Want to play property flirt?
It may not be Brideshead but Evelyn Waugh's former Somerset home is still an impressive pad, with elegant rooms, extensive grounds, pool and separate cottage. Ready for a snoop?
Fancy walking in the footsteps (or sleeping in the bedroom) of one of the greatest satirical writers of the 20th century? Say hello to Combe Florey House, a beautiful country mansion in the village of Combe Florey in Taunton, Somerset. Home to author Evelyn Waugh (and later, his son journalist Aubrey), sold by the Waugh family to the current owners in 2008 – and now on the market.
The Grade II listed 18th century manor house that dates back even earlier, may not be as grand as Waugh’s famous Brideshead Castle but still comes in at nearly 22,000 square feet, with an impressive main house stuffed with original period features, a separate three-bed cottage, several workshops/garages, a summer house/party barn and swimming pool, and is set in almost 35 acres.
The house retains many of its original features – elegant high ceilings, cornicing, panelled walls and doors, fireplaces, original wood and stone floors – and has a formal drawing room, library (for your collection of Evelyn Waugh and back copies of Grazia) and dining room. Yet the more relaxed sitting room, family room, study (where you can write your own novel), kitchen/breakfast room, family room and boot room ensure the place still has a lovely family feel.
A large orangery on the ground floor in the centre of the house makes for a great dining or party room.
The kitchen combines modern and traditional cabinets and cupboards made from American walnut with stainless steel and granite work surfaces and has high end appliances, including a four-oven Aga, Miele microwave, fridge freezer, two dishwashers and a larder cupboard.
There’s plenty of room for extended fam and guests, with twelve (yep!) bedrooms and assorted bathrooms spread over the first and second floors, including a principle suite overlooking the grounds with an en-suite bathroom and two dressing rooms. Copper or roll top bath? You decide.
This place is just packed with character: even the boiler room, large laundry/utility room, two wine cellars (one is simply never enough dahling) and two store rooms down in the basement have vaulted ceilings and stone floors.
Outside, you can stroll around formal gardens and lawns, courtyards, three walled gardens and undulating parkland, pasture and woodland beyond – a total of almost 35 acres.
We’re heading poolside, down to the summer house (or party barn?) with kitchen, cloakrooms, high roof, stone floors and tall glass doors opening out onto the swimming pool terrace. Why would you want to leave home for your hols when you have this in your back garden?
To the north of the house is the beautiful Keeper’s Cottage with hall, sitting room with wood burner, kitchen, three bedrooms and bathroom. Never mind the big’ ouse, we’ll take this!
Plenty of garages and workshops with double coach house doors arranged in an L shape for vehicles, exciting projects, maybe a small business or three?
Location, location, location
Combe Florey is a pretty village with church, village hall and a thatched pub serving above average food, about 7.5 miles north west of Taunton (for shopping, eating, a direct train to Paddington in 1hr 44mins and the M5 to London).
You’re close to the glories of the Quantock Hills and the moorland, coast and International Dark Skies Reserve of the Exmoor National Park.
Lots of good independent schools nearby including Taunton School, Queen’s College Taunton, Wellington School, King’s College Taunton. Sightly further away but still do-able are Sherborne School, Sherborne Prep and Millfield.
You’ve had a nose, now what say you to the price?
Leave your guesses in the comments below and then head over to the Strutt & Parker website to find out if you were right.