Asking Price £1,500,000
A spectacular five bedroom detached Georgian style family home set in approximately four acres of land with formal gardens, a paddock and an enclosed area that the current owners use for their dogs. The garden also has a wonderful natural pool pond. All five bedrooms have ensuites and downstairs there are four reception rooms and a further two bathrooms, one being a full wet room with access straight out across the decking and to the pond pool.
The house of Derek and Carol’s dreams, Beechcote is a spectacular property they had admired for many years. “We had driven past Beechcote, almost every day, taking the children to school in Berkswell,” says Derek. “I’d often said to my wife that I’d like to live there. The ‘For Sale’ board went up whilst I was away on business in Italy and, as soon as I returned home, Carol told me that ‘my’ house was up for sale and I immediately knew which house she was talking about. We viewed within a couple of days and made an offer, even though our house wasn’t on the market at that time and weren’t actually looking to make a move. Fortunately, the vendor accepted our offer and five months later, we were all moved in!”
The couple were attracted to the parkland style setting, which they consider to be one of the best features. The current house replaced a large Victorian building, and is thus centrally located on the land, with a large area of mature garden screening the house from the road. The property also faces almost due south at the rear, which is perfect for sitting out on the decking from spring through until autumn.
There has been a settlement in Berkswell (Bercul’s Well) since before Saxon times and parts of the Church date from the 9th Century. “There are two stories that we have been told since we’ve lived here,” explains Derek, “Before 1960 the large Victorian property was owned by an eccentric gentleman who was involved in the performing arts and, we understand, let our rooms to travelling actors and musicians who were performing locally. In addition we can also claim that a Wimbledon champion regularly played tennis in our garden. Although it would be difficult now, due to the overhanging branches of the copper beech tree, there was once a grass court on the front lawn and one of the anchor stones, used to secure the net post, is still visible. Maud Watson, the daughter of the Rector of Berkswell Church, was the first ever winner of the Wimbledon Ladies title in 1884, defeating her sister, Lillian, in the final. Maud repeated her success in 1885 but lost in the final in 1886 before being unable to reproduce her form in later years due to a combination of injury and illness. Both Maud and Lillian are buried at Berkswell church.” Berkswell is also the home of the famous Berkswell (Ewe’s milk) cheese, which is produced on the adjacent farm and has been recommended by TV chef Rick Stein.
There is a small shop and tearoom in the village itself and a greater variety of shops and services in Balsall Common, which is only a short distance away. Further afield, there are shops and a Waitrose in Kenilworth, whilst the larger shopping centres of Coventry, Solihull and Leamington Spa are all within easy reach. The Bear at Berkswell is a traditional pub/restaurant that dates from the 16th century, providing excellent local fayre. “For a relatively small village Berkswell is very fortunate to have a school which was rated as ‘outstanding’ following the most recent Ofsted inspection. Both of our children attended the school, which caters for children from nursery age through until year six, with full size classes in each year group. We are also in the catchment area for Balsall Common Junior School, which was also rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors. For senior school children, state education is available at the Heart of England School situated in Balsall Common. There are several private schools within a reasonable distance, including Warwick and Solihull School, as well as King Henry VIII and Bablake schools in Coventry. King Henry’s is situated opposite Coventry railway station, which is only five minutes from Berkswell station. The motorway network is easily accessible, as is Birmingham airport and Birmingham International railway station. You can catch the fast train to London Euston from International and Coventry, or take the more relaxed train journey from Warwick Parkway into Paddington.”
The focal point of the property is the open plan kitchen/breakfast/family room. The AGA draws people to it and enhances the perfect, relaxed ambience. “We love this space,” describes Carol, “as this is where we spend most of our time. We also like the fact that that it feels like we are very much ‘out in the country’ but, in fact, we are in very close proximity to all the communications, shops and services that you could possibly need. The conservatory is lovely, especially during the spring and autumn as it warm and light whilst overlooking the pool and gardens. We also like the balcony off the master bedroom where you can sit drinking coffee on a lazy Sunday morning (or anytime actually!) There are no near neighbours and all the rooms look out over the beautiful garden and surrounding fields.”
The property is ideal for working from home, offering several options for the entrepreneur. The study is situated away from the hub of the house and has a lovely outlook out over the front garden. Alternatively, there is a first floor room in the annex which could be used as an office/study or, if more space was required, the pool/games room could easily be converted into an office/consultation rooms.
French doors from the breakfast room, dining room, music room and conservatory all open out onto the large, south-facing, semi-circular rear deck. The beautiful established gardens are impressive all year round, with numerous, mature, trees and shrubs which include a huge ‘Wellingtonia’ (or Giant Redwood) in the front garden. In the spring, the numerous and large Rhododendron produce a wonderful, colourful display of pink, red, white or purple flowers. As well as the principle entertaining space, there is a more intimate and sheltered dining area beneath the distinctive, wooden gazebo. There is lighting to all parts of the deck, the gazebo and surrounding area, which provides the perfect position for alfresco dining. There is also an attractively landscaped area around the unique natural swimming pond. “We have installed a natural swimming pond in the garden,” describes Derek. “Instead of looking out over an ugly, blue swimming pool cover, we now look out over a beautifully landscaped pond area, which looks good all year around. Then, when the warmer weather arrives, you can jump in the pond to cool off and have a relaxing swim. For those who prefer warmer water and also during the winter months, we also have an indoor exercise pool.” In addition there is a natural pond within the paddock area, which attracts nesting birds, such as moorhens and mallards, as well as the occasional visit from the heron, roe deer, muntjac deer, all three varieties of woodpeckers, and a family of foxes. “There is an ‘L’ shaped paddock to the East and south of the property which would require some additional fencing, to separate it from the garden, if it was to be used for keeping ponies. A further, smaller paddock is located to the west of the property with separate, gated access from the road.”
* These comments are the personal views of the current owners and are included as an insight into life at the property. They have not been independently verified, should not be relied on without verification and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agent.
We have worked with Jason on our last two property transactions and would highly recommend his professional and realistic approach!! Read full reviewReview Added: Nov 12th, 2019
Nigel Plaskett is not like some other estate agents I have met. He did not come into my home saying things in the flattering way like “What a lovely house”. He did not give me unre... Read full reviewReview Added: Nov 12th, 2019
We purchased our property through Fine and Country. Julie met us at the house and gave us a tour around the property, giving us all clear answers to all our questions. She assist... Read full reviewReview Added: Nov 11th, 2019
My husband and I had the pleasure of dealing with Julie whilst purchasing our new home. Julie couldn\'t have been more helpful. She supported us a great deal with the stresse... Read full reviewReview Added: Nov 11th, 2019
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