Ness Cottage occupies an unrivalled elevated position on Horse Lane in the sought-after coastal village of Shaldon, Devon. The exceptional five-bedroom home extends over 5,380 sq ft and enjoys superb views across Lyme Bay and the dramatic sandstone headland of the Ness from each of the four storeys. The interiors have been the subject of an extensive and sensitive restoration in recent years; the home also has beautifully landscaped private gardens and terraces. The gently sloping sand and shingle of Ness Cove and Shaldon Beach are an easy meander from the house, while the adjacent Botanical Gardens almost feel like an extension of Ness Cottage’s private grounds.
Setting the Scene
Ness Cottage forms a significant cornerstone in Shaldon’s history as one of a handful of pre-eminent houses in the village and comes to market for just the third time in a century. The house is thought to have originally been built as a Georgian seaside villa forming part of the Clifford Estate, occupied in the 1800s by a senior cleric of Exeter Cathedral, and later extended to create a significant Victorian family home. It was acquired by Mr and Mrs Homeyard in 1921 from the Clifford family; Mrs Homeyard was responsible for much of the development of Shaldon and employed many people in the village during the depression of the 1930s. She also created the Botanical Gardens, which lie directly opposite the house, across the narrow Horse Lane.
The Grand Tour
Ness Cottage is ideally located in close proximity to the sea, with excellent privacy; set back in a walled garden behind oak gates, the home has a private gravelled driveway, a large double garage and extensive space for parking. Formal entry to the house is via a porched hallway, where a striking wall of stained glass gives an impressive introduction to the building’s heritage. A ground floor cloakroom and boot room lead into the music room, where timber floorboards run underfoot and high ceilings create a wonderful sense of volume.
The primary living room lies to the immediate left; here, the original cornicing has been beautifully restored and a wall of Oriel fenestration frames breathtaking sea views, inviting an exceptional quality of natural light to flood in throughout the day. Timber-framed French windows open directly onto the terrace. Numerous other reception rooms can be found at ground-floor level, including a snug living room with a log-burning stove and a studio workspace, currently used as a recording studio.
The large open-plan kitchen and dining room are positioned on the westerly wing, replete with hand-crafted joinery and a large Rangemaster cooker. Floor-to-ceiling sash windows and glazed doors create a wonderful visual connection to the surrounding gardens and the arterial corridor leads out to a private secluded courtyard. There is also an interconnected utility space and laundry room in this section of the house.
A main central staircase leads up to an expansive first-floor landing room; this is a beautifully bright space that has been sensitively opened out to optimise the levels of natural light and has an original Victorian fireplace positioned to one side. The main bedroom is framed by three walls of full-height shuttered French windows with the most wonderful views out to the headland; there is also an original marble fireplace in this room. Four further bedrooms and three bathrooms span the first and second storeys. A second staircase leads down to a large cellar and up to the first and second storeys.
The basement offers further scope for development, with two large original stone fireplaces and a set of glass doors that provide direct access to the gardens. Superfast broadband also runs throughout the house.
The Great Outdoors
Stocked full of herbaceous borders and perennials, vegetable beds and a number of mature trees, the gardens have been thoughtfully landscaped and developed in recent years and are a haven for local wildlife. A wide, paved terrace provides a wonderful pavilion for summer lunches, with views out to the Ness which is dramatically lit at night, and out to sea.
Out and About
Shaldon is a gem of a village, nestled alongside an estuary and sheltered from the sea by the Ness headland. At its heart is a green surrounded by handsome Georgian houses. The village has five pubs, an award-winning butcher, a bakery, a post office, a chemist and a grocery shop. There is also a primary school (OFSTED-rated “Outstanding”), a golf course, a zoo and botanical gardens. The sandy beach, which is lined with rowing boats, has water that is perfect for children to paddle in and is close to Ness Cottage. England’s oldest passenger ferry pootles across the water to Teignmouth, where the Crab Shack serves seafood straight out of the estuary. At the top of the village, an old smugglers’ tunnel leads down to Ness Cove Beach on the other side of the headland.
There is a direct rail link to London close by and Shaldon is less than five mile from easy access to the motorway networks.
Shaldon was chosen as one of the country’s ‘Best Places to Live’ by The Sunday Times, who described it as follows:
“Shaldon likes to describe itself as a ‘quaint English drinking village with a fishing problem’, but finding the time for either when there is so much else going on must be difficult. Everyone volunteers or gets involved with something, from the riotous regatta to the giant beach bonfire on November 5 and the Boxing Day fancy-dress three-legged race. Pubs are at the centre of village life, and each one offers something different: the London Inn, on the green, does fine food and a regular quiz; there’s live music at the Ferry Boat Inn; the Clifford Arms specialises in jazz. The Ness has panoramic views and hosts Ness Fest, a summer music festival. The real gem here, though, is Café Ode, Tim Bouget’s sustainable restaurant and café. This beautiful village has it all.”
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