One reason to live in Somerset…
...the amazing houses! Like this vast Victorian vicarage with glorious grounds in a Somerset village not far from England's smallest city of Wells.
Remember how to play? We all have a snoop around someone else’s place and then you guess the price. Winner gets a virtual bottle of bubbly.
We got out the Muddy drone for this beauty. Hidden from the road and set at the top of a drive, The Old Vicarage feels nicely secluded but it’s in the friendly village of Henton and England’s smallest city of Wells is just four miles away. The house dates back to 1896 and is built from a local stone called blue lias, which isn’t really blue and often – excitingly for kids – contains fossils.
Shall we go in? After you…
The hall, with its high ceilings and original tiled floor, is about the same size as your average sitting room.
Three receptions: dining room, study (with original fireplace and a door to the garden) and a sitting room, packed with original features like the cornicing, marble fireplace and sash bay windows with views out into the gardens. Despite being a characterful 122 years old, the house isn’t actually listed (handy if you want to do works).
The kitchen/breakfast room – neat new units, wooden worktops and a trad, two-oven, cast iron Everhot cooking range (Agas aren’t the only fruit) – has a separate utility room. If you need more storage for all those jams and chutneys you could be making, there’s a pantry, larder and other store rooms just off or nearby.
Upstairs, six double bedrooms – some with original fireplaces and all with garden views – two family bathrooms and a little book-lined study area, all come off the landing.
Outside, the south-facing gardens are impressive: flower beds, mature trees, pond, secret spots to sit and sweeping lawns – anyone for a game of croquet? You’re all sorted for fruit and veg, with raised vegetable beds to the front of the house and a little apple orchard to the East.
You’ve got your own meadow full of wild flowers and grasses beyond the garden. Spot the little building to the right of the main house? That’s the original coach house – ripe for conversion to a one-bed annex for guests or grannies – or a studio for that business you’d been meaning to set up?
Lots going on in the village to help you get to know the neighbours, with shops (including a butcher) and two excellent pubs about four miles away in Wedmore. The same distance in the other direction is Wells, with Waitrose, indy shops and chains, cafes, restaurants, a twice-weekly market and the magnificent mediaeval Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace and Vicars’ Close (said to be the oldest surviving residential street in Europe). Wells is a bit of a cultural hot spot with regular comedy, literary and arts festivals attracting big names, and a food festival. School wise: musical kids head straight for Wells Cathedral School (with big names performing at their new concert hall), other excellent schools nearby include Millfield, Downside, All Hallows prep and Wells Blue Secondary School. Countryside ready to explore all around; sailing on nearby Chew Valley Lake; and for a city fix (or commute) Bath or Bristol are about an hour’s drive.
So, how much do you reckon this pretty pile will set you back? Let us know below and then click here to see if you were right.