Country houses for sale

An utterly charming ancient thatched cottage in a peaceful Suffolk village within an hour of London, for sale at just £650,000

Thatchers is a delightful period property, bursting with history and charm. Penny Churchill takes a look.

In Suffolk, Sudbury-based conservation architect John Hyett, who trained with the late Sir William Whitfield and has been involved in the restoration of some of England’s most iconic buildings, is selling the 15th-century former hall house that has been his and his wife Carol’s much-cherished home since 1993, at a guide price of £650,000 through Bedfords in Bury St Edmunds.

Not only is it an effortlessly charming, picture-perfect home, it’s also commutable to London: from nearby Audley End station, you can get direct trains to Liverpool Street that take 52 minutes.

Small, but perfectly formed, Thatches, listed Grade II, is one of a handful of ancient thatched cottages in the pleasant small village of Ashen, a former farming settlement, the population of which has only about doubled since Domesday.

Constructed of timbers imported from Silesia in about 1450 — a fact confirmed by an expert colleague — Thatches was built on a north-south axis that allows the east-west sunlight to stream through the house.

It’s a fine family home which offers versatile accommodation on two floors including a sitting room, dining room, snug/library, kitchen, three bedrooms, bathroom and garage/workshop.

Gardens to the front and rear are designed both for privacy and to enjoy the sunshine at various times of the day.

Thatchers is currently on the market via Bedfords at a guide price of £650,000 — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details.

Ashen: What you need to know

Location: Overlooking the Stour Valley, less than a mile from the village of Stoke by Clare, approximately 18 miles south of Bury St Edmunds and 10 miles from Sudbury. The market town of Clare is approximately 2 miles away and the market town of Saffron Walden is 18 miles to the west – which runs rail services from Audley End to London Liverpool Street.

Atmosphere: The small, peaceful village offers an idyllic environment from which to base yourselves, whilst being surrounded by beautiful scenery and small towns with day to day amenities and boutique shops.

Things to do: Visit the market town of Clare, which lies on the bank of the River Stour or Saffron Walden for its famous market and quirky high street. Explore the surrounding Constable country and stop off in Sudbury — home to Belle Vue Park and the Quay Theatre which showcases plays and films throughout the year.

Schools: Stoke College Prep School and Ridgewell Primary School are both situated within a few miles and Stoke College is a local secondary option.

See more property for sale in the area.