Sure Bet: Cotswold Village House

Whatever happens elsewhere in the country house market, the quintessential Cotswold village house will always sell well, says Sam Trounson of Lane Fox in Cirencester. A recent example was that of Grade II listed Church Farm in the picturesque village of Duntisbourne Abbots, near Cirencester, which came to the market in July at a guide price of £1.5m.

Fifty seven prospective purchasers came ?from all over the place? to view the house before it was eventually bought for more than the asking price by a buyer from London. Lane Fox (01285 653101) are currently offering the idyllic, five bedroom Church Farm House with an acre of gardens at Hawkesbury, near Badminton, Gloucestershire, at a guide price of £1.25m.

A classic village house currently on the market through Butler Sherborn (01285 883740) is the Close in the pretty town of Minchinhampton, previously one of south Gloucestershire?s most important cloth towns. The Close, listed Grade II, is a substantial seven bedroom, Queen Anne house, built in about 1712 but altered and extended since then. The present owners, who have lived there since 1971, have refurbished and decorated this charming house with its lovely walled garden and grounds, some three-quarters of an acre in all. It is for sale at a guide price of £1.25m.

Peter Britton of Jackson-Stops & Staff in Chipping Campden (01386 840224) is another pillar of the Cotswolds country house market, and no mean architectural historian. Having seen his persistence pay off with the sale of Toddington Manor, Mr Britton can expect an easier ride with some of the other houses on his books, among them Laverton Hill House at Laverton, Broadway, in the foothills of the Cotswold escarpment.

For sale at a guide price of £1.25m, Laverton House, listed Grade II, is a fine example of a Cotswold stone family house, with mellow stone walls under stone slated roofs, and mullioned leaded light windows. Sympathetically renovated over the years, the house has three main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, five bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Little Barrington is one of the prettiest of the small Cotswold villages on the southern side of the Windrush valley on the Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire borders.

The valley has some of the area?s most beautiful rolling, wooded countryside, whereas the village itself consists almost entirely of period Cotswold stone houses and cottages. Jackson Stops & Staff in Burford (01993 822661) quote a guide price of £895,000 for Hillside at Little Barrington the perfect, four bedroom country cottage with a delightful garden in an idyllic setting.

Across the River Windrush to the north east of Burford, the same agent quotes a guide price of £765,000 for The Roarings at Fulbrook, an edge of village house which takes its name from the field nearby, which was once a medieval jousting ground.

The present house dates from the 18th century when it was two cottages, now converted into a family house with two reception rooms, a farmhouse kitchen/breakfast room, five bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a separate guest suite. Although the name suggests otherwise, the pretty half acre garden is tranquillity itself, with the background noise the tinkle of water.

This article first appeared in Country Life magazine on September 15, 2005. To subscribe click here.