Built in 1905, this Edwardian former post office in Ingoldisthorpe in Norfolk extends over 1,400 sq ft. It is bookended by a beautifully planted front garden and generous outdoor space at the rear. Far-reaching views from the house overlook a large green playing field and the rambling countryside beyond. The house is brilliantly positioned near Kings Lynn with its easy connections to London, as well as Norfolk’s arresting coastline and nature reserves.
Setting the Scene
Although this former post office was constructed in 1905, there would have been a building on this site for hundreds of years. Indeed, Faden’s Map of Norfolk, surveyed between 1790 and 1794, clearly shows a structure on the site, while historic photos of Norfolk record the same. Constructed in red brick and carrstone (or gingerbread stone), typical of the area, the house has a characterful Edwardian exterior. It comprises a pretty gable end that crowns the façade and a unique picturesque decorative turret. Long-term residents of the village remember buying sweets from jars that used to line one wall when this house was the post office. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
The front door opens into a hallway leading to a useful utility room and a separate guest WC. A sitting room, with a wood-burning stove and a large bay window fitted with a romantic window seat, lies at the front of the house, the best spot to take in the green views over the village green and playing field. Hand-sculpted oak floors run throughout much of the ground floor of the house.
A cosy snug sits between the kitchen and the hallway, where an interior window (originally on the back wall of the house) has been retained to borrow light from the sunny extension. Also complete with a wood-burning stove, the space makes for a fantastic cinema room to hunker down in.
The kitchen at the rear of the house is a wonderfully voluminous space where exposed joists accent high ceilings. Hand-built open-shelf cabinetry sits under honed slate worktops, while dark oak floors blend into Indian slate tiles creating clever divisions of the space. A further wood-burning stove creates a focal point at one side of the room, set in front of a large picture window. Sliding glazed doors open to the garden, where the slate tiles extend, creating a smart sense of flow. Fitted pantry cupboards line two of the walls, and wooden panelling has been applied to one wall and the ceiling, adding a rich materiality.
A handsome dark wood staircase leads upstairs to three bedrooms, all with the characterful original floorboards in common; two are complete with their original fireplaces. A shared family bathroom has a luxurious resin freestanding bath, granite surfaces and a large double rain shower.
The windows throughout the house have been recently replaced, and insulation has been added to the roof, improving the building’s ability to retain heat.
The Great Outdoors
To the rear of the house is a lovely garden with paved seating areas, a lawn and planted borders, and a pretty water feature. A useful covered area provides shade at the back, where the sun tends to linger. There is also a two-car garage, workshop area, and additional on-street parking.
Out and About
Ingoldisthorpe occupies a fantastic position in Norfolk; a picturesque village in itself, it is also close to the county’s incredible beaches. A newly installed cycle path leads from the end of the house’s road to the expansive Snettisham Nature Reserve. RSPB-administered, the area is a wetland habitat with lagoons, shingle beaches and many bird species. In fact, in the winter months, up to 40,000 pink-footed geese travel from Iceland & Greenland to gather here on The Wash. Further north is Heacham South Beach, another stunning, wild stretch of sandy beach, perfect for long walks.
The house is also minutes away from the sweeping Sandringham Estate. Much is open to the public, including 243 hectares, with many marked trails for cycling or walking. There is also a large children’s woodland play area and a courtyard café perfect for afternoon tea. Houghton Hall, whose hall, spectacular gardens and art exhibitions are open to the public, is a short drive away.
Many good pubs and restaurants are nearby, including café The Old Store, in neighbouring Snettisham village and its sister restaurant, The Old Bank.
There are excellent state schools locally, including Ingoldisthorpe Church of England Primary School. Oftsted-rated Outstanding, it is a big pull for families in the area, and classrooms are in their purpose-built log cabins. There are more in Kings Lynn and Fakenham – including Fakenham Junior School and Fakenham Academy – while private schools include Greshams in Holt, Glebe House in Hunstanton and Beeston Hall near Sheringham.
Kings Lynn, with its various amenities and train station, is a twenty-minute drive from the house and has trains into London Kings Cross in about an hour and 45 minutes via Cambridge and Ely. It is also a short distance from the A10, with further connections to Cambridge and the M11 into London.
Council Tax Band: C
Captain Sir William Hoste (1780 – 1828) was born in the village, a Royal Navy Captain and one of Lord Nelson’s protégés who captained during the Napoleonic wars. The historic (and popular) Hoste Arms in Burnham Market is named after him.
Ingoldisthorpe has its own hall, which sits meters from the house. Grade II-listed, the Old Hall Farm House was constructed in either the late 16th century, or first half of the 17th century, in carrstone and originally in an H-shaped plan. Most likely Elizabethan and formerly surrounded by a moat, it is now an L-shaped farmhouse.
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