This wonderful three-bedroom Grade II-listed house in Leiston sits minutes from Suffolk’s beautiful coastline in a convenient town setting. Extending to almost 2,300 sq ft, the early 19th-century house is composed of a striking set of voluminous rooms, complete with many original features. Slowly updated over the years, it is a lovely family home with a private garden.
Setting the Scene
This house is one of a pair of Georgian houses constructed circa 1820. Each has a handsome grey brick façade, with a red-fired tile roof and decorated with brick pilasters reaching from the first floor to the parapet. Sitting on stone bases, the houses are crowned by ornamental curved finial blocks. Internally, many of the original features remain intact in rooms defined by their superb proportions and quality of light. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
There are two entrances to the house. The one most commonly used by the current owners opens directly into the kitchen. This is a lovely space composed of bespoke wooden cabinets set against a simple white-tiled splashback. From here, a door leads through to a light-filled dining space with a herringbone parquet floor and two large sash windows framing views over the garden. A brown-and-white-veined marble fireplace sits on one side of the room.
Adjacent is a voluminous sitting room, crowned by the original cornicing and arranged around a bay window with floor-to-ceiling glazing and a pair of French doors that open out to the garden. Heritage colour ‘Stone Mid-Cool’ by Little Greene has been applied to the walls, up to a picture rail. The room is complete with a fireplace with a white-painted wooden surround decorated with simple corbels. There is a guest WC on this floor and steps down to a substantial wine cellar.
An original sculptural staircase with delicate narrow spindles ascends to the first floor, where two generous double bedrooms are located. The principal bedroom has two large sash windows, a seagrass carpet, and another fireplace. The door to this room is crowned by a fanlight, which helps light permeate into the centre of the plan. The second bedroom is currently used as a study. Both rooms share a pretty bathroom with a separate walk-in shower. Handmade Zellige tiles are found on sections of the wall, and the bath is clad in plywood.
The top floor of the house has been converted into an open-plan space with pitched ceilings, exposed beams, a brick chimney, and engineered oak floors, as well as an en suite bathroom.
The Great Outdoors
A pleasing and brilliantly private walled garden sits at the front of the house. Mainly laid to lawn, it is framed by borders planted with a variety of plants, including bountiful roses and wisteria. There are also a couple of paved areas, perfect for eating outdoors. A garage and parking space are accessed via a private road behind the house.
Out and About
The popular town of Leiston lies about a mile and a half inland from the Suffolk Heritage Coastline. It offers a good range of shops in a traditional high street setting, together with a library, bank, doctors and dentists surgeries, swimming pool and the oldest cinema in Suffolk.
It is also home to Leiston’s Summerhill school, the oldest children’s democracy in the UK. According to their website, the school was “founded one hundred years ago to provide a space where children can grow in a ‘free-range’ environment” across their large, green grounds.
Ten minutes from the house is the charming market town of Saxmundham. The town has a range of services, including schools and shops, as well a well-known weekly market, held every Wednesday, where many local specialities can be found, as well as a branch of Waitrose.
There is also a fantastic selection of pubs and restaurants within easy reach of the house. The Station at Framlingham is a local favourite, as is the Michelin-recommended Italian restaurant Watson and Walpole. The Kings Head in nearby Yoxford does excellent food, and Trinity’s at No1 is a brilliant spot for coffee or breakfast.
For bird lovers, the RSPB Dingle Marshes in Dunwich is an unspoilt mix of habitats that include freshwater reedbed, shingle, coastal grazing marsh and saline lagoons.
Snape Maltings is a ten-minute drive; a mix of malthouses and granaries dating from the mid-19th century, several exhibitions take place here throughout the year. It also hosts Aldeburgh Festival, a 24-day event celebrating music & the arts, opera, comedy and film.
Aldeburgh and its famous beach are also a 10-minute drive from the house, where you can find The Lighthouse Restaurant and a lovely independent bookshop. The beach is backed by a promenade with pretty pastel-coloured villas and is just a short walk from the High Street. Predominantly shingle, the beach is filled with old fishing boats and many a pitstop for a pint of prawns or an ice cream.
Saxmundham station has direct trains to London Liverpool Street, via Ipswich, in under two hours.
Council Tax Band: C
Lying in the heart of Leiston, this property once made up part of the offices of the industrial manufacturers Richard Garrett & Sons. The building, therefore, is significant in the town, which has a proud industrial heritage. Richard Garrett & Sons were world-famous manufacturers that made steam engines and agricultural machinery producing numerous commercial and domestic products over the years
Adjacent to the house is the Long Shop Museum, which displays the company’s historic agricultural products, from sickles to steam engines and seed sowers. The incredible Grade-II* listed building is home to the Garrett family’s various collections, including that of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first female doctor in England.
- Five Good Things: what to see, read, visit and buy this OctoberPursuits
- At the Table: an evening of fun and feasting with Olympia and Ariadne IrvingLeisure
- Northern Lights: five homes in the north that have us in awe
- A Maker’s Story: Roddy Maude-Roxby, the man behind the maskInteriors
- Inspiration of the Week: more is more at this timber-framed house in Suffolk