Want to play Property Flirt?
Come and have a nosey around this splendid, six bed, Grade II listed Georgian house with glorious walled garden in Wells – and then guess the price.
On the market for the first time in 10 years, No 14 Chamberlain Street has the feel of a country house but it’s in the heart of a city – albeit the city is no noisy, traffic-clogged urban sprawl but the small and perfectly formed Cathedral city of Wells.
The understated exterior of the six bed, Grade II listed Georgian property belies the glories within. Lovingly restored and improved by the current owners, the house and grounds have everything needed for comfortable contemporary living whilst retaining all of their – considerable – period charm and atmosphere.
Shall we have a wander?
Let’s start at the heart of the house, in the large, light-filled reception hall. The stairs are perfect for making a grand entrance – or sliding down the bannisters. Take a closer look at the photos on the wall, they’re taken from the original production of The Rocky Horror Show, in which one of the owners starred.
The drawing room overlooks the rear terrace through a huge bay window. Love the original cornicing.
Impressive wood panelling in this reception room, with a woodburner for cosy evenings.
Into your books? You’ll lurve the library.
Slope off to the bright and airy study (sure to be condusive to productivity, or at least that’s the theory).
The dining room is rather special, with French windows out onto a terrace, roof lantern (cool chandelier) and stone floor. Just don’t drop your glass (hic!).
From the dining room, head into the modern country-style kitchen, which the current owners cleverly converted from old outbuildings. Those are bespoke Chalon fitted cupboards and American walnut worktops you’re looking at, plus an eclectic mix of freestanding pieces. Look out onto the garden as you prepare food, wash up or ponder the meaning of life over the kitchen sink.
On a practical note, there’s also a downstairs cloakroom, coat cupboard, utility room, tool store, slate-shelved larder cupboard and an undercroft (posh name for a half-height cellar running under part of the house) and maybe where you could store your wine.
Stairs from the main reception lead up to the elegant galleried landing, with light pouring in from the roof lantern or oculus above. Somewhere to put the family portraits?
There are three double bedrooms and three bathrooms up here, including this glorious main bedroom – formerly a drawing room, hence the 12 feet high ceiling and grand marble and granite fireplace – and spacious bathroom with freestanding bath (natch).
The other two bedrooms aren’t bad either.
Go up another floor for three more bedrooms – one of which sits within the apex of the roof – and a bathroom. Turn this space into a funky self-contained apartment and park your teenager up there?
Let’s head outside to the third of an acre walled garden.
Wend your way along little pathways through herbaceous perennials, grasses and established trees (including a ginkgo, one of the oldest trees in the world); admire the sculpture by US-now-Somerset-based artist Candace Bahouth; water feature; find a seat on one of the little suntrap terraces; tend your veg patch or fire up the outdoor pizza oven.
Head down to the little blue summer house.
Put the finishing touches to your novel (or have a snooze) by the wood-burning stove.
There are very few houses in central Wells with their own private parking but here you’ve parking for three cars.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Slap bang in the centre of Wells, you’re super close to England’s smallest Cathedral, the historic Bishop’s Palace and Vicars’ Close (said to be the oldest surviving residential street in Europe). Lots of indie shops and main chains (including Waitrose), a twice-weekly market, restaurants and pubs, good primary schools and the excellent state The Blue School (founded in 1641) and independent Wells Cathedral School.
Wells is becoming renowned for its annual food, comedy, literary and other arts festivals. The current owner co-founded the Wells Food Festival and is the chair of Wells Art Contemporary. Musical concerts at the Cathedral and Cathedral school which has several concert halls; regular shows and comedy nights in the Little Theatre. Wells has a strong community spirit and there’s always loads to get involved with, if that’s your bag.
You’re within commuting distance of Bath (21 miles) and Bristol (22 miles). Get to London Paddington by train in about an hour and a half from Castle Cary (13 miles) and the rest of the world from Bristol airport (a 30-min drive).