Come on baby, light my fire – Annunciata Elwes rounds up gorgeous country houses with fireplaces guaranteed to impress.
Believed to date back to 1560, The Old Farm was once the coach house to the local manor and features a charming inglenook fireplace, as well as a clock tower and parapet with spectacular views over the rolling Surrey Hills.
Just outside Leatherhead, within the 138-acre Givons Grove estate and with 2½ acres of its own, it has seven bedrooms (including a separate one-bedroom cottage), eight reception rooms, a courtyard, conservatory and former Ice House.
Arlington Manor dates to the 17th century and takes its name from the charming village of Arlington, which is often referred to as one of the most beautiful villages in the Cotswolds.
Grade II listed and with five bedrooms, five bathrooms and three dressing rooms, its period features include four ornate fireplaces, three in the main house and one in the barn.
There’s also an attached one-bedroom cottage and Cirencester is seven miles away.
In lovely 16th-century timber frame with later extensions, Baykers, in the Colne Valley village of Sible Hedingham, has five bedrooms, hexagonal cluster chimney stacks, a barley-twist staircase and lovely south-facing reception rooms with magnificent views over the terrace and grounds.
In pleasing contrast, there’s a 19th-century studio attached by a corridor of glass and other outbuildings include further accommodation.
In mellow stone with Jacobean-style mullion windows, 17th-century Foscote Manor is surrounded by open parkland, which belies its proximity to London (Euston is only 35 minutes by train).
Just three miles from Stowe school, the seven-bedroom manor is of considerable historical importance; it’s included in the Domesday Survey and, amid the fine panelling and ornate plasterwork, there are several large and lovely fireplaces.
Outside, the walled garden contains a swimming pool and a dovecote and a short walk from the north of the house is a delightful range of three cottages under a tiled roof with a central stone clock tower. Its 39 acres also include an ornamental lake, yew walk, rose garden, knot garden, tennis court and bluebell wood.
In the lovely village of Thakeham, approached along a walnut avenue, Grade I- listed Little Thakeham was described by its architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, as ‘the best of the bunch’ and is widely acknowledged as one of his finest, as the pages of Country Life testify.
With grand, elegant proportions and adorned with mature climbers – ancient wisteria, honeysuckle, roses and clematis – it has nine bedrooms and the superb open fireplace in the drawing room has a Juliet balcony above. The extraordinary gardens are listed Grade II*.
A sizable family home with eight bedrooms in Cherington village, just three miles from Tetbury, Grade II- listed Westrip Farmhouse comes with nearly 50 acres, including a courtyard garden, pool and paddocks, with uninterrupted rural views.
Outbuildings include a barn, suitable for accommodation, stables and a small bothy cottage. One of the fireplaces in the house has a stylish bolection surround.
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