It’s not only paper, glass and metal we recycle, but also buildings, to create homes with character, charm and stories to tell. James Fisher picks out some of the most wonderful converted homes in the country.
Grade II-listed Clifton Mill near Banbury was once in the care of Christchurch College, Oxford, and can trace its roots all the way back to the 15th century. Thankfully, it’s been substantially modernised and sympathetically restored since then, with care being taken to maintain the property’s period features and original mill workings, such as the stones, gearing, elevators, grain loft and wheel.
The main house offers six bedrooms, two of which are part of an integral cottage that is perfect for guests, grannies or holidaymakers.
Outside, an office sits above a three-bay garage and the mature gardens, which add up to about three acres, are divided by the mill stream and comprise an orchard, a vegetable garden, ornamental areas and woodland.
Set on the bank of the River Exe comes Wixels, a Grade II-listed property that is believed to have originally been a sail loft before being converted in 1920 into a striking family home.
Externally, the distinctive five-bedroom house retains an abundance of features that reflect the building’s rich history, such as Dutch gabling, wrought-ironwork and attractive stonework on the walls of the old quay.
Inside, the house is set around the kitchen/breakfast room, but of particular interest is the River Room, which features unbridled views over the River Exe and toward Haldon beyond, as well as providing access to the gardens, which are planted with a mix of mature plants, shrubs and exotic specimens. The property has one of the best positions in Topsham, say agents.
Within the historic Minsteracres estate sits the Olde Mill House, an ‘excellent conversion of traditional outbuildings’, say agents. The Grade II-listed property occupies a prime position within the settlement, and boasts a mix of garden and paddocks of some 1.2 acres.
The interiors have been designed with modern living in mind, with all principal rooms enjoying southerly or westerly aspects.
As well as four bedrooms, three bathrooms and bags of period features, the kitchen is in a farmhouse style, with AGA, ceramic hob and a stone-flagged floor.
It’s rare to write the words ‘manor house’ and ‘London’ in the same sentence, but Caron Place, SW8 is one such example. Set within the former Beaufoy vinegar distillery, the house, with its gardens designed by Anthony Paul, offers seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms over three floors and 6,660sq ft of living space, all within walking distance of Vauxhall station and the Victoria Line (which is the best line).
The interiors read like a who’s who of design, with Italian marble, granite and onyx throughout, as well as Drummond bathrooms, a Wolf range cooker, Artwood flooring and a Murano glass chandelier.
A communal pool and gym are included in the development, as well as parking, and the Gate House annexe provides two further bedrooms.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.