Wonderfully positioned country house.
Irmingland Hall is an imposing Grade II listed country house, with a wonderful south facing position surrounded by gloriously undulating countryside overlooking the Bure Valley. The Hall was originally substantially larger, built in an H-Plan in 1609 for Sir Nathaniel Bacon, only for the majority to be demolished in 1788, leaving the north wing that stands today. This was extensively renovated, with a façade added in 1920, and has been maintained to a high standard by the current owners who have been excellent custodians who have made sympathetic and worthwhile additions.
With tall sash windows, portico entrance and impressive elevations, the hall has a great presence amongst its surroundings. There are fine rooms, in particular the panelled drawing room with detailed fireplace, and a superb garden room added in 2015, measuring 10.10m x 4.9m with vaulted ceiling that provides a lovely view of the gardens and grounds. This room is regularly used as a sitting and entertaining area immediately adjoining the kitchen, which itself is open plan to a dining area, complete with Aga and impressive open fireplace. A further addition to the house, circa 2000, was a charming double aspect sitting room, with fine views down the valley, which allowed for internal changes to original rooms to become a snug, rear hall and WC. At the centre of the house is the oak panelled staircase with distinctive circular window flooding light in from the landing above, and a formal dining room. Further to the living areas are the functional rooms one would expect of a house of this scale and location, with a pantry, cellar, utility room, boot room and boiler room.
The bedroom accommodation is very well-arranged, with an adaptability to suit most situations. The principal bedroom is spacious, with fitted cabinetry, dressing area and en suite bath/shower room and fills the area to the west of the staircase. Two further double bedrooms, both with en suite bathrooms are to the east of the staircase with all rooms enjoying fine views of the gardens. The first floor is complete with a study. A second staircase leads to the second floor, which hosts a further three bedrooms and bathroom, all are of a good size with full ceiling height, in particular the fourth bedroom measuring about 6m x 5m.
This is located to the east of the house, and comprises over 1000 sq ft of self-contained living space on a conveniently single level. The cottage is currently configured of three bedrooms, with an en suite bedroom and a separate bathroom, with a dining room, well-fitted kitchen, hall and a lovely sitting room with French doors out to a private garden area with wonderful views. The cottage is a fantastic asset to the main house, providing guest overflow accommodation, or for staff or indeed as a holiday cottage providing an income, given the uniquely quiet and picturesque outlook.
Between the house and cottage are the four bays of garaging, with electric doors, providing about 900 sq ft of space to utilise, one with steps up and door to the walled garden. Adjoining the garaging is a store area, complete with gardener's loo.
Irmingland Hall enjoys an impressive approach from the south, through wrought iron gates mounted on stone pillars between curved brick walls, onto a gravelled driveway that sweeps down to the house, with views of the valley beyond. The drive arrives at the front of the house, to a parking area, and continues between high brick walls to a parking area for many cars to the west. This links up with a more informal rear drive, and continues behind the house leading to the cottage and garaging.
The gardens and grounds compliment the house and setting. To the south of the house is a predominantly walled garden, with high south and east facing walls. This area encompasses the house, parking area, expanse of lawns, the wonderful terrace adjoining the garden room ideal for outside dining and entertaining, an ornamental pond and well stocked herbaceous beds and shrubberies. Steps up through a stone balustrade lead to further expanse of lawn which has been conveniently levelled for croquet. The majority of the land thereafter is mainly laid to lawn, with large swaths running from south to the north and with a park like appearance, dotted with fine trees as it sweeps down to water meadows in the river valley. To the north of the house is an established orchard, beyond which is the hard tennis court. The boundaries of the land are either fenced or hedged, with mature trees at various points. The gardens, much like the house, have been well-maintained and nurtured.
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This is one of those houses where you will be meandering along a country lane that is hardly used, and suddenly you will come across an amazing house that you've never noticed before and pull over to admire it. A real landmark.Ben Rivett