Friday, 22 February 2019

Victorian gem puts you in the swim of Sonning

Victorian gem puts you in the swim of Sonning

A HEARTY Victorian property on the river at Sonning is on the market with Ballards at a guide price of £1,650,000.

Cedar Cottage is tucked away in the centre of the village and has four bedrooms, a good-sized garden, a swimming pool and its own river mooring.

Discreetly nestled between Henley and Reading, Sonning is a fairy-tale, quintessentially English village, with its narrow winding streets, cute timber-framed cottages and ivy-covered brick walls.

It has more than its share of historically interesting buildings. The Church of St Andrew is said to date back to Saxon times as a place of worship, although the current building was constructed in the 11th century and refurbished in Victorian times.

The Mill at Sonning has a rich and colourful history dating back to the 18th century. When it closed in 1969, it was one of the last few remaining flour mills on the Thames.

The building lay forgotten and derelict until it was renovated and reopened as a theatre in 1982, and it now entertains a loyal audience of dinner-theatre guests all year round.

The prime minister, Theresa May, lives in Sonning. Going home to this tranquil oasis of privacy and low-key village life must be a welcome change from the world’s stage and all the goings-on at Westminster.

Other famous residents of the village include Hollywood A-lister George Clooney and his wife Amal, a leading human rights lawyer, who live there with their twin toddlers Ella and Alexander.

Since moving to their £10 million Grade II listed riverside home Aberlash House in 2014, the Clooneys have become part of the community, socialising at local pubs and restaurants and sometimes meeting with actors playing at the Mill.

Sonning has a quietly buzzing social scene and a handful of popular pubs and restaurants, including the French Horn, the Bull Inn and the Coppa Club on Thames Street.

Cedar Cottage is set back from Thames Street with space for parking and a garage.

The rooms are arranged in a flexible layout, with some well-preserved character features such as Victorian fireplaces and intricately carved wall panelling, and there is plenty of scope for remodelling and updating.

The front of the house has two beautiful bowed bay windows at either side of a yellow door that opens on to a paved terrace, with steps leading down to the garden and the riverfront.

The entrance hall is to the side of the house and features a lovely wooden parquet floor and access to the downstairs bedroom and a cloakroom.

The dining room has an ornate staircase that leads up to the first floor, where there is an en suite master bedroom with a dressing room, two further bedrooms, a shower room and a family bathroom.

There is a study off the dining room and a large living room, both of which have eye-catching fireplaces, some magnificent dark wood panelling and views over the garden.

The L-shaped kitchen-breakfast room is fitted with built-in cupboards and kitchen units, and leads down to a lobby with an outside door and a cloakroom.

Outside is a mature garden with a wide lawn, shrubs, some tall trees including a glorious cedar, and a hedge that provides privacy from the towpath that runs along the river.

The garden features several terraced areas for dining and socialising outside and leads down to a gate that provides access to the property’s boat mooring.

There is a swimming pool at one side of the house, and also a tennis court that is in need of some attention.

Cedar Cottage is a substantial property in the heart of one of the most picture-perfect villages in Berkshire.

Sonning has the only bridge over the Thames between Caversham and Henley, giving easy access to Reading, the A33 south, the M4 motorway and Twyford railway station.

For more information on Cedar Cottage or to arrange a viewing, call Ballards on (01491) 411055.

At a glance...


Bedrooms: four

Bathrooms: three

Receptions: three

Gross internal area: 2,336 sq ft / 217 sq m

Guide price: £1,650,000

Agent: Ballards on (01491) 411055


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