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Blackburn Hall - JSS.jpgYorkshire, £795,000
Blackburn Hall, Grinton
4 bedrooms, workshop, landscaped gardens Jackson-Stops & Staff (01325 489948) Simon Ellison’s parents have enjoyed many a summer evening sitting on the swing seat in the garden of Blackburn, watching the sun go down over the River Swale.  ‘There are wonderful views up the dale. It’s a fantastic spot for walking, and it’s an unusually pretty house for this part of the country.’

bullpit-savills.jpg Kent, £985,000 Bullpits, Penshurst, 5 bedrooms, two-oven Aga, 0.5 acre Savills (01732 789705)

The house was formerly a medieval hall, believed to date back to the 15th century and once formed part of the Penshurst estate. ‘The exposed oak beams all the way through the house give it a sound historic feel, and the two pubs in the village are renowned for their good food,’ says owner Jeremy Pickard.

27 Church End - main[1].jpg Northamptonshire, £900,000, 27 Church End, Potterspury
6 bedrooms, coach house, 2 acres Jackson-Stops & Staff (01604 632991)
Church End is a former vicarage, which stands in the middle of the village and today is in need of some TLC. ‘It’s so tired, it’s almost asleep,’ says agent Quentin Jackson-Stops. ‘But all it needs is a Prince Charming to appear to wake it up it has great potential and the most immense garden.’

Priors Cleve - main.jpg  Dorset, £850,000 Priors Cleve, Yetminster
5 bedrooms, studio, 0.5 acre Jackson-Stops & Staff (01935 810141)
This house has been in Liz Ashmead’s family for 25 years, having previously been the home of her parents. ‘I moved from Wimbledon and brought two children up here. They’ve now gone off to university.’  The 17th-century house stands in the  heart of the village, ‘but it’s lovely and secluded’.

Nash Court £795k.jpg  Dorset, £795,000, Nash Court, Sturminster Newton
4 bedrooms, stables, workshop Chesterton Humberts (01935 812323)
Adrienne Shackleton and her husband divide their time between Nash Court, which is a wing of a large house with medieval origins, and a base in New Jersey. ‘We found the house looking in an estate-agent’s window in Sherborne 26 years ago. It has lovely views over the Blackmore Vale from nearly every window.’

Monks Cottage-chessington.JPG Surrey, £795,000, Monks Cottage, Chessington, 3 bedrooms, 1-bedroom studio, 1 acre John D. Wood & Co (01372 462211)
Lindsey Carlos-Clark has created her ‘fantasy home’ at Monks Cottage. ‘It’s in the middle of a field with horses and feels miles away, but Chelsea is only a 25-minute drive.’ It’s refurbished to a style she describes as ‘mini grand’: the Tudor beamed rooms are offset by contemporary white floors.

Rose Cottage, PG.JPG Somerset, £725,000, Rose Cottage, Compton Bishop
5 bedrooms, coach house, 1.5 acres
Knight Frank (0117–317 1999)
After years of walking their dogs over the National Trust land surrounding Compton Bishop, Michael Tobin and his wife had always wanted to live in the village. ‘By chance, we heard of a property for sale, which is pretty unusual as people come here and stay forever,’ explains Mr Tobin. ‘We snapped it up. That was 20 years ago.’ The horseshoe-shaped village is a no-through road. ‘It’s very tranquil. And the south side of the Mendips is a sort of micro-climate, which helps cultivate the Cheddar strawberries.’

folly-house-savills.JPG Gloucestershire, £865,000,Folly House, Ampney Crucis
5 bedrooms, outbuildings, 0.6 acre
Savills (01285 627550)
One of the best aspects of this house is its situation next to the village hall. ‘What a great neighbour,’ says owner Dennis Cox, who runs the Wadham Trading gallery in Cirencester. The landscape gardens include a square box-hedge rose garden and a parterre. ‘It’s centrally located, but we’re not overlooked at the back. And there’s plenty of room for the children to play in, too.’

teedleham-farm.jpg Kent, £665,000, Teedleham Farm, Canterbury
5 bedrooms, coach house, 2.75 acres
Calcutt Maclean Wood (01233 812060)
When Michael Steed’s parents retired from farming, they bought Teedleham as a project to do up. ‘It was quite a lot of work, both inside and out, but my mother did it all by herself, including planting trees in the garden that are now mature.’ With his five siblings, Mr Steed says there were enough grandchildren to produce two football teams, who would play at Easter.

Britmore main elevation.jpg Dorset, £925,000, Britmore House, Donhead St Andrew
3 bedrooms, studio, indoor swimming pool
Knight Frank (01935 812236)
When he moved from Horningsham, near Longleat, Lord Christopher Thynne decided he wanted a house ‘that was so secluded, I could mow the lawn starkers. This house certainly is’. After they moved in in 1992, his wife challenged him to keep his word. ‘The only problem was that, as I was mowing, some riders came by on horseback and could see over the fence. They were a little surprised.’ His lurcher and pug enjoy the woods behind the house.

stables-moreton-in-marsh.jpg Gloucestershire, £695,000, The Stables, Ditchford on Fosse
3 bedrooms, four-door Aga, 1.75 acres
Strutt & Parker (01608 650502)
Calum and Claire Forsyth recommend this house’s capacious entertaining space. ‘Our dining table seats 14, but we also held the reception after our wedding here two years ago and 100 people milled about,’ says Mrs Forsyth. They’re moving with their three children in search of more land for their horses. ‘If I could transplant the house into a bigger field, I would.’

Greendragons Front.jpg Gloucestershire, £850,000, Green Dragons, Chipping Campden
4 bedrooms, two-door Aga, walled garden
Hayman-Joyce (01386 858510)
‘The fact that this house hasn’t been touched for 40 years means that someone will have the opportunity to really make their mark,’ says Richard Martin, whose parents lived there for more than 40 years. ‘My father was an active member of the local community: he was a Cotswolds Warden, which is a sort of Dad’s Army, who would clear footpaths and such, and he often used the house as a place to meet.’

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