16th Century, timber framed, country home, converted 18th/20th centuries

16th Century, timber framed, country home, converted 18th/20th centuries

Caryn

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Plus d'un mois

Membre depuis 

février 2012


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4 chambres
Couchages 8
2 salles de bain
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Notre maison

We are Londoners and purchased this country home eleven years ago. The ancient county of Suffolk, homeland to some of the last British tribes to fall to the Romans, has an abundance of wood-framed Tudor era houses. Ours was a wreck that nobody in the local village wanted to take on, but we thought we might be able to resurrect.

We've loved every moment and made it our haven, a place where our children have had, and continue to have experiences that the capital, 60 miles away by road or eighty minutes by train, cannot offer.

The house is actually two cottages knocked together in the 1700s. It was built two centuries before that, probably by a wool merchant and certainly from a kit of wooden frames. Many of the main beams have numerals carved into them for simplicity of erection. The largest roof beams usually came from ancient ships broken up on the coast, about twenty miles away.

We know it has been a tavern and at another time a farm house, and overlooks farmland that begins at the edge of our large garden and continues to the horizon. Houses of the same sort of age are along the road that now passes the front gate - our neighbours are friendly and welcoming.

The house is unusual and off-kilter. The doorways are as low as they have ever been and would be a challenge for a basketball player who didn't have a spare time interest in Yoga. Children and adults of more regular proportions are fine, though there is usually a bit of cussing and head-rubbing on day one when they forget to look out for the odd beam. Much of the rear of the house dates back to about 1955, so it's not all bad news..

Having said this, there are most of the usual modern inconveniences - central heating, baths, TV, rugs, sofas, leather armchairs, sinks, a fully equipped modern kitchen with washing machine.

The various bedroom are commodious and have a variety of wooden beds, though the one on the ground floor, which has an en-suite bathroom, features a brass bedstead. Children who remain stubbornly awake at bedtime might enjoy the bunks, though there are single beds as well.

The only real warning is about use of showers. We don't have any, but then nor does the Sistine Chapel, built around the same time. We recommend stepping back in time and into a tub full of hot water.

We love it - and think you would too.

THE ABOVE IS BY MY HUSBAND. I'D LIKE TO SHARE THESE THOUGHTS..

An old cottage like ours has a certain personality: old beams make dust and cobwebs, so this is not for those needing a shiny, glossy smooth interior. Think rustic, think amazing atmospheric ancient house, to be enjoyed for it's ability to help you step back in time. My sister lives just up the road and so can be contacted in case of any questions about the way the house works and our neighbor, who lives next door in Primrose Cottages is equally helpful.

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  1. We work in the media, I'm a documentary maker for the BBC and my wife is a journalist. We love to garden,cook and read - hence the country gettaway where we share the garden with rabbits, pheasants, squirrels and even small deer. Our two daughters are urban girls and in early days made camps and swung from trees in homemade swings...both now prefer the allure of our London home, but we know any teens you bring will enjoy the novelty of walking through the fields at the back of our garden to find the tiny village of Kersey where a pint of ale and homemade food awaits in the popular and historic pub, nestled amongst medieval homes, one of which began life in the 1400's.

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Localisation

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We'd recommend flying in to London and making the journey east by road - it's simple, direct and in daylight, glorious. There is parking for several cars in the front of the house.

This home is an experience for people with a sense of history, but is sited near enough to the port city of Ipswich for those who want modern shopping experiences, cinema, theatre and restaurants. The real fine dining, however, is to had in the numerous villages and especially their ancient pubs, that are sprinkled liberally about the area. There are Farm Shops and Farmers' Markets aplenty. And the spectacular village of Lavenham is 9 miles away, not to be missed for its abundance of medieval housing and shops.

The village of Hadleigh is a ten minute walk away (there is also a road, of course), and is a disturbingly rare example of a Great British High Street. It's bristling with ancient buildings and businesses owned by families. The place is stocked with a citizenry whose conversation and attitudes are very similar to those of their ancestors who left to establish similar hamlets in Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut: earthy, good-humoured and frequently incomprehensible.

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