A haven in the coun­try­side

The Laun­dry is a unique Suf­folk prop­erty, rich in his­tory, in a won­der­ful nat­u­ral set­ting

EADT Suffolk - - PROPERTY -

When the cur­rent own­ers of The Laun­dry bought the prop­erty 12 years ago, the house was di­vided into a fam­ily home and a hol­i­day cot­tage. Hol­i­day­mak­ers stayed in the old farm­worker’s cot­tage, with its three bed­rooms, a large kitchen, sep­a­rate snug, wood­burn­ing stoves, and a down­stairs bath­room, the own­ers and their two teenage chil­dren lived in The Laun­dry build­ing, with its colos­sal liv­ing room, size­able Aga kitchen, three bed­rooms and two bath­rooms. The big gar­den di­vided easily to suit both houses.

The Laun­dry once be­longed to Thor­ing­ton Hall on the Thor­ing­ton Es­tate. In 1691, the es­tate be­came the prop­erty of the Bence fam­ily, who bought it from the Coke fam­ily, who moved up to the Holkham Es­tate. A lo­cal suc­cess story, the Bences made money in nearby Alde­burgh as mer­chants and mariners and in­vested in land along the Suf­folk coast at Carl­ton, Rings­field and Hevening­ham. Thor­ing­ton Es­tate was one of the largest in Suf­folk.

In 1819, the old prop­erty was de­mol­ished to make way for a su­perb new coun­try house, Thor­ing­ton Hall, where the fam­ily lived for three fur­ther gen­er­a­tions. The hall was req­ui­si­tioned in 1940 by the army, who left it in good con­di­tion when they va­cated after the Sec­ond World War, but staff were scarce, taxes high and money tight, so the own­ers de­cided to sell up, like so many oth­ers with sim­i­lar houses. The hall was de­mol­ished in 1949.

The Laun­dry, how­ever, sur­vived, al­though it wasn’t un­til the 1990s that the build­ing was ren­o­vated and turned into one house. It was sub­se­quently split into home and hol­i­day home, and The Laun­dry’s cur­rent own­ers turned it back into one, al­though it still has both stair­cases, and the orig­i­nal Aga in what is now a play­room. There you will also find the orig­i­nal cop­per. It hasn’t been used for wash­ing

– or its other use, brew­ing – in gen­er­a­tions, but doubt­less some­one could fire it back to life.

The prop­erty is sur­rounded by over seven acres of gar­dens and fields, out­build­ings, in­clud­ing sta­bles, barns and a pho­to­graphic stu­dio. In one of the fields is a Suf­folk barn with a roof cov­ered by so­lar pan­els. The five-acre pad­dock – once home to horses

– is used for par­ties, camp­ing for friends and sum­mer sports af­ter­noons. The Laun­dry is tucked away at the end of a long track, mak­ing it safe for pets and chil­dren. It all adds up to a unique haven of a coun­try home, rich in his­tory, within easy dis­tance of the sea­side and just two hours by train from Lon­don.N

The Laun­dry, Thor­ing­ton Guide price: £925,000 Agent: Dur­rants 01502 723292 dur­rants.com

ABOVE: The Laun­dry, for sale with Dur­rants

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