Guide price £1,200,000
An important Grade II listed period residence dating back to the 16th century with numerous additions and improvements during the early 1700's and both the Georgian and Victorian periods. The property retains features from all of these periods yet still provides modern family living space over three floors. There are 8 double bedrooms over two floors, 3 ensuite with a family bathroom and family shower room. There are 7 ground floor receptions. Walled formal garden with raised Hardwood decking and stone patio above, separate flower and kitchen garden on raised beds, further lower lawn which caters for a 12m x 6m marquee. Detached former Coach house currently utilised as a workshop, garage and storage. Extensive brick paved courtyard parking via double entrance gates with PP for a three-bay cart lodge. Beautiful river (side) walks are accessed directly (along Moat Farm Chase) from the side gate of the house. Witham mainline station 5 min walk. Town centre 15 min walk alongside the river Brain. EPC Exempt. DESCRIPTION Barnardiston House is an impressive period residence set in the heart of Chipping Hill with an important History. Many of the original features have been retained by the current owners of 25 years. The property is in excellent condition both internally and externally, also benefitting from beautiful formal and kitchen gardens which have been well considered in their landscaping and nurtured over the last 25 years by the existing owners. The grounds have regularly been opened to the public for charity events and have catered for larger entertaining events, with the lower lawn able to provide a 12m x 6m marquee. Generous southwest facing terraces are set above the garden, the circular hardwood decked terrace is accessed via the kitchen/garden room and the stone terrace which sits slightly higher, accessed from the sitting room. An extensive paved brick courtyard is set above the kitchen garden and is accessed via double entrance gates to the East of the house. This currently offers parking for 5 cars and is served by a detached coach house offering further garaging, workshop and adjoining storage. Planning permission is also in place for a three-bay car lodge if required. Brick pathways lead down to the kitchen / flower garden, set on raised beds, served by a green house and fruit cage. The lower lawn has been used for a wedding and caters for a 12m x 6m marquee. A rose archway leads through to the back of the part walled formal garden offering an impressive summer magnolia with circular seating beneath, small pond with further seating. A circular lawn is protected by established beds, with stone and timber steps rising to the two previously mentioned southwest facing terraces above. A side gate from the garden gives access to numerous river walks beyond. Internally the property offers a sensible flow of living space over three floors. A beautiful reception hall gives access to all the principal receptions, the inner hallway and the turning staircase to the first and second floor bedrooms. It is important to note there is a second stairwell in the most recent extension (2003) to the East wing of the house. On opening the front door, the reception hall features a beautiful hob cheek fireplace and looks directly through the house via a triple archway and early Crittall doors to the SW terrace. The impressive formal dining room looks onto the front of the house via three sash windows with original shutters, and benefits from predominantly original wood flooring and a stunning Tudor style fireplace with gas stove protected by Georgian panelling. A ground floor study with Victorian fireplace and studio also look onto the front of the house. The studio is accessed from the inner hallway which leads to the East wing. This section of the house also provides a good size utility room, cloakroom and vaulted garden room to the rear with double doors opening onto a secret terrace. The stunning sitting room (20'6 x 19'11) also opens to the rear garden via the stone terrace, two further sash windows with original shutters, solid oak flooring and contemporary built in log burning stove. Steps lead down from the central reception hall, beyond the stairwell, to a charming kitchen family room with Crittall windows and ornate fireplace with gas stove on a stone hearth. There is ample storage either side of the stack. A beautiful kitchen garden room is located on the southwest wing with three sets of Crittall doors opening onto the extensive circular decked terrace above the formal garden. An open, fully fitted kitchen with exposed timbers bisects the two receptions and is served by a pantry and cellar. To the first and second floors there are eight double bedrooms. It is important to note that the two top floor bedrooms are attic rooms, bedroom seven is currently utilised as a cinema room. They enjoy their own stairwell and shower room. This section also provides extensive storage and would be ideal for an Au pair or teenager. The remaining six double bedrooms are spread across the first floor. The master looks onto the garden via a generous sash window and enjoys an ensuite bathroom, dressing room and feature fireplace with gas supply if required. Bedroom three also looks onto the rear garden via a dual aspect also benefitting from an ensuite bathroom. Bedroom two is probably the largest one of the eight, looking onto the front with the benefit of another ensuite. Four and five are also good size doubles and interlink offering an ideal nursery or potential first floor study to one of them, if required. Bedroom six is another double and shares the family bathroom with Four and Five. A separate cloakroom completes the first-floor accommodation which is also accessed via a second more modern stairwell to the East wing, rising to a galleried landing with lantern roof flooding the entire landing with natural morning light. The accommodation is generous, light and offers fantastic versatility for modern day living. HISTORY Barnardiston House dates partly from 1500s with many additions including the imposing brick front, and wrought iron railings with cast tops. The interior has some 17th century panelling and a beam carved with the initials 'E. C.' and inscribed 'ANO DOM 1610'. The origin of the property is not known, the first documents being a will of 1567 by Maude Burche followed by various deeds of sale, until it was bought in 1626 by Dame Katherine Barnardiston, a Puritan who conducted a campaign against Francis Wright, the Vicar of the Parish. A Trust was set up, the terms were that the rent of the property was to support a preacher and if not the funds should be used to educate the poor. The Essex Records office in Chelmsford has many documents relating to this trust and who the tenants were. Refreshments for Spa customers were served here in the 1740s when the Witham Spa, further up the road in Powers Hall End, was fashionable. It became a 'Young Gentleman's boarding School' in 1858 until 1894. Francis Crittall, the future philanthropic industrialist was a pupil here in the 1870s and found it like the 'sunwashed fragrance of a spring day' compared to 'fear-wrecked' schooldays in Braintree. Dame Katherine Barnardiston's trust remained in place until 1921 when the property was named Barnardiston House and was bought by sweet pea breeder, Hugh Dickson, who was escaping the troubles in Ireland and it remained in the Dickson family until the early 1950's. It is still possible to buy seeds for a sweet pea he bred in 1938 called Air Warden. The building became a private nursing home in 1984, and returned to a private residence in 1997, and is listed Grade II and in a conservation area. Location Accessed from the side of the house, there are beautiful waterside walks following the River Brain through the historic Essex town of Witham. One route runs for just under 2 miles on flat footpaths from Chipping Hill to the Whetmead Nature Reserve. The walk starts on Chipping Hill Bridge which is a short hop from Witham railway station. You then follow a nicely surfaced path south to the nature reserve, where you will see the confluence of the River Brain and the River Blackwater. The site includes grassland, scrub, woodland and a variety of wildflowers. There's also wildlife on offer including a range of butterflies, dragonflies and seed-eating birds. Mammals include wood mice, bank voles and pygmy shrews. The John Ray Walk also starts in Witham, near to Chipping Hill. You can pick up the trail at the train station and follow it in the other direction toward Braintree. The trail takes you through the delightful countryside of the Brain Valley, the birthplace and home of naturalist John Ray. The Blackwater Rail Trail also starts in Witham. The shared cycling and walking trail will take you to Maldon along a disused railway line.
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