This exceptional Grade II-listed Georgian country house stands in an elevated position on the dramatic Devon coastline near the hamlet of Stoke, within easy walking distance of the wild, remote beaches below. Internal accommodation extends to over 7,300 sq ft across two storeys and includes 10 bedrooms. The house is surrounded by expansive private gardens that have far-reaching views across the countryside and out to sea.
Setting the Scene
Records show a settlement at Berry as far back as medieval times. The house was substantially enlarged and remodelled in the 1700s and remained part of the estate of Hartland Abbey until the 1950s. During the last two decades, the house has been the subject of an extensive restoration by the current owners, who have lovingly restored the historic fabric of the house back to its impressive 18th-century form.
The Grand Tour
The approach from Stoke is via a winding track, over a stone bridge and past the back of Hartland Abbey. A private driveway provides generous parking areas and leads on to the formal front gardens. The primary entrance is via a porticoed lobby forming part of the elegant Georgian façade.
The front section of the house is a particularly grand space, with high corniced ceilings and full-height panelling. The entrance hall is flanked by two well-proportioned south-facing reception rooms, each with an excellent quality of natural light. A handsome dining room with a wood-burning stove opens to the left, while to the right lies a wonderfully inviting and peaceful drawing room with a large open fireplace and shuttered sash windows that frame views across the valley to the church tower.
Double doors connect the kitchen to the dining room via a large, moulded arch with a portico. This room has been sensitively modernised to provide facilities for everyday living, while retaining original detailing such as flagstone flooring underfoot. A large breakfast room adjoins the kitchen, with sash windows providing views onto a charming folly built by the Abbey on top of the sea cliffs. French windows open onto the rear terraces, creating a seamless transition between the inside and outside living spaces.
To the rear of the ground floor is a long flagstoned corridor. Brick steps lead down to extensive cellars housing the original wine store and a well. Across the corridor is a cloakroom and a boot room with a fireplace and hopper. Access to the kitchen garden can also be gained here.
Two bedrooms are located on the ground floor, with verdant views of the kitchen garden and one room with fine panelling which would serve particularly well as a home office. The adjacent bathroom and shower room have terracotta tiled floors with underfloor heating. From here there is also access to the secondary staircase leading to the first and second floors.
The principal staircase ascends to the two main bedrooms. These are both beautifully proportioned rooms replete with fine original detailing, en suite bathrooms and views to the south. From the half-landing, a connecting door leads to the first-floor corridor and onto a large games room and the reading room. This is a tranquil space with fenestration on three sides providing far-reaching views. Three further bedrooms, one with an en-suite shower, are located on the first floor, plus a family bathroom with a roll-top bath looking out to sea.
The attic has been substantially insulated to provide a snug retreat. The three bedrooms in this part of the house have characterful sloping ceilings, exposed beams and skylights providing elevated views across the open countryside.
The house currently operates as a successful holiday let with a good annual income, details of which can be shared upon request.
The Great Outdoors
The gardens at the front of the house have been naturally landscaped, with a curved ha-ha and wildflower meadow forming a seamless boundary with the land beyond. A sheltered triangular kitchen garden lies to the east, with original cobbled pathways, formal borders and dense planting layered up to the surrounding lichen-covered stone walls.
The terraces that lie off the breakfast room are walled on all sides and provide a wonderful spot for alfresco dining, with large slate tables screened on two sides by a substantial oak pergola and flowering vine. On the far side of the terraces, a tall stone wall provides a doorway leading to the croquet lawn. Well-kept lawns surround the house, and a hot tub is concealed discreetly in one corner to catch the sunsets over the sea.
Rewilding and an ongoing wildlife conservation plan are in progress. Several stone farm buildings to the north of the house are also available by separate negotiation.
Out and About
The expansive open landscape and coastline provide many walking paths that lead down through the majestic cliffs to quiet, pebbly beaches, innumerable rock pools, stretches of pristine sand and a waterfall onto Berry Beach. Local shops and pubs are within easy walking distance inland, along the valley path to Hartland, which has remained unchanged and almost untouched for centuries.
The famous surfing beaches near Bude to the south and at Westward Ho! to the north are around 30 minutes’ drive away, and the Tarka Trail near Bideford offers excellent cycling and walking routes.
Train services run from nearby Barnstaple to Exeter and beyond.
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