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Listings We Love: homes to set hearts aflutter

Love is in the air every day at Inigo, thanks to a consistently handsome line-up of listings that always set pulses racing. But which of our bevvy of beauties hits your hot spot?

Words
George Upton
Listings We Love: homes to set hearts aflutter

Roses are red, violets are blue, we like old houses… and we think you might do too? From gorgeous Georgian manors to cosy Victorian terraces, romantic red-bricks to sturdy stone cottages with stories that stretch back hundreds of years, Inigo boasts the best of the bunch when it comes to historic homes.

Forget the cards and the flowers – cornicing and fine furnishings are what get Inigo hot under the collar. You too? You’re in luck. We’ve picked five listings that we’re particularly loving at the moment, each a perfect example of the enduring appeal of Britain’s distinctive domestic architecture.

LITTLE BUCKSTEEP, DALLINGTON, EAST SUSSEX

One look at Little Bucksteep tells you that this house has been well loved. Since the main section was built in the late 17th century, the house has slowly evolved, with each subsequent addition and expansion feeling sympathetic to the existing structure, from the early Georgian modifications in 1717 to the harmonious Arts and Crafts-style entrance in 1919 and, later, the Aga and bespoke modern kitchen installed in more recent years. Period details, such as the linenfold panelling and open fireplace – rescued from Hever Castle – have been preserved, while the mature garden has been carefully cultivated to become a series of ‘rooms’. This is a rare jewel hidden in one of England’s most beautiful landscapes – and only a short drive from farm shops, delis and great pubs.

THE OLD MANOR, CROSCOMBE, SOMERSET

The Old Manor is a real sweetie, thought to have been built in 1460 for the treasurer of Wells Cathedral, Hugh Sugar. That makes it both one of the oldest and the most characterful houses we’ve featured. Adorned with ecclesiastical motifs and Palladian cornicing, this handsome Grade I-listed building is a window on to the past that has simultaneously been well equipped for modern family life. Situated in the pretty village of Croscombe, at the edge of the Mendip hills, the house makes a perfect base from which to explore the history and landscapes of this bucolic corner of Somerset. And the River Sheppey runs right past the door – does it get more romantic than that?

STEELES ROAD, LONDON NW3

Living in a city doesn’t always mean having to compromise on light and space. This maisonette, which sprawls over the top two floors of a late Victorian building in north London, is case in point. The apartment also manages to be cosy as well as spacious, thanks in part to its book-lined nooks, and benefits from panoramic views of the capital. Conceived by the previous owner as an ‘artist’s garret’ – an idea partly inspired by the time she spent living in a ‘chambre de bonne’ in Paris – the upper floor is a light, coherent space that leads onto a balcony, while the level below has an intimate window-lit desk space, the perfect place at which to write a billet-doux or two (or anything else, for that matter).

HOBART, MANUDEN, ESSEX

There are country houses and then there’s Hassobury Manor, a towering Grade II-listed exemplar of Victorian gothic in north-western Essex. Split over three floors, this apartment within the house, known as Hobart, mirrors the building’s grand proportions and sense of space in its interiors. Here, high ceilings and vast windows come together to create spaces that are stately but relaxed. With each window offering a different perspective on the mature parkland nearby and surrounding East Anglian landscape, Hobart feels deep in the heart of rural England. Yet those seeking cosmopolitan comforts shouldn’t worry – Hobart is only a short drive from the historic market town of Bishop’s Stortford, from which trains to London run regularly.

FORESHORE, LONDON SE8

This carefully renovated apartment in a former Royal Navy building in Deptford is a living reminder of a part of London’s history that has all but disappeared. It’s nestled inside one of the warehouses constructed in the late 18th century for the Royal Navy on the south bank of the Thames. These victualling stores sustained the British fleet on what was once a particularly busy part of the river. Since the Navy moved out in the 1960s, swans ­– and the occasional river ferry – have replaced frigates and cargo ships, making this an almost uniquely tranquil part of inner London, with some of the finest views of the Thames we’ve seen. It’s so close that, when the sun shines, rippling reflections from river dance gracefully on Foreshore’s ceiling. Bliss.

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