Country houses for sale

A charming Cambridgeshire cottage with a secret underground tunnel dating to the reign of Henry VIII

‘Period features’ just gained a whole new meaning at Hill View Cottage in the village of Fowlmere.

From the outside, Hill View Cottage looks like the other pretty period cottages that help form this Cambridgeshire village high street.

However, a closer inspection unveils a secret, historic underground tunnel that connects to several other properties, all of which are joined by a central underground meeting room.

Hot Fuzz, eat your heart out.

Hill View Cottage arrives on the market via Ensum Brown with a guide price of £425,000. We’ll skip straight to the tunnel and bypass the bulk of accommodation for now.

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Steps lead from the kitchen to a good-sized basement, where you’ll find a trap door leading down to the vast underground tunnel. It’s believed that the tunnel was built when Henry VIII created the Church of England and was used by Catholics and Protestants as an escape route when people of authority visited to avoid persecution.

Fast forward to the present day, and the tunnel remains remarkably intact, as this video shows. It starts from Hill View Cottage and links with other historic properties within the village, at the centre of which is a meeting room. It’s thought this is the last remaining access to the tunnel, with the other entrances blocked off over the years.

The underground meeting room

Back inside the property, there are four bedrooms on offer and two reception rooms. The interiors are dated — and some rooms, notably the kitchen, need ripping out and redoing — but it’s easy to see the potential on offer here.

From the front door, you enter immediately into the sitting room. Looking past the sea of red carpet, there are lovely period features such as overhead beams and a woodburning stove in a brick fireplace that would adapt well in a renovation.

The rear enclosed garden is mainly laid to lawn with a paved area for seating.

Fowlmere is one of the southern most villages in Cambridgeshire, lying close to the Hertfordshire border. Here you’ll find several village greens, a couple of playgrounds, a village hall with a tennis court, and a popular village pub.

Surrounded by lovely countryside, Central Cambridge is just ten miles away and Royston six miles, meaning anyone living here gets the best combination of countryside and all the buzz and convenience of nearby towns and cities. Trains run from Royston to London Kings Cross in under three-quarters of an hour making this a very commutable location.

Hill View Cottage is currently on the market via Esnum Brown with a guide price of £425,000 — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.