Monday, 17 January 2022

Timbered cottage offers work from home option

Timbered cottage offers work from home option

A TIMBER-FRAMED cottage that is thought to date back to the early 15th century is on the market in Sonning.

With four double bedrooms and two bathrooms, the Old Cottage in Pearson Road is Grade II listed but has been recently refurbished.

The vendors, who own another house in the village on which they are having work done, have been living in the Old Cottage since May.

Among the property’s more unusual features are a number of decorative carved wooden heads and a carved panel that are reputedly from the former bishop’s palace at Sonning, which was sold to Elizabeth I before falling into disrepair.

With two staircases leading up to the first floor, there is also speculation that the Old Cottage might at one time have been two separate dwellings.

In keeping with the property’s age, there is a cellar that is accessed via a hatch in what is now the ground floor study.

The vendor said: “My husband, who is a big wine connoisseur, has got his wine stored down there.

“You lift up the hatch and you have to hold it while somebody goes down. But there are wooden steps — a wooden ladder sort of thing.

“You could maybe put a spiral staircase down there if you wanted better access. I’m sure there would be something you could do.”

The house fronts directly on to the road, so there is a wrought iron pedestrian gate at the side of the property, next to which is a double garage and store.

The vendor said: “One thing that would sell it to me, if I was coming to look at this property, is that it’s south-facing, so your garden gets all-day sunshine, which for me is really important.

“Because it is a cottage, it’s just nice that you’re getting sunshine at the back of it.

“You’ve also got ample parking. Although Pearson Road is quiet compared with Thames Street and the other streets in Sonning, it can be busy for parking and you’ve a really large garage and two parking spaces on your driveway. The next person coming along might not mind if they have to park on the street, but for me it’s really frustrating when you come back with a load of shopping and you can’t park up by the house.”

While the garage as currently configured helps with parking, the vendor thinks that whoever ends up buying the cottage may have other priorities.

She said: “Because it’s so big, I think the garage has got massive potential for a home office.

“With covid and everything, people want to be able to work from home and the garage isn’t incorporated into the house, so if you are somebody that works all day from home and you’ve got a young family, if you converted the garage to a home office you’re shut away separate from the main house, which can be quite appealing to some.”

At the side of the property, a solid hardwood door opens on to the entrance hall, with its distinctive chequerboard tiled floor.

A set of carpeted stairs lead up to a landing, off which are two of the four bedrooms, plus a newly fitted bathroom with a tiled
walk-in shower, WC, wash hand basin and heated towel rail.

Back downstairs, the entrance hall opens on to the large double-aspect sitting room with leaded windows at the front and rear.

This is a cosy space with timber beams, engineered wooden flooring, an inglenook fireplace in exposed brick, a
low-level storage cupboard and glazed double doors opening on to the paved garden patio.

The vendor said: “It has got a really good-sized garden. For anyone coming out of central London or a city, this garden is positively huge. It is mostly laid to lawn and has got an ornate pond — it is lovely. It is a very healthy-sized private garden.”

Also opening on to the rear garden patio is an inner hallway off the sitting room. This is home to the second staircase, which leads up to the larger two of the four bedrooms.

While not strictly en suite, the first of these is situated right next to the bright and spacious family bathroom. This boasts a free-standing claw-foot bath set into a windowed recess overlooking the back garden. There is also a newly fitted walk-in shower, wash hand basin with tiled splashback, WC, wood-effect laminate flooring and a radiator with towel rail.

The other bedroom is a large double, carpeted with windows to the front and opening on to a separate dressing room which has fitted shelving, mirrored cupboards and a rear window.

From this bedroom, a low-level doorway leads through a beamed wall to the front bedroom on the other side of the property.

Downstairs, the ground floor is completed by the study, the dining room and the kitchen, which leads through to a breakfast/utility room.

The vendor and her husband have now lived in Sonning for 17 years and in their main residence — the house that is currently being refurbished — for the past 11 and a half years.

She said: “I think it’s a great community here. Covid changed it but I’m sure it will all start to come back. We’ve got the Sonning Regatta and the scarecrow trail, we’ve got a beautiful shop — the Village Hamper, now run by Kathy Drogemuller — which is a little café. It’s open seven days a week, so if you need anything she’s normally got it.

“My husband drinks in the Bull on a Friday evenings, so we’ve got quite a lot of friends that we’ve made through that.

“We don’t go to church ourselves but the church does play a big role in Sonning for a lot of people, and it is involved with the schools — Reading Blue Coat and the village primary.” The vendor also appreciates the ready convenience of Sonning’s transport links.

She said: “For me, you’ve got great access to rail to get into London or even to get down south. My family aren’t local, so the rail links and the motorway are quite important because I use them a lot.

“It’s great to be able to jump on a train to London. You don’t even have to go into the centre of Reading — you can easily go from Twyford into Paddington or you can go into Waterloo from Winnersh or Earley, which are really easy to get to from here.

“Sonning as a community and a village has got a huge amount going for it — and of course you don’t have to get involved in all of it. If you want to be quiet and not be part of it, you can be, but it is there if you want it, which I think is really lovely.”

• The Old Cottage is on the market with estate agents Philip Booth Esq with a guide price of £1,750,000 freehold. For more information and to arrange a viewing, call (01491) 876544.

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