Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Riverside property is simply oarsome

With preparations well underway for Henley Royal Regatta, all eyes will be turning to the river over the next few

With preparations well underway for Henley Royal Regatta, all eyes will be turning to the river over the next few weeks.

This week we features a property which makes the most of its river views and whose boathouse has been featured in many books.

Middle Wharf is a unique home which once formed part of a much larger house, ‘Riverside’, and is set in about 0.4 of an acre on the River Thames with approximately 100 ft of river frontage, full private mooring and a jetty.

The house has been tastefully renovated and recently decorated both internally and externally to an exacting standard to include an Andrew Lord (a local artisan) kitchen, with riveted finished granite.

Other notable features include under floor heating, oak wooden floors, limestone flooring from Artisans of Devizes and computerised mood lighting from Rako fitted by DPA Lighting.

Paul and Katie Conroy moved to the property 10 years ago with their son and daughter but with the children both leaving the nest, the couple decided it was time for a change.

Mr Conroy said: “It breaks my heart as we have adored living here.

“I first saw the house 35 years ago when the previous owner, someone I knew well bought it.

“I was lucky enough to spend time going up and down the river from the property and then the owner gave me first refusal when it came time for them to move on I jumped at the chance.”

Much work has been done on the property over the years with interior designer Mrs Conroy’s eye for colours and style very much in evidence.

There are two well proportioned ensuite bedrooms, the large master suite being upstairs with a dressing room and en-suite bathroom.

The delightful kitchen has a large dining area opening up to a terrace for alfresco dining and there is a tremendous domed drawing room, formerly the original ballroom from the main house, with high arched fanlight French doors opening out on to the lawn and gardens which are perfect for entertaining on a grand scale.

The very secluded gardens feature a delightful fish pond with fountain, a woodland walkway and two sets of steps either side of the boathouse to the lower lawn and river with seating on which to watch the world go by on the river.

The gardens have been well stocked and played host to many parties over the years with perfect space for a large marquee.

The house also benefits from its own private driveway with bespoke made electric gates fully fitted into the high brick walls to ensure privacy and security for at least three cars.

Of special note is the absolutely charming Queen Anne Revival Grade II listed boathouse built in 1882 for GD Leslie RA, designed by Christopher and White of Bloomsbury Square, London and built by J Weller of Wallingford.

The boathouse has a delightful veranda, lovely detail in and out, casement windows and is enhanced by a glazed cupola with a ball topped weathervane.

The boathouse is heated with electric oil fired Bisque radiators. The views across the river and the meadows beyond are far reaching.

It has also regularly been featured in the popular Midsomer Murders series over the years.

The house sits conveniently in the old part of Wallingford adjacent to the beautiful St Leonard’s Church and the Thames Path. It also benefits from being in close proximity to the shops and local amenities all within walking distance.

Mr Conroy added: “The location is just perfect you are very much a part of the town with all the facilities and amenities but when you come into the property you are in your own little world very quiet and private.”

For the keen rower or boating enthusiasts, both Wallingford and Oxford Boat Clubs are very close by and Oxford University regularly train their crews up and down this stretch of the river as it is one of the longest stretches between locks on the River Thames.

Middle Wharf and the boathouse feature heavily in many books and articles about boathouses on the Thames and recently featured prominently in a new book called Boathouses by Claire Sherriff, and the Grade II listing was given because it ranks as one of the finest boathouses of its period on the River Thames.

Mr Conroy, a consultant for record companies, whose office is just up the road from the house concluded: “We have created many happy memories here which we will take with us but it is time for us to move on and for someone else to enjoy the beauty of our home.”

The property is available through Sotheby’s International Realty for a guide price of £2,250,000.

For more details, call (01491) 410673.

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