Monday, 23 May 2022

New house with symmetrical design on National Trust estate

New house with symmetrical design on National Trust estate

A NEW five-bedroom house within the walls of the Basildon Park Estate, which is owned by the National Trust, is on the market.

Barn House is the brainchild of property developer John Wakefield.

He said: “I’ve built more than 200 houses in the area over the years but this is by far the best. I’ve put my heart and soul into it.”

Mr Wakefield bought the private 2.7-acre plot in 2007 but it was not easy for him to obtain planning permission because of its proximity to the estate.

He spent many years submitting planning applications and commissioning survey reports before West Berkshire Council finally gave him the go-ahead to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new family home.

He said: “Eventually common sense prevailed and we finished up with this very attractive house.

“There was an old house here and part of it was an old piggery and that all got knocked down.”

Barn House has been built in the shape of a cross in a classical symmetrical design upstairs and down.

“It’s an absolutely balanced house,” said Mr Wakefield. “It has got lots of very special features — the coving, the architraves, the high ceilings, the hardwood joinery and sliding sash windows.”

A long winding driveway leads from wrought iron electric gates to the front of the house. A columned doorway opens into a grand reception hall with a curving staircase, cloakroom and coat cupboard.

On the left-hand side of the ground floor is a drawing room with a fireplace, which leads to an office, family room and garden room.

On the right of the hall is a fabulous shiny new kitchen with an island breakfast bar. It is fitted with Griggs & Mackay units and Argentinian stonework surfaces.

Off the kitchen is a breakfast room and a utility room with fitted units that leads through to one of the garages through a boot room which is also accessed from the outside.

A lovely feature at the back of the house is the curved bow window of the sitting room, which creates light and space inside and looks out on to the sun terrace.

There are French doors opening up three of the reception rooms and the breakfast room to the gardens at the back, giving the place a very light and open feel, especially on days when the weather is warm and dry.

There is a spacious galleried landing in the centre of the first floor.

There are five double bedrooms, all of which have en-suite facilities and built-in storage cupboards.

The master bedroom is above the sitting room. It has a curved balcony over the bow window with great views of the grounds and the lush green surrounding countryside.

Two of the other bedrooms have walk-in dressing rooms.

There is a professionally-landscaped garden at the back of the house, with raised flower beds, plenty of lawn, stone terraced areas and mature hedging.

The surrounding trees, including a large number of flowering cherry and ornamental crab apple trees, make the place feel very private and quiet.

Mr Wakefield said: “The house has got amazing views across the valley on a sunny day and it’s totally secluded.

“The outlook to the front is wonderful and the outlook to the back is Basildon Park, National Trust land.

“It has got a lot going for it. We’ve done a lot of landscaping and terracing and balustrading. Last summer it looked amazing when everything was in bloom. The whole back is south-west-facing, so you get brilliant outdoor sun on the terrace. It would be a lovely house for entertaining.”

Within the private grounds of Barn House there are three garages, two of which are detached from the house so they could potentially be converted into further living accommodation.

There is also an original “bothy”, an unusual and interesting old storage building that could potentially be made into an office or studio room.

The plot is in an elevated position, hence the far-reaching views. It has potential for further development, possibly even the installation of a swimming pool or tennis courts.

Two small cottages, Gardeners Cottage and The Annexe, are situated within their own gardens on the eastern boundary of the property.

They are also available for sale under separate negotiation and could be used as guest accommodation or staff living quarters, or rented out as holiday lets.

Barn House is situated on the edge of the pretty village of Lower Basildon between Pangbourne and Streatley. Nearby is the popular Beale Park, which has a wildlife park, playgrounds and a mini-railway. Goring and Pangbourne stations, which have good transport links to London Paddington, are within easy reach.

Basildon Park is an architecturally and historically interesting Grade I listed Georgian mansion.

It was built for Francis Sykes in the late 18th century. It was then owned by Liberal MP James Morrison and later used as a convalescent home for officers and soldiers after the First World War.

After that it stood empty and neglected until 1952 when it was bought and lovingly restored by Lord and Lady Iliffe, who gave it to the National Trust in 1978. Basildon Park has an extensive collection of artworks and antique furniture and is open to visitors. It has a tea room and a gift shop. There are four signposted walking routes on
the estate, meandering through 400 acres of parkland and woodland.

With all of this history and rural beauty wrapped around it, Barn House represents a rare opportunity to buy a unique country residence with floor space of 6,975 sq ft (648 sq m). It is now finished and ready to move into.

• Barn House is on the market with Warmingham at a guide price of £4 million. For information or to arrange a viewing, call (01491) 874144.

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