Saturday, February 24, 2024

Five of the Best – Characterful Cottages; From £300,000 to £1.75 million

Matthew Steeples selects five characterful English cottages currently for sale priced from £300,000 to £1.75 million

In the past we’ve featured all manner of cottages for sale – from a 14th century one offered for just £1 to a detached one in East London for just £180,000.


Today, including one being sold by one of our most enthusiastic subscribers Clare Leakey, we feature five of the best currently on offer:


West End Cottage, Wedmore, Somerset – Offers in excess of £326,000 ($409,800, €375,400 or درهم1.5 million)

West End Cottage, Quab Lane, Wedmore, Somerset, BS28 4AR Main
West End Cottage, Quab Lane, Wedmore, Somerset, BS28 4AR Extra pictures

Situated in a Somerset village that has produced five first-class cricketers including Lancashire and England wicketkeeper Jos Butler (born 1990), this detached house is marketed by SmoothSale as “a beautiful two bedroom ‘chocolate box’ country cottage.”


Compact yet cosy, the main attraction here is a 22-foot length sitting room with an inglenook fireplace and bread oven at one end and a natural stone fireplace at the other. It also includes a kitchen with a Rangemaster oven, a study and would make an ideal Airbnb given its proximity to Glastonbury and its annual festival.


Court Cottage, Shimpling, Suffolk – £600,000 ($754,000, €691,000 or درهم2.8 million)

Court Cottage, The Street, Shimpling, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 4HS Main
Court Cottage, The Street, Shimpling, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 4HS Extra Photos

Another ‘chocolate box’ cottage comes in the form of Court Cottage – an 18th century detached property in a “highly regarded south Suffolk village” near Bury St Edmunds where one of Margaret Thatcher’s most trusted political advisers, David Hart, “lived-in-style” prior to his death in 2011.


Offered by Jackson-Stops, this 1,615 square foot thatched building includes 2 reception rooms, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It also has a “fabulous” dining kitchen, a garage with a room above, an electric car charging point and a lawned garden.


Court Cottage last sold for £495,000 in May 2021, for £340,000 in October 2010, for £380,000 in October 2007 and for just £176,000 in October 1998.


1 Bird in Hand Street, Old Groombridge, East Sussex – £695,000 ($873,300, €800,500 or درهم3.2 million)

1 Bird in Hand Street, Old Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex, TN3 9QJ Main
1 Bird in Hand Street, Old Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex, TN3 9QJ Extra Pictures

Sold previously for £540,000 in July 2015 and £495,000 in June 2010, this Grade II listed semi-detached cottage dates to the 17th century and overlooks a village green. It has 2 reception rooms, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is described by agents Knight Frank as offering “characterful family accommodation over three floors.”


Curiously, the property has a “flying freehold” since the neighbour’s bathroom overhangs the property’s ground floor utility room and a “creeping freehold” since its cellar lies beneath the adjoining property’s living area.


Llangain, Dorstone, Herefordshire – £695,000 ($873,300, €800,500 or درهم3.2 million)

Llangain, Dorstone, Herefordshire, HR3 6AG Main
Llangain, Dorstone, Herefordshire, HR3 6AG Extra Pictures

For the same sum, just 3.5 miles from the market town of Hay-on-Wye – famed as “the town of books” – this 18th century restored cottage on ½ acre is available freehold. It is situated close to the Golden Valley village of Dorstone – a settlement best known for its annual sloe gin competition where each year the winner is crowned the ‘Grand Master of the Sloes.’


Llangain, a farmhouse that was derelict from the First World War until 1995, itself has 4 bedrooms and in addition there is a 1-bedroom barn conversion. Agents Knight Frank laud the property as being in a “picturesque setting” and having “amazing views.”


Willow Cottage, Bethersden, Kent – £1.75 million ($2.20 million, €2.01 million or درهم8.07 million)

Willow Cottage, Bethersden, Ashford, Kent, TN26 3EE Main
Willow Cottage, Bethersden, Ashford, Kent, TN26 3EE Extra Pictures

Situated in a village best known for producing rather ritzy rocking horses for everyone from the late Queen Elizabeth II to Sir Paul McCartney, Willow Cottage is being marketed by Strutt & Parker as having “evolved from the picturesque period cottage at its heart, and from which it derives its somewhat understated name” into an “elegant 4,800 square foot family house.”


Situated on a plot of 16.5 acres and last sold for £400,000 in July 1998, this 5-bedroomed residence comes with a separate 2-bedroomed ‘guest barn’ and also has a tennis court, a swimming pool, stabling, garaging, gardens and paddocks. A “picturesque pond” currently provides opportunity for Wind in the Willows-esque Messing About in a Boat, as our main photograph suggests.


Editor’s note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples and watch his current nightly show on YouTube at 8.30pm daily.

A message from our editorial team – Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus and the cost-of-living crisis impacts our advertisers. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by supporting our work via Patreon.


Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.



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