A magnificent Grade II listed Elizabethan house dating back to the late 16th century
Atmospheric and enchanting, Dovecote House is a magnificent Grade II listed Elizabethan house dating back to the late 16th century as indicated by a plaque on the south side of the house inscribed 1598.
A splendid old oak front door opens onto an impressive stone tiled hall with dining room and kitchen off to each side leading to a lovely wide staircase, part panelled and lit by the cupola above, a rather special feature of the house. Of particular note is the large panelled drawing room at the end of the hall with westerly views over the formal gardens and southerly views towards the church over the charming sunken garden. The drawing room's focal point is the magnificent open fireplace with exposed brickwork, stone surround and intricate linen fold carved fluting within the panels, a wonderful example of Jacobean craftsmanship. A similar sized fireplace is to be found in the dining room, hence the impressive octagonal chimneystacks more than two meters high on the east wing of the roof above. The drawing room connects the west wing of the house via a short flight of steps leading to a back hall with access to the smaller sitting room. A staircase off the back hall leads directly to the impressive principal bedroom suite.
Whilst retaining some wonderful period features, the house also benefits from contemporary touches. All the fitted carpets are new. The bathrooms, four in total including an en suite shower room, have all been refitted. The kitchen including an electric two oven Aga, is handmade in maple with granite worktops, a painted dresser and finished with Fired Earth tiles.
The house is approached by electrically operated gates opening to a driveway passing the main entrance to the house into the garaging courtyard with ample space for parking. The generous garage with power and lighting is brick with a pantile roof and adjoining storeroom. At the end of the drive stands the cottage, also of brick with a pantile roof and extending to 1688 square feet (please see floorplans). The cottage requires complete renovation but offers great potential for a variety of uses subject to the normal planning consents.
Towards the back of the main house adjacent to the kitchen/breakfast rooms is a walled herb garden that leads to the main garden via a small passageway. On the far east side of the house is the former kitchen garden with uninterrupted views of the church. To the west of the house there is an attractive paved terrace with rose borders and box hedging opening onto a wide lawned area with a rose covered pergola and ornamental pond screened by a large mature yew hedge with topiary. Adjacent is a further lawn with herbaceous border edged by a mellow brick wall. Beyond is an area of informal garden with a variety of mature trees leading to an orchard. The gardens and grounds extend to about 3.5 acres.
Robert Butler, an Elizabethan merchant, built the house opposite St Peter's Church in 1598. As a benefactor to the church and village, his grave can be seen in the main aisle beside the altar.
Notable later owners included the Reverend Henry Staveley, Rector of St Peter's and tutor to the royal children at nearby Sandringham (the Queen's Norfolk residence) in the early years of the 20th century. Queen Mary, wife of King George V and mother to the children, visited Dovecote House when she attended St Peter's.
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A magnificent Grade II listed Elizabethan house.Louis de Soissons