Sunday, 21 April 2019

Family home with a flexible layout goes back to 1400s

Family home with a flexible layout goes back to 1400s

ORDER, order! The world watches, incredulous, as Britain wrestles with itself.

In Britain, we are learning much about our particular flavour of democracy, parliamentary procedure, all the political machinations of Westminster and, perhaps, ourselves.

One of the things under intense scrutiny at the moment is the role and responsibilities of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and the power that this person has.

The Speaker is the highest authority and chief officer of the House, keeping order during debates and deciding who gets to speak and when.

Six hundred years ago, one of John Bercow’s predecessors was a charismatic and well-connected politician called Thomas Chaucer.

Chaucer was elected Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire 14 times between 1400 and 1431, and served as Speaker of the House a record-breaking five times.

Because his wife was a wealthy heiress, he built an impressive property portfolio and became Lord of the Manor of Ewelme — a quiet village close to Wallingford, around 12 miles north west of Henley.

Many of Ewelme’s remaining medieval buildings were either built or restored by Thomas Chaucer and his wife and their only daughter Alice, all of whom now rest in magnificent tombs at Ewelme’s Church of St Mary the Virgin.

A short distance from the village church in Ewelme is a lovely character property being jointly marketed by Knight Frank and Hamptons International at a guide price of £2,500,000.

The original structure of Church Barn is also believed to date back to the 15th century.

This beautiful home has a flexible layout with four first-floor bedrooms and five reception rooms — plus an extra sitting room and a study that could be used as bedrooms five and six.

The front door opens on to an attractive entrance hall with a wooden staircase and a tiled floor.

Cast your “ayes to the right” and there is a small cloakroom, a dual-aspect family room and the sitting room.

Turn your “noes to the left” and there is a handsome Mark Wilkinson kitchen decorated in orange and green with shabby chic painted cabinets, hexagonal floor tiles and a most unusual island / breakfast bar.

Beyond the entrance hall there is a comfortable space for sitting, which turns into a dining area with windows along its entire length — a fabulously light space for entertaining or relaxing with family or friends.

The slightly elevated drawing room is very spacious but cosy at the same time, with a big Portland stone feature fireplace at one end.

At the back of the house is a huge games room, almost 1,000 square feet in size, with a high vaulted ceiling.

Like much of the ground floor, this room has been designed to incorporate cream painted walls with areas of stone and brick, exposed beams and a polished wooden floor.

A spiral staircase in the corner of the games room leads up to a dedicated cinema room above.

On the first floor of Church Barn there are four good-sized bedrooms with storage units built in, and two family bathrooms.

The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and a dressing room area.

There are many skylights installed throughout this house, which has character and unique architectural features in abundance.

Matt Davies of Knight Frank estate agency in Henley said: “Church Barn occupies a wonderful position in Ewelme — it’s within walking distance of the local school and surrounded by picturesque English countryside.

“The house enjoys spacious and versatile accommodation and has been painstakingly renovated by the current owners, with a real emphasis on creating stylish reception rooms with access to the beautifully landscaped gardens.”

The private walled gardens have been smartly designed with several distinct areas, including a paved courtyard, a lawn and an area of decking with a sunken jacuzzi.

In addition — over a footpath and through a five-bar gate — the house comes with its own paddocks. So in total the grounds cover an area of almost six acres.

The house also has a double garage and a gated gravel driveway with room for turning and parking.

Church Barn is an exceptional family home in a pretty Oxfordshire village with a fascinating history.

For more information or to arrange a viewing, contact Knight Frank on (01491) 844900 or Hamptons International or (01491) 260056.

At a glance...


Bedrooms: four to six

Receptions: five to seven

Bathrooms: three

Additional features: barn conversion, games room with home cinema, landscaped garden with paddocks, decking and jacuzzi

Gross internal area: 7,066 sq ft / 656 sq m

Guide price: £2,500,000

Agents: Knight Frank on (01491) 844900 and Hamptons International on (01491) 260056