This striking Grade II-listed, three-bedroom house is nestled in the bucolic village of Orford. It is part of a terraced group of three late 19th-century houses and has been recently restored by the current owners, who have celebrated its original features against a distinctly natural palette.
Setting the Scene
The cottages on Daphne Road are likely to have been built for the estate workers of the nearby Sudbourne Estate at around the same time as Chillesford Lodge Model Farm, a collection of farm buildings (now Grade II-listed) designed for Sir Richard Wallace Baronet by celebrated architect Frederick Barnes. These ‘High Victorian’ houses are fantastically ornamental and flamboyant, particularly when compared to some of the more restrained Georgian architecture in the area. They are particularly recognisable for their mock-Tudor timber detailing set against pebbledash walls, decorative porches, brilliant ‘gothick’ arched windows and scalloped garden walls with wrought iron gates.
The Grand Tour
The wrought iron gate opens into a beautifully planted front area, where a path leads to the porch and front door. This opens into a large hallway with space to hang coats and leave shoes. Original wooden floorboards run underfoot and into the sitting room at the front of the house, which is warmed by a wood-burning stove nestled in a brick fireplace. New shutters frame a large window that bathes the room in light.
A dining room lies beyond, where the floors have been lined with vintage, square terracotta tiles and pale-coloured grouting; there is a working fireplace with a decorative surround on one wall. This space opens into the kitchen, which has beautiful ceramic double laundry sinks crowned with brass taps. Large, square white tiles clad the walls, set against darker grouting, and open shelves (which are found throughout the house) run above the cream Aga. There is also a bathroom on this floor, with a French short bath to one side and another ceramic sink. Again, brass fittings have been used throughout.
The original wooden staircase ascends to the first floor, which contains the bedrooms. Each bedroom is decorated in a slightly different manner; one has delicate floral wallpaper, another – the main bedroom – is decorated with a deliberately neutral palette, while the smallest bedroom is complete with an arched window and has wooden tongue and groove panelling along one wall.
The Great Outdoors
The rear garden is around 60ft long and 25ft wide. It is wonderfully private, entirely contained between hedges on each side and at the far end, where a neighbour’s yew hedge frames the beautiful view of the church. The rewilded garden is bursting with various grasses, ox-eye daisies, foxglove and wild carrot, plus an elderly apple tree, a vigorous holly tree and two energetic shrubs at the near end (lonicera nitida and forsythia). The current owners have repositioned and added box hedging near the outbuildings at the end of the garden, as well as planting blackthorn.
The garden is divided from the house by two outbuildings positioned around a yard; there is also a new shed in the corner. The outbuildings are similar in style and age to the house itself and have a red brick exterior with a tiled roof, limewashed walls and brick floors inside. One building is used as an outside WC and storage space; the other has a fridge, a washing machine and kitchen storage, as well as feed bins for the current owners’ hens.
Out and About
Orford is a pretty medieval village on the River Alde, close to Suffolk’s beautiful coastline and the extraordinary Orford Ness National Nature Reserve. It was an important port and fishing village in the Middle Ages and is famous for its medieval castle. Built by Henry II, the castle was passed on to Richard I during his reign and remains an important structure, incredibly well preserved considering its age, and a fantastic example of a revolutionary keep with a polygonal tower.
Oford attracts visitors for its twice-daily drops of fresh lobster and crabs, Pinney’s renowned oysterage and smokehouse and the excellent Pump Street Bakery. It changes gear dramatically in the summer, to become a sailing and boating hive of activity, and becomes more quiet and peaceful in the winter. The harbour is home to Brinkley’s fish shed, a popular tea room and the Orford Sailing Club, whilst fresh fish caught by local fishermen are sold on the foreshore.
Close by Snape Maltings is a visitor destination of great beauty and a world-renowned centre of music, whilst slightly further afield is Aldeburgh; famed for its ice cream, fish and chips, its lovely stretch of beach and as the home of Benjamin Britten. Orford is also a stone’s throw from the rest of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB; from Shingle Street to Dunwich, Southwold and beyond.
The station at Woodbridge is around 20 minutes by car from the house, where services to London Liverpool Street run via Ipswich with a journey time of approximately 97 minutes.
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