A haven in the countryside
The Laundry is a unique Suffolk property, rich in history, in a wonderful natural setting
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