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Friday, 24 September 2021
This issue, we’re in Waltham St Lawrence, where a 16th-century half-timber house is looking for its next era, says LUCY BOON
IT’S a different pace of life in Waltham St Lawrence — the pretty Berkshire village named after its ancient church and which separates Twyford from Maidenhead.
Here, you’re off the beaten track in an olde worlde settlement replete with matching olde worlde buildings.
Much as it was when these buldings were first built, the village is surrounded by countryside as far as the eye can see.
A bit of a well-kept secret, you’re almost in another world here. And yet a commute to Twyford or Maidenhead and beyond is an easy 10 minutes.
Needless to say, residents of this cherished village guard their secret well. In fact, locals have a history of taking things into their own hands.
Village pub The Bell is a true “local”, remaining jointly owned by those who live here (the inhabitants of the parish and their heirs were made trustees in 1608 with all rents/proceeds being used to fund local charities).
Up the road — or The Street, we should say — and of the same ilk and era, this week’s property, Kellinghams, is a beautiful Grade II-listed English manor which is straight out of the history books.
Set in 1.26 acres of lush gardens and orchards, Kellinghams is approached across a sweeping gravel drive with a wide parking and turning circle.
Boundaries are well screened and the garden has a warm, informal feel to it, with charming duck pond and a mini-orchard with flowering cherry trees, as well as areas of mature oak, weeping willow, and yew. And tucked around the corner to the side of the garden is a heated swimming pool, with changing area, as well as a selection of outbuildings.
Looking at the house from the outside, you’ll enjoy the fine Elizabethan chimneys and charming herringbone bricks (replete with climbing roses and wisteria).
Inside, you’ll appreciate the wooden block flooring, multiple inglenook fireplaces, handsome windows, fine joinery and more exposed wall and ceiling beams than you can shake a tree at.
Cosy but not cramped, the ground floor layout offers five atmospheric and charismatic reception rooms, all most definitely with a few tales to tell.
Note the quirky extra low ceiling in the library, the still-working servant’s bell box in the breakfast room, and the carved stonework hearth in the drawing room.
The upstairs offers five/six bedrooms, which continue the relaxed, homely feel with views from each room.
Standard Property thinks bedroom four and the master bedroom would benefit from a reconfiguration, to create two fabulous en suites and/or dressing room (existing bedroom washbasins make plumbing less of a potential headache).
But more importantly this is a house of charm, character and curiosities — all of which should be appreciated when buying a property of this type. The most modern aspect is the bespoke kitchen, chock full of Gaggenau and Siemens, which was only recently fitted. But even in this “new” room, you’ll find quirky pantries and unexpected cupboards.
Kellinghams has been in the same family for more than 40 years. With a house of this type, upgrading and maintenance comes hand in hand. So those stunning Elizabethan chimneys will need some work.
What doesn’t need doing is the garage block. However, Standard Property thinks this area offers a very interesting prospect.
As Nick Warner at Savills, the agency marketing the property, says: “This is a genuine family house. Kellinghams has a charming feel and has been cherished, although it may benefit from some modernisation and upgrading.
“There is great potential — subject to conversion and planning permission — to convert the integral garage to make an additional informal living space or large kitchen/breakfast room if required.”
Those who love historical properties and who are interested in a country lifestyle in a charming village, with all the amenities the surrounding area can offer, will find Kellinghams a good choice. Especially for the convenience of having Heathrow Airport just 25 minutes away and central London under an hour, both via the M4 (junction eight/nine).
And with Crossrail coming to Twyford — a 10-minute drive — very soon, Waltham St Lawrence is undoubtedly a prime location for commuters.
KELLINGHAMS, THE STREET, WALTHAM ST LAWRENCE
l Bedrooms: five/six
l Bathrooms: two
l Reception rooms: four/five
l Other: swimming pool, downstairs WC, entrance hall, boot room, utility room, double garage with space over, outbuildings, stunning gardens including orchard and duck pond, Grade II-listed, country village but with good connections for a commute
l Room for improvement? Yes. The unlisted double garage offers a load of possibility for secondary accommodation or the location of a new kitchen/family room with vaulted ceiling (subject to planning)
l Land: 1.26 acres
l Space (main house only): 3,899 sq ft / 362.23 sq m
Guide price: £1,850,000
Agency: Savills on (01491) 843000
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