A classic Georgian II* listed village house with a delightful walled garden.
The Old Vicarage, with its views of both the castle and church, is listed as being of Architectural or Historical Importance Grade II*. Constructed of red brick under a tiled roof on three floors with a basement, it is believed to have been built in the first half of the 18th century for a local wool merchant. The fine external elevations are almost unchanged since its initial construction and the house is particular in having two beautiful symmetrical elevations of equal prominence. The front has a flight of stone steps leading up to a central ionic porch with columns and painted quoins. A feature of the rear elevation are the particularly deep sash windows. Pevsner describes the property in The Buildings of England Essex as ...the best classical brick house: five bays, stone quoin, ionic doorcase, Venetian window above, and semi-circular window above that. Previous owners include the Earl of Wilton who undertook extensive renovations in the 1990s. Internally, there is extensive, well proportioned accommodation, of particular merit being the large reception hall, originally designed, it is thought, as the meeting room for local weavers and wool merchants in the 18th century, with a fine, wide, oak staircase. A front door opens into the lovely reception hall with a wide oak staircase up to the first floor. Off to one side are the two main reception rooms: the drawing room and sitting room with folding doors linking the two rooms. On the opposite side of the hall is a dining room leading into a well fitted kitchen/breakfast room. A cloakroom, utility room and boot room complete the ground floor accommodation, below which are extensive partly-vaulted cellars, divided into five rooms, two of which are used as a gym and a games room and which cover the whole of the ground floor area A wide oak staircase from the reception hall leads up to the main landing on the first floor off which are the principal bedrooms, three with en suite bathrooms (a Jack & Jill bathroom to both bedroom 3 and bedroom 4 ). A further staircase leads up to the second floor accommodation with four/five further bedrooms and three bathrooms (one en suite).
The Old Vicarage is approached over an in-and-out carriage driveway to the front of the house with a high pollarded mature hedge. On either side of the drive are lawns with a magnificent Wellingtonia and a curved high brick wall dividing the front of the house from the garden and courtyard*. A separate access to the side with a set of automatic timber double gates and a side gate, opens into a large gravel parking area. To one side is a brick and tiled coach house incorporating a guest cottage (the former stables) and garage with storage to the side. A gravel path leads up past the slate tiled contemporary heated swimming pool with steps up to a seated area located within the old kitchen garden. A grass path passes a traditional greenhouse to the south-facing York stone terrace adjoining the house, which extends the full width of the house. Sloping up from the house are beautifully maintained lawns with a number of mature trees including cherry, lime and copper beech with access through a yew hedge to an inner garden and orchard, which includes pear, plum, quince and apple trees.
(i) *The wall separating the courtyard from the house is being rebuilt in the summer of 2022.
(ii) Some photographs taken in 2016.
Mains water, electricity, drainage and gas.
Strictly by prior appointment with the sole agents Savills.
View payable Stamp Duty for this property
For me, this is one of the finest village houses to come to the market for many years.Stephen White