Townleys as landowners in Cliviger. Over the years the property fell into significant disrepair and was purchased by Charles Townley in 1795 when the Hall was completely refurbished and renovated. The building is important today not only because of the early date of the North Wing but also because of the quality of its construction and its largely unaltered form. The ground floor accommodation is dominated by the historic main hallway with minstrel's gallery and offers exceptional living space including kitchen, dining and living area.

8. Capel, Surrey, 8 bedrooms

A property has been documented on the site of The Clockhouse back to the 14th century. It is only within the past 150 years that The Clockhouse has been known by that name being formerly called Risbregg (Rice Bridge) with records first appearing in 1307. The first reference to a building on the site was in 1420 as a tenant farm which, for most of its existence, farmed over 100 acres of the surrounding area. As evidence of its interesting history, the property has period decorative hand painting in the upper reception rooms as well as the priest hole, which is accessed from a current bathroom.

The house has been extended over the centuries with a substantial Southerly wing added in the mid-18th century. This Georgian wing affords elegantly proportioned rooms with delightful aspects across the garden and lake. The current owner who purchased The Clockhouse in 2002 has since carried out a substantial restoration programme and sensitive improvements to reinstate this beautiful and historic country residence.

The current owner has details of all the previous owners including their wills, dating back to the 13th century, of which the first is believed to be the Baron De Risbregg.

9. Fort Road, Broadstairs, 7 bedrooms

This unique Grade II Listed property is the most iconic building in Broadstairs. Steeped in history this amazing castellated marine residence with magical views across Viking Bay is well known as Charles Dickens’ favourite holiday home and where he wrote some of his most popular works, including parts of David Copperfield. This fascinating mansion was originally built in 1801 and was named Fort House but almost doubled in size a hundred years later when further additions and extensions were incorporated. The name was changed to Bleak House early in the 20th century to recognise the association with Dickens.

10. Drayton Beauchamp, Tring, 4 bedrooms

The Dower House is a wonderful Grade Two listed home and an important local landmark property with much history and unspoilt features. It is believed to have been built for The Dowager Lady Mary Cheyne after the death of her husband Sir Francis of Drayton Beauchamp Manor in 1620, making it of Jacobean origin. The unusually high ceilings suggest the property was built as a superior residence and it has remained unaltered with many retained original fixtures and fittings. Due to the originality of the plasterwork and décor, the property has appeared in numerous TV and big screen productions, predominantly period dramas. The house was once owned by the well-known conductor and composer Arthur Reynolds, responsible for such scores as "1066 and all that". During this period it was featured in Ideal Home magazine, July 1949.

Get in touch today...

Are you looking to move to a historic home? Contact your local Fine & Country branch to start your property search today.

31st Oct 2019

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