Penny Churchill takes a look at Triscombe House, which has been beautifully restored following a huge fire, and which is now seeking a new owner.
In the Quantock Hills of north Somerset — the first part of rural England to be designated an AONB in 1956 — the rise, fall and restoration of Grade II-listed Triscombe House at Triscombe, nine miles from Taunton, reflects the recovery of the country-house market in this wonderfully varied part of the world.
James Mackenzie of Strutt & Parker quotes a guide price of £3.95m for the imposing Edwardian house, which was built between 1902 and 1905 for Francis Henry Cheetham, a master of the Quantock Staghounds, by Henry W. Pollard & Sons of Bridgwater, to a design by the architect Sir Ernest Newton.
A century later, Triscombe House had been sold for redevelopment when, in April 2002, a devastating fire swept through the building, leaving only the main walls standing.
There followed a four-year reconstruction project by local craftsmen and, again, Henry W. Pollard & Sons, which finally saw the house sympathetically restored to its Edwardian splendour, with the addition of modern plumbing, heating, electrical and computer systems.
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Today, Triscombe House stands in 20 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, with magnificent views over the Blackdown Hills to the south and the Quantocks to the north.
It offers extensive accommodation over three floors, including a reception hall, five main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room and study.
There are three bedroom suites and four further bedrooms on the first floor, with four further bedrooms, a recording studio and a home office on the second.
It also comes with a three-bedroom lodge — currently rented on a short-term tenancy — as well as various outbuildings, including a stable block with four loose boxes, and a large room once used as a brewery, but ideal as a home office.
Planning permission is in place for a swimming pool, and a garage block with a flat above.
The grounds and gardens are well worth talking about too. The garden is mainly laid to lawn with a mixture of plants and a magnolia tree. Opposite the lodge is a small orchard, while there is also a magnificent walled garden that has been completely rebuilt.