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At home in the country

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

Broomfield, priced at £179,995, through The Home Partnership

Broomfield, priced at £179,995, through The Home Partnership

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Ask a representative sample of people over a certain age what their dream home would be, and the chances are that a pretty high percentage, if not an outright majority, would name a country cottage. Interestingly, this seems to be a peculiarly English thing. The French, for example, don't get it at all. Given the choice, most of them would probably go for a nice new chalet-bungalow. The same goes for most of our continental cousins – the Irish included. Precisely why this should be remains something of a mystery, but there it is.

Of course, not all cottages fall neatly into the chocolate-box category. By no means all are thatched, for example. Nor are all of them unsuitable for anyone over 5 feet tall. Likewise, roses round the door are by no means obligatory. Cottages, in fact, come in all shapes and sizes, to suit just about every taste. And the good news is that Essex, with its wealth of picturesque villages and attractive market towns, is blessed with an abundance of them.

Currently available for £359,995 through The Property Specialists in Billericay, for example, is a Grade II-listed timber-clad detached cottage, located close to Great Burstead, approximately 1¼ miles south of Billericay High Street and within 3 miles of the A127. The ground floor, featuring solid oak flooring throughout, includes an impressively beamed living room with dual aspect windows and a separate dining room, which together share a brick-built feature fireplace with inset log burner. In addition, there is a small study, while the country-style fitted kitchen includes a full range of integrated appliances. The ground floor is completed by the family bathroom, while upstairs is a good-sized master bedroom with its own dressing room, two further bedrooms and a separate shower room. Outside, the property is approached via a block paved drive leading to a detached garage, with a shingled drive proving further off road parking. The cottage-style garden features an ornamental pond.

If you're looking for a project, Flemings Lodge on Warren Road in South Hanningfield is a pocket-sized Victorian cottage with planning permission for considerable extension, set in a 126ft-long garden and surrounded by open countryside, a few minutes from the beautiful 870 acre Hanningfield Reservoir and its accompanying 100 acre nature reserve. Dating from around 1878 and timber-framed, the property currently consists of just one bedroom, a cosy sitting room with wood burner, a kitchen and bathroom, with a boiler room lies to one side. However, the planned extensions to both the side and rear will result in a two/three-bedroom, two-bathroom property with a fine open-plan living area almost 22ft wide. Flemings Lodge is being offered for sale by Fenn Wright through a process of informal tender, with a guide price of £300,000. The closing time for receipt of best offers is midday on Tuesday, February 19th – so you'll need to move fast!

Newly on the market through Savills with a guide price of £345,000 is an attractive part-thatched cottage in the heart of Great Waltham. Grade II-listed, the flexible accommodation is currently configured to offer, on the ground floor, a double bedroom, a further single bedroom/study, an impressive sitting/dining room with feature fireplace, a family bathroom, a kitchen/breaklfast room and a utility room, while on the first floor is an en suite double bedroom. The pretty cottage garden is partially enclosed by an attractive old red brick wall and has been professionally landscaped, while off-road parking is available in the adjoining village hall car park by arrangement.

Richmond Cottage in the village of Highwood, to the west of Chelmsford, is a particularly attractive extended 19th-Century property sitting on a plot of about ¼ of an acre. The interior is still reminiscent of the original pair of cottages, with separate staircases serving 4 bedrooms. However, in recent years, planning consent has been granted not only for an extension to the property but also internal alterations which will effectively transform the cottage into a family house. The external appearance will remain the same, much as it did a century ago. Offers are sought in excess of £625,000 by Jackson-Stops & Staff.

Beresfords are selling a Grade II-listed 4/5-bedroom cottage in a rural location near Southminster with a guide price of £745,000. Standing in grounds of approximately 1.3 acres and approached along a tree-lined drive, the property offers 3 reception rooms, a hardwood conservatory, kitchen/breakfast room and study/bedroom 5, while upstairs the master bedroom boasts an en suite – as does one of the further 3 bedrooms. Outside, there is a double garage, while the grounds also include an orchard.

Meanwhile, £179,775 will buy you a Grade II-listed 2-bedroomed terraced cottage with lots of potential in Broomfield. Currently on sale through The Home Partnership, and offered with the added benefit of no onward chain, it comprises a lounge/diner and kitchen on the ground floor, with the first bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. Bedroom number 2 is situated on the second floor. Outside, the property enjoys rear access via a courtyard area and its own rear garden area.

Finally this week, Mullucks Wells in Great Dunmow are selling Plantation Cottage – a little thatched gem on the outskirts of the picture-postcard village of Finchingfield. Early history suggests it was originally occupied by the gamekeeper on the nearby Spains Hall estate – yet despite its delightful period appearance, it is not listed, and the current owners have carried out extensive refurbishments, including a new thatched roof. The ground floor accommodation comprises a cosy living room with an inglenook fireplace which now houses an "Essex" stove, a cottage-style kitchen with an AGA and butler sink, a rear lobby and a bathroom, while upstairs are no fewer than 3 bedrooms. The approach to the cottage is through double gates to a parking area, while the garden which is mainly laid to lawn measures approximately 75ft by 50ft. The price: £395,000.

near Southminster with a guide price of £745,000. Standing in grounds of approximately 1.3 acres and approached along a tree-lined drive, the property offers 3 reception rooms, a hardwood conservatory, kitchen/breakfast room and study/bedroom 5, while upstairs the master bedroom boasts an en suite – as does one of the further 3 bedrooms.

Meanwhile, £179,775 will buy you a Grade II-listed 2-bedroomed terraced cottage with lots of potential in Broomfield. Currently on sale through The Home Partnership, and offered with the added benefit of no onward chain, it comprises a lounge/diner and kitchen on the ground floor, with the first bedroom and bathroom on the first floor. Bedroom number 2 is situated on the second floor. Outside, the property enjoys rear access via a courtyard area and its own rear garden area.

Finally this week, Mullucks Wells in Great Dunmow are selling Plantation Cottage – a little thatched gem on the outskirts of the picture-postcard village of Finchingfield.

Early history suggests it was originally occupied by the gamekeeper on the nearby Spains Hall estate – yet despite its delightful period appearance, it is not listed, and the current owners have carried out extensive refurbishments.

The ground floor includes a cosy living room with an inglenook fireplace which now houses an "Essex" stove, a cottage-style kitchen with an AGA and butler sink, a rear lobby and a bathroom, while upstairs are no fewer than 3 bedrooms. The approach to the cottage is through double gates to a parking area, while the garden which is mainly laid to lawn measures approximately 75ft by 50ft.

It is priced at £395,000.

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