6 bedroom detached house
Townsend, Ilminster, Somerset TA19
  • Substantial Arts and Crafts Period residence
  • 6 Bedrooms and highly versatile living space with period features
  • Attractive and convenient location
  • Just under 2 acres of grounds including walled kitchen garden
  • Lawns and paddocks
  • Outbuildings including stables and derelict former cottage
With its origins in the 17th century, but rebuilt in the Arts and Crafts period, this impressive hamstone residence boasts a superb south-facing position. The house, gardens and land all with lovely views, lie within easy reach of the pretty town centre facilities.

The Property
Originally the Dillington Estate Manager's house, the property very much has the feel of a gentleman's residence of 100 years ago and is featured in Pevsner's latest Architectural Guide to the Buildings of England, Somerset: South & West. Many of the original features have been maintained whilst various programmes of upgrading over the years have created a comfortable property suitable for modern family living. The house still has a little sense of "upstairs downstairs" with the main proportion of the house retaining a sense of grandeur and space. The former servants' quarters now flow nicely into it, cleverly incorporating a far larger kitchen, utility areas and office space plus a second cellar space. The second staircase is a bonus too for day to day practicalities of navigating the generous upstairs accommodation, perfect for a large or extended family.

An enclosed courtyard leads you to the main entrance, the doorway opening into an impressive hall with attractive turning staircase and your first glimpses of the period stylings such as original arches, leaded windows and picture rails that are dotted throughout the house. Under the stairs, stone steps lead down into the wine cellar with stone floor and stone storage troughs. A low-level window from outside provides useful natural light. Above, from the hall is a traditional cloakroom with original chequered tiled floor, ample hanging space via a rail of original coat hooks and wash hand basin. The separate WC is graced with original Shanks & Co fittings which look rather grand and are perfect for the period.

From the Inner Hall doors lead to the main reception rooms which flow across the south side of the property. The 26' drawing room enjoys south facing views, with a period fireplace to one end (currently not in use). A spacious separate dining room still retains a cosier feel with its timber floor and large original fireplace. Dated as 1640 and believed to have been part of the original property, it has decorative terracotta inserts typical of the Arts and Crafts style. Leaded windows in stone mullions and a matching door provide access and borrowed light from the garden room, and a door opens from the garden room into the drawing room creating a nice flow for entertaining. The garden room has triple aspect views over the gardens and countryside with double doors opening out onto the front lawn.

An interconnecting door from the dining room opens into a superb dual aspect 28' kitchen / living space. Formerly two rooms it now gives you a superb family living space with open fireplace to one end and room for a comfy sofa or two. There's a practical tiled floor throughout. The kitchen is exceptionally well fitted with bespoke Robert Charles units and granite worktops. It includes a double ceramic sink, ample storage cupboards, display units, island unit with wine fridge and exceptional country style floor to ceiling dresser. There's space for a range cooker with extractor unit over. From the kitchen two doors lead out to the more utilitarian wing of the house on the east-side. A lobby from the kitchen leads to an original walk-in pantry cupboard with copious storage cupboards and shelving. A utility room houses a range of units, space and plumbing for your washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer, as well as housing the gas fired boiler. The rear hall has a stable door opening to the side driveway, a separate WC and access down a second flight of steps to the second cellar. Formerly used as a tack room, it has a stone floor, plumbing for washing machine, power and light, as well as being connected to the central heating system. Above this, accessed fom the rear hall is a further good size room previously used as an office, which could be suitable for many other uses – a sizeable boot room perhaps?

From the main entrance hall, the stairs lead up to the principal landing with the arch of the mullion window to the rear echoed in the arch leading through to the bedrooms. To your right is a generous master bedroom suite. This room is one of those that can take far more than your usual bedroom furniture and still has its own walk-in dressing room with floor to ceiling wardrobes and storage cupboards. It enjoys a double south-westerly aspect and a very generous en-suite shower-room. The guest bedroom is beautifully fitted with bespoke wardrobes and storage cupboards, and very much has the feel of a gentleman's room, complete with the original interconnecting double doors to the "lady's" bedroom next door. This room, like the others, is a good size and enjoys the southerly views. A nice touch are the original built-in wardrobes with their art-nouveau style handles. It also opens onto the east landing where there is a separate WC and family bathroom with its own airing cupboard. Further along the east landing are a further range of substantial floor to ceiling airing cupboards and storage cupboards housing the hot water cylinder and pumps. There are two further spacious bedrooms (Four & Five) with modern en-suite shower room to bedroom four. Stairs lead up from the east landing to the original garret room which now makes a unique and quirky 6th bedroom with windows to the side and rear. A further door leads through into a former Dark Room which provides excellent storage space and could be incorporated into the garret to make a larger top floor suite. A separate walk-in cupboard houses the water tank. Beyond the Dark Room is a further attic space, with restricted access via the eaves to yet more attic space (not inspected by the agent).

The outside space at Orchards extends to just under 2 acres and offers great potential for those who are keen gardeners or would like to be as self-sufficient as possible. Broadly arranged into areas of paddocks, lawns, and gardens there are also various outbuildings, all with further scope to mould them to your own needs.

To the west side of the property a stone archway leads you through to a substantial private parking area. Steps leads down to the Entrance Courtyard which is fully paved and in turn leads to the main front door, the south lawn and walled kitchen garden. The traditional south lawn takes in the full view across the valley and the nearby town, gently terraced and sloping down to the paddocks beyond which have water connected, and an all-weather manege. There are two stone-built stables with outside tap, accessed from the gated east-drive which is enclosed by secure gates. The drive carries on down the east side of the property to the paddock entrance. A derelict stone cottage to one side of the driveway is listed Grade II and previously had conditional planning permission and Listed Buildings Consent for reinstatement into a dwelling house (which has since lapsed). There is also a further stone outbuilding / WC with power connected.

To the west side of the house is a fabulous south-facing walled kitchen garden offering lots of potential for you to grow-your-own. Adjoining the kitchen garden, and overlooking the south lawn is a stone / brick built open-sided summerhouse with adjoining timber pergola covering a sheltered flagstone patio. To one side is a sunken garden with working well with gravel paths leading back into the top of the walled garden.

In all, this is a rare opportunity to find grounds as generous and with so much potential as these, such a short distance from all that the pretty town centre has to offer.

The property is in the heart of the community, near to a wide variety of independent stores. These are mostly centred around the market square and 15th century Minster church and have everything you need from an award-winning butchers, delicatessen, cheese and dairy shop, homewares, antiques stores, clothes boutiques and gift shops.

Ilminster is also well served by a town-centre Tesco store with ample free parking. Alongside is a bowls club and tennis club and close-by a town library. Ilminster Arts Centre is a vibrant arts venue with licensed café and there are plenty of other places to eat too, including pubs, cafes, restaurants and take-aways.

The town also benefits from several hairdressers / beauty salons and a dental surgery as well as modern health centre on the southern side of the town with two doctors' surgeries. Ilminster is arguably one of South-Somerset's prettiest market towns and has everything you need for day to day living on your doorstep. Should you need to go further afield it benefits from superb road links via the A303 and A358.

There are excellent educational facilities within reasonable distance including Perrott Hill School, Hazlegrove and Kings Bruton, The Park School at Chilton Cantelo, and further options in Wellington and Taunton, as well as just over the Somerset / Dorset border in Sherborne. More locally, we are blessed with excellent state schools of varying sizes all within a short distance, several of which are rated by Ofsted as Outstanding.