Sunday, 17 December 2017

Riverside land of ‘do what you wish’

library, trying out the piano in the music room, cooking up a storm in the professional

library, trying out the piano in the music room, cooking up a storm in the professional kitchen, or enjoying a cocktail in the loggia.

No? Not enough drama for you? Then how about watching the new Bourne blockbuster — or better still playing a game of Half-Life — in the fully-fitted cinema. The 20 plush seats all have cup holders, just like your local Picturehouse. There’s even a bar from where to buy your popcorn or enjoy a pre-viewing glass of wine.

And if you ever find yourself tiring of these things, you always have the house itself to fall back on. Explore curious nooks and crannies and ancient curved doorways; discover where each of the four staircases lead to; gaze in wonder at the leaded stained-glass windows; admire the carved stone mantels; marvel at the detailed plasterwork and carved wooden panelling; and admire the ingenuity of the marriage between the original block stone and ancient wood front door and minimalist glass atrium.

Needless to say, the current owner has spent rather a lot of money on his home. Most of it, it has to be said, has gone on important renovations and restorations that will stand the property in good stead in future decades.

So alongside more mundane updates such as connecting to mains drainage and replacing the entire pipe network, there are loving restorations of the plasterwork and preservations of the fireplaces. Each herringbone brick had to be removed and replaced before being sealed.



Standard Property estimates that around £2.5million has been spent on updating the property to date. Although, naturally, some of this went towards extravagances such as top of the range marble in all of the 10 bathrooms and a riverbank boardwalk that runs continuously for some 1.5 miles.

Only a few months ago, a brand new entrance to the property was created, including a long, winding shingle drive that accesses the rear garden, as well as the property having a fresh lick of paint both inside and out.

“The property is now in the best condition it can ever be,” says Matthew Mannall. “Plus you now have the choice of entering the property through the quadrangle gate or via the new drive from the rear.”

Matthew says planning permission is now in place to have the existing six-car garage block (part of the quadrangle) “properly attached” to the rest of the property — another bonus.

As for that new drive, it now means you can take in the splendour of the property when you pull up. When parked, you not only see the house at its best, but also the river, the swimming pool, and finally the meadows and woodlands beyond. The latter stretches on for around 42 acres, in fact.

Obviously, with such an extensive home, you’ll need a few people to help you keep it in top shape. Hence there are separate lodgings in the grounds — ideal if you need your gardeners to live in.

There is also a separate staff block attached to the house. Currently this is used by the live-in personal assistant of the owner. However, this accommodation set-up would work equally well for elderly parents or teenage children.

Matthew adds: “Medmenham Abbey is an exceptional home on one of the most attractive reaches of the Thames. It has so much to offer someone searching for a house with history, a setting of absolute tranquillity, and yet every modern advantage. A truly rare opportunity.”

Medmenham Abbey is on the market with Knight Frank. Offers in excess of £10,000,000 are invited. For more information or to book a viewing, call Matthew Mannall on (01491) 844900.

AT A GLANCE

• Bedrooms: nine, all en suite, including master suite which has its own study

• Bathrooms: nine en suite plus a separate spa bathroom with steam room, sauna, shower, hot tub and more

• Reception rooms: seven

• Other: entrance halls; utility room; cinema/bar wing; gym; attached housekeeper’s cottage with its own living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, utility room and downstairs WC; other outbuildings/staff buildings; garage block with planning in place to become annexed with main house; three downstairs WCs, extensive storage; second floor balcony; gym; wet dock; 42 acres of land



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