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Lady Street
New
Dulverton, Somerset£525,000 Freehold

Lady Street

Nestled in the southeast corner of Exmoor, the cottage is close to a plethora of walks across its heather and gorse moorland

This delightful Victorian cottage is situated in an elevated position in the pretty town of Dulverton. Known as the ‘Gateway to Exmoor’, the town is nestled in the Barle River valley, providing a plethora of walks nearby, both along the river and across heather and gorse moorland. The house has been beautifully restored by the current owner—who is also an interior designer—installing Neptune cabinetry and improving the garden with an abundance of flowers. The town itself has a strong community and brilliant amenities, from independent shops to popular pubs. Dulverton is less than an hour’s drive to Tiverton and Exeter, both of which offer direct rail services to London Paddington in around two hours.

Setting the Scene

Dulverton is tucked in a steeply wooded valley where the River Barle meets the River Exe. Ancient routes have converged here for millennia, still bearing traces of habitations from as early as during the Iron Age. The river and Barle Valley are both designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their biodiversity, where species such as river otters, kingfishers, and rare varieties of plants can be found.

The cottage takes in sweeping views of the town and Exmoor National Park beyond, which is also named Europe’s first dark sky reserve, giving it the perfect conditions for stargazing. In fact there is an annual Dark Skies Festival hosted by Dulverton. The house is also conveniently located for reaching further areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the Quantock Hills AONB, Blackdown Hills AONB and Dartmoor National Park; yet, the thoughtful planting in the garden has meant that one doesn’t need to travel to enjoy the home’s own slice of nature. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour

Entry is through a scented rose-covered porch and into a hallway, with a smart, black and white checkerboard-tiled floor. The house is wonderfully balanced, with a kitchen to one side and a living room to the other. Both are bathed in light thanks to two large sash windows. The kitchen comprises Neptune cabinetry topped with locally quarried slate worktops, all set against wooden floors and two walls of characterful tongue and groove panelling. An open oak Shaker-style shelf runs the width of the room. There is also a useful pantry cupboard, as well as a built-in dresser.

The living room is in part warmed by a wood-burning stove, set within the original wooden fireplace surround. The room is delineated by a step up into a raised part of the room. This was used by the previous owners as a dining space, but is currently arranged as a brilliant library area, with walls clad in elegant cabinetry, again by Neptune.

From here, a door leads through to a brilliant utility room, featuring cabinetry topped with sold beech worktops and a deep butler sink. A side entrance to the house opens here, making for a fantastic boot room. A guest WC also adjoins this space.

The first floor is home to two lovely double bedrooms, each with handy, fitted wardrobes and with ample space for other freestanding furniture. A family bathroom services them both, with a Neptune sink topped with marble, and blue-painted fitted cupboards.

The Great Outdoors

The house, which is raised and set back from the street, enjoys a picturesque, south-facing front garden, filled by the current owner with an abundance of pretty flowering plants, including dahlias, hollyhocks and roses. The house and its porch are draped with sweet-smelling wisteria and roses, which flower at different times throughout spring and summer. Tucked behind a log store is a terraced area, perfect for keeping a table and chairs, and dining outside in the warm summer months.

Out and About

Dulverton has some fantastic culinary offerings, such as award winning Woods Pub & Restaurant, which creates inspired dishes using locally sourced ingredients, The Bridge Inn, a beloved watering hole overlooking the Barle Bridge. Tongdam Thai, offers brilliant food set against an atmospheric backdrop. The Copper Kettle is regarded for its cream teas and freshly baked goods, and The Tantivy is a really lovely coffee lounge and emporium of local gifts and goodies in the town centre.

Another highlight is the Dulverton Farmers’ Market which takes place on the last Saturday of the summer months. It hosts a range of local delights, with microbrews from The Cottage Beer Project, Lucho Bakes’ freshly baked loaves, jams and chutneys from The Selworthy Pantry, and lovely handmade arts and crafts. Exmoor Distillery also has a stand, but since its headquarters are located on the edge of town, the creators of Northmoor Gin, Blackmoor Rum & Barle Valley Vodka can be visited throughout the year.

In terms of outdoor activities, Wimpleball Lake is a popular attraction. Built as a water supply reservoir in the 1970s, it is just a few miles from Dulverton and provides a beautiful location for water sports like sailing, kayaking and even land-based activities like high ropes or zip wires. It is also a popular destination for walkers, as is The Tarr Step, an ancient clapper bridge which doubles as an excellent spot for wild swimming. Otherwise, the breathtaking moorland, woodland, and rivers of Exmoor lie in wait to the north, and it takes only half an hour to drive to the coast.

Transport links are good despite its rural setting. The M5 is a short drive away, granting rapid access to Exeter; the A30 and A38 also ensuring London, Devon, and Cornwall are within easy reach. Tiverton Parkway Station is a 36-minute drive away, from which trains run to London Paddington in 2 hours and to Bristol in under 50 minutes. The vibrant city of Exeter is reachable within an hour and its two stations (St David’s and St Thomas’) both run regular nationwide services. Exeter Airport is a 47-minute drive away, offering a long list of European destinations.

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.

History

Dulverton is a market town with medieval origins, although archaeological evidence dates habitation in the area to much earlier. The settlement grew gradually from an ancient bridging point below the Iron Age hillfort of Oldberry Castle to where the Barle valley broadens. Additional prehistoric hill forts indicate strategic importance, which is also reflected in its Old English place name ‘dieglaford-tun’ meaning “hidden ford”. The town is referenced as ‘Dolvertune’ in the Domesday Book of 1086 and recorded as a royal manor before the Norman Conquest. Its location has long been an advantageous site due to its proximity to the Royal Forest of Exmoor, which became a prolific royal hunting ground. The town earned its nickname as the ‘Bridge to Exmoor’ through both its Grade II-listed arched Barle Bridge, the oldest medieval bridge in the area, and the Grade I-listed Tarr Steps, a prehistoric clapper bridge dating to around 1000 BCE.

In medieval times Dulverton’s economy was largely agricultural, and in 1306 King Edward I granted the town urban status as a market and a three-day fairground. However, development was slow and in 1555 the town was described as ‘very populous and in decay and the poor inhabitants now in great want’. To improve this, Queen Mary granted several local landowners the right to manage the commerce of the town, including holding markets and fairs. One of these managers was John Sydenham, who purchased the town manor in 1568 and was subsequently held by the family for the next 300 years. By the late 18th century, the town began taking advantage of the abundance of rivers and streams, harnessing the water’s energy to power mills for the wool trade. Wool soon became the basis for the local economy and the town became known for manufacturing coarse woolen cloth and blankets which were sought after at the time. By the mid-1800s, wool production had been replaced by crepe fabric.

The 19th century saw further industrialisation and urbanisation, as well as the introduction of the railroad. However, Somerset was not characterised by the kind of large-scale industrialisation and urbanisation seen in other parts of Great Britain, and instead experienced a virtual collapse of its most important industry – cloth production. Yet Dulverton has remained an important local centre over the centuries, and it has largely retained its compact medieval townscape, with the main concentration of development in Fore Street and High Street, where a large, triangular central marketplace can still be distinguished below the 15th-century, Grade II* listed All Saints Church. The historic leat (a watercourse directing water to a mill) is also still evident, running parallel with the river towards the weir, a memory of the former mill-town.

Lady Street — Dulverton, Somerset
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