It takes sense, sensibility and not much persuasion to recognise the appeal of these beautiful houses in and around Bath
Arguably bath’s most famous resident, Jane austen lived in the city from the time of her father’s retirement until shortly after his death, a period of five years from 1801 to 1806. During her stay, she wrote the novel Persuasion and, later, Sense and Sensibility—concepts that appear to resonate perfectly with the city’s estate agents in today’s unpredictable property market.
‘at a time when sensible pricing has never been so important, some vendors still take a lot of persuading to lower their sights, especially in and around the World Heritage City of bath, which is renowned both for the beauty of its georgian architecture and the quality of the houses to be found in the surrounding villages,’ says Charlie Taylor of Knight Frank.
although business generally has slowed this year, he reveals, off-market sales and sales to expatriate and overseas buyers continue to underpin the local market.
However, good sense appears to have prevailed in the case of grade Ii-listed The Old rectory at Claverton, a historic manorial settlement on the southern side of bath. located in undulating countryside between Claverton Manor and Warleigh Manor, the valley was the subject of landscaping and grand planning during the 17th and 18th centuries, a legacy still evident today.
First launched on the market in May at a guide price of £2.95 million, the substantial, late-17th-century former rectory, rebuilt and extended in 1852, is now on through Knight Frank (01225 325999) and Savills (01225 474500), at a guide price of £2.5 million.
In 1750, the writer, poet and anglican minister richard graves—best known in scholarly circles for his novel The Spiritual Quixote, a satire of John Wesley and Methodism—was installed as rector of Claverton and, from then until his death in 1804, he rarely left the living for long. In those days, the rectory, which stood on the same site as the present one, was, according to graves’s biographer Francis Kilvert, ‘of a far humbler character, a long low building, beneath the level of the road,
possessing nevertheless an air of comfort and respectability’.
In contrast, today’s handsome former rectory comprises three main parts: the original 17th-century house to the south, the imposing 19th-century part, with its distinctive gables, in the centre and the attached two-bedroom Rectory Cottage to the north.
The recently refurbished main house provides more than 6,800sq ft of living space on three floors, including a drawing room, dining room and kitchen, all with fine views over the garden to the Limpley Stoke valley. The first floor houses a luxurious master suite, a study, four further bedrooms and a family bathroom, with two further bedrooms on the floor above.
Outside, a bank of mature woodland ensures the privacy and seclusion of the lovely rear garden, which has been thoughtfully laid out and beautifully maintained.
Four miles north-east of Bath, within the Cotswolds AONB, Knight Frank (01225 325999) quote a guide price of £2.325m for historic, Grade Ii*-listed St Catherine’s End House, which stands in a gloriously unspoilt and peaceful setting overlooking picturesque St Catherine’s Valley.
Another imposing 17th-century building with steep gables and mullioned windows, St Catherine’s End House is wonderfully private, approached from a country lane through high wooden gates that open onto a spacious gravel drive and extensive parking. Terraced lawns sweep away to the east, where mature hedgerows protect the boundary without impinging on the splendid panoramic views across the valley.
Inside, the house boasts an array of fine, original architectural detail, including beamed ceilings, stone fireplaces and a 17th-century staircase. The main house currently offers 3,831sq ft of accommodation, including a drawing room, library, family room, kitchen/ breakfast room and four bedroom suites. The Garden House—the converted former
coach house—offers a further 1,517sq ft of living space, including a kitchen/living room and two bedroom suites.
An important additional selling point is the recent planning consent obtained by the owners to significantly extend the house by linking it on one side with the separate home office to create a large kitchen/dining room and adding a new drawing room and loggia on the opposite side. The proposed alterations, if implemented in their entirety, would increase the area of the main house to a total of 5,413sq ft and substantially enhance its overall appeal.
At a guide price of £1.95m through Knight Frank, Grade Ii-listed The Old Vicarage in the charming village of Northend, three miles from Bath, is for sale for the first time in more than 250 years, having been in Church ownership before being bought by its present owners.
During their tenure, they’ve completely renovated the house, transforming the interior into a stylish, contemporary family home with all ‘mod cons’, including a drawing room, dining room, media/sitting room, games room, a state-of-the-art Mowlem & Co kitchen, six bedrooms and four bathrooms—some 5,100sq ft in all.
The Old Rectory at Claverton is surrounded by mature woodland and comes with seven bedrooms and a cottage. £2.5m
Above: Grade Ii*-listed St Catherine’s End House, Somerset, is in a secluded spot overlooking St Catherine’s Valley. £2.325m
The recently refurbished Old Rectory provides more than 6,800sq ft of living space
St Catherine’s End House (above and below) boasts handsome landscaped gardens, as well as original architectural details
Grade Ii-listed The Old Vicarage in Northend exudes rustic charm, but is a contemporary family home with all the ‘mod cons’. £1.95m