A wonderful family house and former home of a literary genius.
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History: It is believed an earlier Elizabethan house was situated closer to the village church and was pulled down after the Civil War. It is understood to have then been replaced by a new house at the present site. The 17th Century house was extensively remodelled by William Frauncies in 1730. The property was sold to the Perring family in 1799 and sold again in 1896 to the Batchelor family before being purchased by Evelyn Waugh in 1956 and lived in by his family until 2008 when the present owners acquired Combe Florey House.
The property: A long private drive climbs through established parkland, passing between the house and the lake and leads to a gravel forecourt in front of the house.
Combe Florey is a delightful Grade II listed 18th century manor house with an appealing classical facade in the style of James Gibbs, of red ashlar sandstone complimented by yellow ashlar door and window surrounds. A double flight of steps with balustrades run up to a bold pedimented door surround making a welcoming entrance to this wonderful family house. The elegant reception hall is open to the stair hall with its fine early 18th century newel staircase and flanked by the drawing room and the library. The exquisite 18th century proportions and an awareness of the thorough and appropriate renovation work are immediately apparent. Fine ceiling mouldings, panelled doors, panelling, chimneypieces and original stone and wooden floors have all been conserved and where appropriate restored.
The addition of a large orangery on the ground floor provides a central hub to the house and a connection between the formal reception rooms and the informal family rooms. The drawing room, library and dining room form a trio of fine reception rooms which are complimented by the informal sitting room, family room, study and kitchen/breakfast room (with direct access to the family room and the boot room). The kitchen has beautifully appointed modern and traditional cabinets and cupboards of American Walnut with stainless steel and granite work surfaces. Appliances include a four oven Aga, Miele microwave, as well as a second oven, large fridge freezer, second fridge, two dishwashers and a larder cupboard.
The first floor provides two bedroom suites at the front of the house. The principal suite overlooks the grounds and comprises a bedroom, ensuite bathroom and two dressing rooms. The guest suite overlooks garden and parkland and provides a bedroom and ensuite bathroom. There is a second guest bedroom which incorporates an enjoyable roll top bath and cloakroom with W.C within it. In addition, there are two further bedrooms and a further bathroom and a shower room. The second floor is as equally well appointed and decorated as the ground and first floors. It is arranged as five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a cloakroom.
There is valuable space in the basement which is accessible from the orangery. It has a spacious hall and the rooms have vaulted ceilings and stone floors. It is arranged as: boiler room, large laundry/utility room, two wine cellars and two store rooms.
The Keepers Cottage, garages, workshops and fuel stores replicate the appearance of a traditional range of ancillary country house buildings to include a coach house, stores and kennels around a central courtyard enclosed by automated carriage gates and flanking walls. The party barn and pool house were built at the same time but orientated to the swimming pool and tennis garden.
Keepers Cottage: Keepers Cottage is situated to the north of the house, adjacent to the coach house and garaging. The accommodation comprises a hall, sitting room, kitchen and cloakroom on the ground floor, and three bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. A wood burning stove provides central heating and an electric immersion heater provides the hot water.
Summer House/Party Barn: This spacious building has a large function room with a high open cruck beam roofline, stone floors and glazed elevations to three sides with doors opening onto the swimming pool terrace. The kitchen has two electric ovens, a four ring electric hob, two dishwashers and a fridge. There are also two cloakrooms. There is under floor heating throughout.
Pool room: Adjacent to the pool is the pool room with a hall, shower room with a WC and a cloakroom. There is also a changing room and a plant room.
Garages and stores: The garages and workshop form the west and northern buildings and are arranged with seven double coach house doors opening into garaging along the western side and six double coach house doors opening into garaging along the northern side. The southerly building has three coach house doors opening to a large store containing three five hundred gallon storage tanks. The dog kennel is attached to this building.
Services: Mains water, drainage and electricity. Oil-fired central heating.
Council Tax: Band H.
Local Authority: Somerset West and Taunton.
Rights of Way: There is a Right of Way at the start of the drive over a neighbouring property. Further information is available from the vendors agent.
This property has 34.56 acres of land.
Formal gardens border the house with a large flagstone terrace and open lawn to the west accessible from both the family room and the boot room. To the south the gravel forecourt is bordered by magnificent trees including Holm Oak and Beeches with steps leading to the easterly parterre garden with clipped low box hedges bordering lavender beds. A large circular pond forms a centrepiece with an ornate three tier fountain. To the north of the house there is a double courtyard. The outer courtyard is accessed from the drive and provides a parking area with a double carport, separate gardeners W.C. and access to a workshop which comprises three rooms and has the potential for conversion into an annexe. From here a door leads to the inner courtyard garden which is adjacent to the orangery and is used for day to day access. A further garden area of wide open lawn borders both the tennis court and the swimming pool. The heated swimming pool is edged by a wide flagstone terrace and is located in front of the pool room and the Summer House/Party Barn. An established copse of Yew, Chestnut, Beech, and Cedar trees stands between the house and the leisure and walled gardens.
Walled gardens: An unusual arrangement of three interconnecting walled gardens which provide enormous potential. Two have high walls of stone and brick with the third enclosed by low stone wall. The first has a low box hedge flanking a central path with espaliered fruit trees. The second walled garden also has fruit trees and a low box hedge bordering a path leading to a large detached greenhouse (requiring renovation) with a lean-to potting shed beyond (partially renovated). There is also a general garden store and a stone-built water cistern. The third walled garden is not cultivated. Outside of the walled gardens there is a lean-to open fronted wood store and a free standing brick-built implement store.
Land: As a whole Combe Florey House extends to 34.56 acres (13.98 ha) with undulating parkland and pasture land forming the majority of the holding. The parkland is home to magnificent trees and two areas of established copse. One lies along the northern edge of the park and the walled gardens and the other, known as Monks Mound, is situated to the south of the property and borders the village hall. Overall the grounds provide opportunity for the environmental enthusiast.
Combe Florey is a small picturesque village situated 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of Taunton and close to the Quantock Hills and the West Somerset Railway. The village has the Farmers Arms public house, a village hall and the Grade I listed church of St Peter and St Paul (13th century origins). Close to Exmoor National Park, Combe Florey House has the benefit of open views across undulating countryside.
Exmoor National Park AONB provides a number of outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreational activities including walking, riding, shooting and fishing. There are also a number of excellent golf courses nearby. In addition to this, for any train lovers there is the West Somerset steam railway. Taunton, the country town of Somerset, is 7.5 miles away with a county cricket ground and a number of further recreational facilities as well as a mainline train station. There is no shortage of outstanding schools in the area, including Kings Hall School, Kings College Taunton, Taunton School, Queens College Taunton and Wellington School. Also within reach are Blundells in Tiverton, Sherborne School and Millfield.
The M5 motorway (junction 25) is about 10 miles to the east. The mainline station at Taunton has a direct service to London Paddington, taking from 1 hour 40 minutes. Bristol International Airport is about 40 miles away.
Upon entering the village of Combe Florey from the A358, pass the village hall on the left hand side and after a short distance turn right and pass through the arch of the gatehouse signed Combe Florey. Proceed along the drive to the house.Read all
- Approximately 21,967 sq. ft. including the outbuildings
- Approximately 34.56 acres
- Swimming pool and pool house
- Three bedroom cottage
- Extensive outbuildings
- Grade II Listed
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