Monday, 27 September 2021

Nettlebed’s a place for folk of all sorts, not just music

Once again, Standard Property is focusing on the village of Nettlebed â?? a thriving community with

Once again, Standard Property is focusing on the village of Nettlebed â?? a thriving community with a population of 727, according to the last census. We went in search of properties for sale and to rent.

FOLK music fans for miles around will know the Village Club in the High Street as the home of the Nettlebed Folk Club 7mdash; or the Nettlebed Folk Song Club to use its full name.

By day, though, the hub of the village is the Field Kitchen café/shop/post office, and the local landmark is still the giant pottery kiln â?? the only one left from the village’s brick-making days.

Nettlebed also has a pretty church, St Bartholomew’s, pub-hotel the White Hart, a modern doctors’ surgery with plenty of parking, the Sue Ryder hospice at Joyce Grove, and even a petrol station that stays open late if you need to grab some milk.

Residents choose to live in Nettlebed for all these reasons, plus being close enough to Henley to make use of its facilities and access to the M4.

But most importantly, house hunters looking in more pricey Henley will find that if they just move their search here, four and a half miles to the north west, they can get a lot more brick for their buck.

With this in mind, Standard Property picked out a few options, the best of which has to be stunning Red Lion House, just oozing with history...

RED Lion House is a rather beautiful Georgian townhouse with Elizabethan bones (or should that be skeletons?). Believed to date back to the 1400s, it comes as no surprise to find it is Grade II listed.

The name comes from its former identity as a coaching inn â?? it formed one along with the Barn and Red Lion Cottage next door â?? although it has worn many faces during its 700 years, including a bailiff’s house, a tea house, a picture gallery, a B&B, and an antiques showroom.

Currently home to Steve and Jane Carr, young son Hugo, and two labradors, Scout and Frank, Red Lion House has happily settled into its present incarnation as a comfortable family home, giving a nod of acknowledgment to its past with exposed beams, wooden shutters, fireplaces and more.

“Much of the history is still evident,” said Jane. “The original barrel drop runs down into the cellar and the inglenook fireplace has a bread oven. A beam exposed around 40 years ago revealed a hand-painted illustration believed to date back to Tudor times when travelling artists would visit local inns and paint the beams as a form of decoration, like early wallpaper.

“We had been looking for extra space and a more family friendly environment, whilst not feeling cut off or remote, and were lucky enough to find Red Lion House. It had been converted into a private home around 40 years ago and we moved in in February 2006.

“The Georgian proportions offer high ceilings and large rooms giving a real feeling of space and light. However, the house was in need of some modernisation when we arrived.”

The Carrs were quick to get stuck into this, while ensuring the character of the house remained intact. “As the house is listed we had to carefully update the kitchen, bathrooms, electrics, lighting and exterior of the house,” said Jane. “We had wooden shutters built to match the existing ones, and removed carpets to reveal the original wide floorboards.

“The house is full of charm and period features and we have tried to ensure that character comes through in every room.”

The accommodation runs over four floors, including a cellar (which has potential for further conversions); a first floor with a large sitting room, two double bedrooms and a bathroom; and a second floor with three double bedrooms and a bathroom. Not forgetting the all-important ground floor (more on which very shortly).

Jane said: “We love the flexibility of the space in Red Lion House. Over the years the house has evolved with us and we have redecorated and reinvented rooms to suit our needs.

“For example, the first floor sitting room has been used as a playroom and home office but is currently a library and bar. What is now used as a dressing room used to be our son’s bedroom when he was younger and one of the bedrooms on the second floor is currently a games room/teenager’s den.”

The ground floor has a drawing room (Standard Property loves the large inglenook fireplace), and a family/dining room which opens through to the kitchen, which is simply stunning.

The Carrs have fitted it with iroko-topped handmade units, as well as installing an Aga. As with most Georgian houses, the kitchen has a large walk-in pantry. Unlike most Georgian houses, there is also a utility/cloakroom.

“Our favourite room is the family/dining room which leads into the kitchen,” said Jane.

“We spend most of our time in here and you can be in the kitchen without being cut off from conversation.

“This is the room where papers are read, homework is done, emails are sent, meals are eaten, friends gather and dogs lie snoring in the corner.”

Outside, the garden is south-facing and backs on to woodland so it’s a lovely place to be.

“We redesigned the garden to make it more family friendly,” said Jane. At the end of the garden, double gates give access to a parking area.

“When we first saw Red Lion House after leaving London, we instantly fell for its charms,” said Jane. “The flow of rooms works really well for family living and is a great social home for entertaining guests â?? in fact, we will miss the social aspect of the house most of all. The house is in the heart of a very welcoming village and offers wonderful space for entertaining both inside and out. But with Steve working away from home during the week and Hugo now at boarding school we have decided to downsize â?? although we’ll stay as local to Nettlebed as possible.

“There is amazing countryside on our doorstep and I love being able to walk out of the house straight into the gardens of Joyce Grove and the wonderful footpaths beyond. We also benefit from many school buses stopping across the road, meaning it is easy to avoid having to do the school run.”

For sale with Savills at a guide price of £950,000. Call (01491) 843000 for more information.

REMEMBER that giant pottery kiln, mentioned earlier? If you’re driving into Nettlebed from Henley, you can’t miss it. And just in front of it? This neutrally decorated rental property that’s currently looking for new inhabitants.

Comprising kitchen, cloakroom, two reception rooms, four bedrooms, (one en suite), a family bathroom, double garage and mature enclosed garden, Kiln House is a property that will make it easy for you to take Nettlebed living for a test drive.

Newly decorated and with new carpets, this is a Seventies house so the proportions are large, there’s plenty of light, and there are a few quirky retro touches such as a stone-surround fireplace in the living room and a dining hatch in the dining room.

The pretty garden is a decent size for a family, too, plus the driveway can take up to two cars.

For rent with Robinson Sherston at £1,850pcm. Call (01491) 411911 for more information.

Meanwhile, in nearby Catslip.

“Over 2,000 sq ft, at an asking price of £765,000, represents good value for money”

WANT to be more remote? Take a short stroll over to one-road Catslip, where there is currently a property for sale that demonstrates great value for money.

Originally a bungalow from the Thirties, Arlanza has space a plenty for those looking for a breath of fresh country air, seeing as there is an upper floor and an attached garage which also houses a utility room.

Comprising kitchen, three to four reception rooms, three to four bedrooms, two bathrooms and boot room, the house needs a bit of updating, but it’s really the proportions and setting that are the main draw.

This is a private and tranquil spot, the gardens are large and mature, and there is a good-sized drive â?? all things you simply won’t get in a town centre property of this type.

And yet the amenities of Nettlebed are still accessible.

Philip Booth, who is marketing the property, said: “Arlanza is a fabulous family home, situated in an idyllic, tucked away, semi-rural location on the southern edge of Nettlebed village.

“It’s just a stone’s throw from open countryside, with footpaths and woodland walks just metres away. The property offers deceptively spacious, flexible accommodation of over 2,000 sq ft which, at an asking price of £765,000, represents good value for money.”

Just remember, you will need some cash left over for redecoration. (See the next, albeit larger, Catslip property for an idea of what can be achieved.)

For sale with Philip Booth Esq at a price of £765,000. Call (01491) 635343 for more information. Joint agent with Peers & Hilton.

“Approached over a private lane it’s been extended to maximise the views”

A FINE example of a property that has been sculpted into a dream home, Yew Tree Cottage was originally a pair of 19th-century cottages.

Having been thoughtfully extended by the current owners it now makes a quality family house comprising a cloakroom, three reception rooms, a lovely kitchen, four bedrooms (one en suite), and a family bathroom, alongside stunning gardens, great views and a very large drive.

Giles Robinson at the Henley branch of Robinson Sherston, which is marketing the property, said: “Approached over a private lane, the pictures don’t do this place justice. It’s in tip top condition â?? a bespoke kitchen with granite working surfaces has been recently fitted â?? and the house has been extended to maximise not only the accommodation, but also the views down the valley. There is also further scope to extend should it be required.”

He’s referring to the fact that the house comes with planning permission already in place for an open “cart shed-style” double garage with log store.

For sale with Robinson Sherston at a guide price of £1,495,000. Call (01491) 411911 for more information.

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