Ever fancied yourself as something of a concert pianist? Well, Weycroft Hall could be the chance you’ve been waiting for to put your virtuoso skills to the test. The property, near Axminster in Devon, comes with its own concert hall – capable of seating an audience of 100 – and even boasts a minstrels’ gallery.
The Grade I listed building, which dates from the early 15th Century, is set in more than 80 acres and is currently used as a religious retreat. The property – built on the site of a fortified Roman camp – comprises the main house, which has seven bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a three-bedroom annexe, a one-bedroom cottage and a three-bedroom lodge house.
‘The tenancy has come to an end and the family who own it have decided to sell,’ says Oliver Custance Baker, of agents Strutt Parker in Exeter. ‘It’s been in the same family for generations.’
Striking a chord? Grade I listed Weycroft Hall, near Axminster, Devon, is currently used as a religious retreat and has 80 acres of land
Fit for a maestro: Wyecroft Hall comes complete with a concert hall (pictured) – which a 100 person capacity – and a minstrel’s gallery
Weycroft’s stunning great hall is often used for musical events, while wedding receptions can also be held there. ‘And it looks fantastic at Christmas with a Christmas tree and a roaring fire,’ says Oliver.
Strutt Parker (struttandparker.com, 01392 247498) is marketing the property as a whole for £1.5 million, or as five lots: the hall, annexe and one-bedroom cottage for £800,000; the lodge for £200,000; and three separate parcels of land costing between £65,000 and £225,000. ‘Where else could you get a Grade I listed hall for £800,000?’ asks Oliver. To be listed, a building has to be on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, which means it cannot be extended or altered without special permission from the local authority.
AT A GLANCE
Price: £1.5 million
Location: Axminster, Devon
Bedrooms: 14 in total
Unique features: Grade I listed hall dating from the early 15th Century; great hall with minstrels’ gallery; site previously occupied by the Roman army
According to Oliver, demand for such properties is surging. ‘I’ve definitely seen a recent spike in interest from purchasers wishing to buy something like Weycroft Hall,’ he says. ‘Often it’s people moving away from the London area looking for a statement house.’
There are a number of other listed buildings on the market around the country, including The Oast, near Tunbridge Wells. The Grade II listed converted oast house has five bedrooms, three of which are en suite, a triple garage with a room above (which has planning permission for dormer windows), a workshop and a 1½-acre orchard. There is further planning permission in place for a swimming pool and pool house. It is for sale through London Country Association (johndwood.co.uk, 020 3151 5836) for £1.85 million.
The 16th Century Pilgrims House is located in the Norfolk village of Bacton, where 63 years ago on this very day, 80 people died when the combination of a spring tide and a ferocious storm caused catastrophic flooding in the area. Locals still live in awe of the North Sea’s ‘hungry waves’.
But Pilgrims House has always stood firm and is now for sale, along with its own miniholiday village, through Howards (howards.co.uk, 01603 612664). ‘Luckily, the sea wall is just 500 yards away. Waves can still come over the top and when a big tide is expected we’ve taken precautions,’ says owner Vincent McCartney. ‘Last year, there was flooding a mile away but it’s never happened here.’
Listed gems: There are a number of other listed properties on the market, including The Oast near Tunbridge Wells for £1.85million
History: The 16th Century Pilgrims House is located in the Norfolk village of Bacton, where 63 years ago on this very day, 80 people died when the combination of a spring tide and a ferocious storm caused catastrophic flooding in the area. It’s on the market for £1,050,000
It’s possible that providence may have played a part. The house is named after the pilgrims who flocked to neighbouring Bacton Abbey, which now lies in ruins. The abbey was famous throughout medieval Europe, and even mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, for containing a piece from the True Cross, on which Jesus was crucified. The piece is said to be buried beneath the abbey’s ruins. Grade II listed Pilgrims House was built as the abbey’s farmhouse.
Vincent, 66, and his wife Margaret, 68, bought the property in the 1980s for £68,000, and they have turned a number of disused farm buildings into holiday cottages. The holiday village, which also contains an indoor swimming pool, is a thriving business that takes about 100 bookings a year.
‘Our family is grown up and we are ready to move on,’ says Vincent. ‘Whoever buys Pilgrims can do what they like with it – keep it as it is, sell it off separately or even create a boutique hotel and spa complex.’ Pilgrims House is for sale for £1,050,000, but listed properties can be snapped up for less than £1 million. For example, the early 19th Century Grade II listed Chillerton Farm, in the Isle of Wight village of Chillerton, is for sale for £850,000 through Watson, Bull And Porter (watsonbullporter.co.uk, 01983 770273). It has five bedrooms and three reception rooms, and the property is set in more than five acres.