Country houses for sale

A true ‘all-rounder’ home, with Grade II-listed farmhouse and annexe, two holiday cottages and equestrian facilities to boot

A dreamy equestrian home in 22 acres of Suffolk countryside has come up for sale. Annabel Dixon takes a look.

Anyone looking to buy an equestrian property should have Dove House on their shortlist — but even for those who have no interest in horses, it’s is an all-singing, all-dancing affair, offering a sought-after combination of picturesque Grade II-listed farmhouse with an annexe, a pair of holiday cottages and a pool. It’s on the market for £2,150,000 via Strutt & Parker.

It’s an eye-catching equestrian property set in the village of Semer, Suffolk, just under an hour’s drive from Newmarket, the home of horse racing.

Dating back to the 16th century, Dove House has been carefully-preserved over the years. Its attractive features include exposed beams, wall timbers and oak mullioned windows. But while it may scream ‘historic’, it also comes across as a warm, much-loved home. Who wouldn’t want to curl up with a good book in front of that fabulous inglenook fireplace?

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The main house ticks all the boxes: four spacious reception rooms and a large kitchen with AGA. There’s also a utility and boot room, plus a cloakroom — essential rooms in any busy country home. And upstairs, there are five bedrooms, one with an ensuite bathroom, and a family bathroom.

The beams in the ceilings, wooden doors and windows offer gorgeous charm, and make one of the bedrooms feel almost like being inside a medieval tent by a jousting field.

The adjoining annexe has got ‘granny and grandpa’ written all over it. It comprises a kitchen, sitting room, and bedroom with an ensuite. The annexe is reached via a room described by Strutt & Parker as ‘the library / party room’. A party room sounds like jolly good fun to us. But if the grandparents are living in this wing of the house, for the sake of good family relations, a library might be better.

There’s also an opportunity to earn extra income, thanks to two holiday cottages set away from the main house. Though ‘cottage’ suggests that they may be on the cosy side. On the contrary, Stable Cottage and The Old Barn have no less than four bedrooms each. They form a neat courtyard around the swimming pool (which is heated, you’ll be pleased to know).

The pretty, well-kept garden surrounding Dove House is home to mature trees, shrubs and hedges as well as a pergola and aviary. And to the east of the house is a lake stocked with coarse fish; It even has an island in the middle, which you can row out to and pretend you’re Robinson Crusoe.

But for very horsey types, the real draw, of course, is the equestrian facilities. Post and rail grazing extends to 22 acres and borders the River Brett to the south (with riparian rights).

There’s also a variety of buildings, with scope to use them for agricultural or equestrian activities, according to Strutt & Parker. They include the main stable block with eight loose boxes as well as a framed barn with another five loose boxes and hard standing.

Sharnie Rogers, Head of Office, Strutt & Parker Essex & Suffolk, says: ‘With a glorious main farmhouse, equestrian facilities, and two holiday cottages, Dove House is truly an “all-rounder” home,’ she says.

‘The main house is fantastic in its own right — particularly with its original period features — but the fact that there’s also two four-bedroom holiday lets for income potential, as well as stables and paddocks, is what really sets this country house apart.

‘The house has an enviable position in the Brett Valley and with views across open countryside, along with 22 acres of grounds, you are self-contained and secluded here. Yet it is conveniently only a 30-minute drive of Ipswich.’

Dove House is on the market for £2,150,000 via Strutt & Parker — see more details and pictures.


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