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Church Walk
Rugby, WarwickshireSold

Church Walk

Through a thatched lych gate, the house unfolds in all of its Arts and Crafts splendour

Nestled in a quiet enclave on the outskirts of Rugby in Warwickshire is this charming four-bedroom thatched cottage. Wonderfully located in Bilton, in the heart of its conservation area, the house is a five-minute walk from village amenities. Extending to 2,824 sq ft internally, the Arts and Crafts interiors have been painstakingly preserved, including a number of individually designed rosemary tile fireplaces. Expansive gardens, spanning some half an acre, have been landscaped to promote local wildlife with organically grown fruit, vegetables and flowers. An external garage with studio and office space also sits within the plot. 

Setting the Scene

Though Bilton is today considered a suburb of nearby Rugby, it started life as an Iron Age settlement hugging the banks of the river Avon. The waterway then formed a natural barrier between the Dobunni and Corieltauvi – two warring migratory tribes living in the midlands before the Roman conquest. The name Bilton was first conceived in Anglo-Saxon times as Beolatun, meaning ‘Beola’s town’. By the time the Domesday Book was compiled in 1086, Bilton had grown into a significant enough community to be mentioned twice. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour

Accessed by a picture-perfect lych gate, the house sits proudly in its quiet setting. An elm entrance hall is defined by its tongue and groove panelling and oak beams overhead. The hall opens to the main reception rooms; the original door furniture by Kirkpatrick has been retained throughout.

On the left of the plan, a wonderfully characterful large reception room is lit by dual-aspect windows. Wooden beams run overhead, and an original hand-crafted rosemary tile fireplace sits on the rear wall. These fireplaces dotted throughout the home were built in c.1920 and are exceptional examples of Arts and Crafts design. Adjacent to the reception room is a pretty music room with stone mullion windows, waist-height tongue and grove panelling and further exposed timber beams.

In the middle of the house is an expansive kitchen. Flooded with natural light from dual-aspect windows and French doors overlooking a dining terrace, this room is perfect for entertaining. Original duck egg blue tiling has been retained by the current owners, who have also incorporated a wood-burning stove in the corner of the room. Elm wooden flooring is complemented by a hand-crafted kitchen by Hutchinson. The cabinetry has an elegantly tapering island and nods to the house’s origins. Leading off the kitchen is a large utility room and a separate larder.

The extension behind the kitchen is a wonderful space. With views over the garden from its corner bi-fold glazing and skylight, it makes a perfect artist’s studio or garden room. There is wet underfloor heating throughout the studio, kitchen and utility.

A bespoke metal staircase by Verdigris leads from the kitchen to the upper floors, where two large bedrooms overlook the quiet front garden. Both have dual-aspect windows meaning they are wonderfully bright. An original bathroom and separate WC, carefully restored and retained by the current owners, sits between the bedrooms.

At the rear of the house is the large third bedroom, currently used as a dressing room come-study, and behind this, the large primary bedroom suite. A voluminous space, the ceiling reaches into the eaves and stone mullion windows overlook the expansive gardens. Adjacent to the room is an en suite bathroom with a shower,  a vanity and a WC.

Externally, a wood-framed garage and studio is entirely self-contained. With its own mains water and electricity, the space is currently used as a workshop and office and has a separate shower room. It also has its own alarm system and would make excellent guest accommodation.

The Great Outdoors

The beautiful gardens unfold across roughly half an acre. To the front, a riot of spring bulbs, snowdrops, primrose and crocus border a gravelled driveway, which provides parking space for several cars. The front garden is wonderfully private with well-established silver birch, witch hazel and clipped hedging.

To the rear, the gardens have been cleverly designed in a series of designated spaces; a winding trellis encloses an outside dining area where a fig tree and fan-trained apricot provide shade in the spring and summer months. A wide lawn is dotted with raised vegetable beds and a fruit orchard with sweet chestnut, hazel and soft fruit bushes, while ancillary buildings such as a potting shed and greenhouse provide practical spaces for the green-fingered.

Out and About

Church Walk is situated in the heart of the Bilton conservation area, an exceptionally secluded and quiet wooded environment, defined by its interesting and historic buildings, including St Mark’s church opposite the house, the Grade II-listed Long Barn just down Church Walk and the Grade I-listed Bilton Hall overlooking the garden.

Bilton is a charming village with amenities such as a post office, supermarket, doctors’ surgery, butchers, famed Cheese on the Green and two pubs; the Black Horse and the George.

A short drive away is the historic town of Rugby; awash with cultural amenities such as the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, the Rugby School Museum, Coombe Abbey and Stanford Hall, the town is also host to a multitude of cafes and restaurants, alongside a bustling retail high street.

There are a host of public and independent schools in the area, and Rugby is wonderfully connected, with direct trains to London Euston in under an hour. Birmingham airport is a 30-minute drive away, offering domestic and international flights daily. From Rugby, there is easy access to the extensive motorway networks surrounding Warwickshire, including the A5, A14, M1 and M6.

Council Tax Band: G

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


Rugby’s and Bilton’s position on the waterway meant, historically, they were both excellently located for trade, meaning they were both exceptionally popular with merchants.

The Grade II*-listed parish Church of St. Mark in Bilton dates from the mid-14th century and is noticeable among village churches in the area for its size and ambition.

In 1567, Rugby School was founded, becoming what the area is most famous for today. Started as a free grammar school, Rugby has gone on to establish itself as a major public school. Among its many distinguished alums, it owes a particular debt to William Webb Ellis, who, as legend has it, invented the sport to which the school would give its name as a student there in 1845.

As the industrial revolution brought manufacturing to the Midlands, villages became towns, and towns became cities. Rugby became an important hub for the railways, as its location made it a good meeting point for various lines. By the mid-19th century, Rugby junction had established itself as among the most important stations in the country. The increased footfall brought with it jobs and opportunities.

Rugby grew, and by the early 20th century, Bilton had been enveloped as part of its suburban expansion. There are, however, traces of Old Bilton which remain. In the centre of the village green stands the remains of an ancient stone cross, thought to date back to the village’s Saxon roots. Bilton Hall is a Grade I-listed building dating back to the 17th century. It is the former home of poet and essayist Joseph Addison and sporting writer Charles James Apperley.

Church Walk — Rugby, Warwickshire
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