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Cross Keys
Under Offer
South Street, Bridport, Dorset£325,000 Leasehold

Cross Keys

Creamy tones accentuate the rich wood patina of the 18th-century beams

Nestled in the heart of the cheerful market town of Bridport in Dorset, this lovely apartment is defined by its wonderful array of period features. Set within a Grade II-listed former 18th-century public house, it has expansive Georgian sash windows, exposed timber beams, and symmetrical proportions. Unfolding over three floors across just under 1,500 sq ft, it features three bedrooms and an airy sitting room. It is a short walk from the lively town centre, an area known for its rich array of brilliant bookshops, and is also within easy reach of the celebrated Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Setting the Scene

Bridport was recorded in the Domesday Book as a modest settlement of around 120 homesteads. In the Middle Ages, the town developed a reputation for being a hub for expert rope and net makers due to the ample flax and hemp grown in nearby fertile fields. This local trade affected the architecture and layout of the town centre, with its wide main streets built to accommodate the stretching of the ropes. In the 18th century, the town greatly expanded, and a particularly handsome new town hall was built (overlooked by the apartment) and is the most recognisable landmark of Bridport today. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour

The apartment lies on South Street, accessed via a quiet central passage through a courtyard. A private door leads to an entrance area with well-conceived storage and ample space to deposit sandy wellies or spades and pails. A short flight of stairs leads to a large landing illuminated from above by a skylight.

At the front of the apartment is a bright sitting room, where a pair of original eight-by-eight sash windows overlook the pretty street below. The room is centred around a 19th-century cast-iron fireplace, while creamy tones on the walls accentuate the rich wood patina of the 18th-century exposed beams.

A kitchen lies next door, with plenty of space for a large dining table. A further window looks over the adjoining rooftops and the skyline while accentuating the high ceilings.

Currently, the main bedroom is set on the first floor. It is characterised by a striking feature wall painted in a warm and vivid orange-red and has a convenient en suite WC. A smaller secondary bedroom is to the front of the plan and also features sash windows, exposed wooden beams, and a full-height storage cupboard with a hanging rail that runs under the stairs. Stairs ascend to the second storey, tucked into the garret space, where a large landing is lit from above, leading to the secluded third bedroom. A dormer casement window illuminates the bedroom, and a wonderful en suite bathroom makes this floor perfect guest accommodation.

At the back of the apartment, at the very rear of the plan on the first floor, lies a large main bathroom with a spacious airing cupboard and a large bath.

Out and About

Set among the much-coveted Dorset AONB is the handsome market town of Bridport. The town has gained a reputation as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, the only natural World Heritage Site in England. Indeed, West Bay beach is within walking distance of Bridport’s bustling centre. Here, dramatic golden cliffs rise above the fine shingle strand and views along Chesil beach and Portland island are quite spectacular.

Looking inland, numerous country walks are only a short drive from the town’s centre. Trails at Langdon Hill are awash with bluebells and foxgloves in the spring, fading to heady cow parsley and wild garlic in the autumn. It is of little wonder that the works of Thomas Hardy are steeped in these landscapes.

There is much to do in Bridport; in addition to plenty of locally stocked grocers, cafés, pubs and a post office, the town is thriving with independent antique sellers and specialist bookshops, as well as an impressive Art-Deco Cinema (Electric Palace) that is still family run. Many of these amenities are located on South Street, which is transformed twice weekly for the historic Bridport market. The Bridport Art Centre is on the doorstep, presenting a year-round programme of visual arts, theatre, dance, comedy, music, spoken word and films and screenings. A local Waitrose is a convenient in-town amenity.

Despite these idyllic natural settings and local atmosphere, Bridport is not isolated. The A35 connects the town to Exeter and Bournemouth, both just over an hour’s drive away. Travel to London is also straightforward, with trains running direct to Waterloo in two hours and 40 minutes from nearby Dorchester South station (a 25-minute drive from Bridport). An alternative route from Crewkerne Station can take two hours and 30 minutes. For international connections, Exeter Airport is 34 miles away.

Tenure: Leasehold
Underlying Lease Length: approx. 979 years remaining
Service Charge: approx. £694.19 pa
Ground Rent: nil
Council Tax Band: C

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.


The beautiful hills and rolling countryside surrounding Bridport are not just a picturesque backdrop; they are the fertile land upon which flax and hemp are grown, providing Bridport with a net-making and twine trade that continues to this day.

In the 13th century, King John declared that the people of Bridport should make “as many ropes for ships both large and small and as many cables as you can” to support the booming ship works of the era. As a result, the visual character of Bridport today is a fascinating result of both its origin as a market town and industrial, architectural traditions.

After the flax and hemp was harvested and treated in the local fields, it was transported to Bridport and spun in the open air. Spinning was carried out by hand on incredibly long and narrow plots known as ‘spinning walks’, which were shaded by trees to protect the fabrics and had a shed set at one end for the spinner.

By the 19th century, planning for the manufacturing process changed, and the provision of spinning walks was replaced with the construction of long and narrow gable-ended buildings, many of which remain. Bridport’s architectural history truly is a physical manifestation of its industrial past, representing one of England’s longest-surviving traditions of the manufacturing industry.

Cross Keys — South Street, Bridport, Dorset
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