An impressive former vicarage in extensive grounds including a historic moat.
The Old Vicarage, home to the vicars of Hoxne for over 500 years, has been transformed by the present owners into a superb family home.
It is an exceptional historic house, included in Nikolaus Pevsner's The Buildings of England series, with an enchanting ancient moat.
The present, Grade II listed, building dates to about 1470 and is believed to sit on the site of a bishop's palace. The will of the pre-Conquest Bishop Theodred refers to his bishopric in Hoxne and the size of the moat is consistent with its use as a bishop's palace.
The building is timber framed with 15th century style studwork and herringbone brickwork, which was restored in 1870 by the vicar at the time, Edward Heneage Paget.
Internally, the accommodation flows remarkably well with elegantly proportioned and light filled rooms with high ceilings. The partially glazed oak front door leads to a delightful reception hall and library, with French windows out to the garden.
Double doors lead to the bespoke kitchen with granite work surfaces and island; three oven AGA; integrated appliances; double electric oven and Belfast sink. Leading off the kitchen is a useful utility room. Further double doors lead to a bright breakfast room with views overlooking the Waveney valley.
The drawing room has original early-Georgian panelling, a handsome marble chimneypiece and west facing French windows. The dining room has another attractive chimneypiece with an inset wood burning stove. Beyond the dining room is a study with glazed door to the garden. A further reception room is used as a snug.
The first floor accommodation comprises six well-proportioned double bedrooms, three of which have en suites plus the family bathroom. The principal bedroom is an especially charming room with a south- facing window, which forms part of a suite with a dressing room, and en suite.
A prominent feature of the gardens of The Old Vicarage is the incredible moat, older than the house and a scheduled monument in its own right.
The substantial moat, which encloses an area of about 1.3 acres, double the size of a typical parsonage moat, supports that this is a probable site of the original palace for the Bishops of East Anglia. The clear waters are now filled with fish; a charming foot bridge and jetty complete the idyllic image.
To the rear of the house is a large pond with a terrace providing an excellent area for feeding the fish; accompanied by an additional two terraces, there are plenty of areas for alfresco dining. At the front is a magnificent wellingtonia and an ancient mulberry tree.
A drive leads from the gateway built in Hoxne bricks to the house, which has ample parking and a workshop, garage and carport with studio above.
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The Old Vicarage is one on the most delightful and impressive houses of its age. It has a fascinating history, believed to be the site of a bishop's palace and I absolutely adore the moat: I can just imagine rowing a boat along the clear waters.Alexander McNab