This wonderful three-bedroom worker’s cottage dates from the 1870s and is filled with a combination of contemporary details and restored original features. Stanley House is positioned in the centre of the village of Alderton, just two fields away from Shingle Street, a picturesque stretch of the Suffolk coastline. The sea can be seen from parts of the village. This home has been thoughtfully renovated and extended, and it’s enclosed and partially walled garden frames beautifully planted herbaceous borders. There is a self-contained annexe with additional accommodation, a workshop and potting shed.
Setting the Scene
Alderton is a pretty village nestled in the heart of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is situated on a peninsula bordered by the River Deben on one side and the sea on the other. It’s name was recorded as ‘Alretuna” in the Domesday Book of 1086 and the area is steeped in history. The Anglo – Saxon burial at Sutton Hoo is nearby (the subject of the recent film “The Dig” and some of the locations used in the film are in close proximity) as are a string of Napoleonic Martello Towers, First World War military defences and more peaceably the atmospheric village Church which dramatically lost its spire to a storm in the 18th century. Conveniently, the village now has a well-stocked shop.
The Grand Tour
There are two entrances to Stanley House, one formal entrance from the street and another through a side gate that leads via a lobby into the dining room. Solid oak floorboards from Lassco run underfoot throughout the ground floor. The kitchen is situated in an architect-designed red-brick extension and has cabinetry by Plain English, a freestanding gas and electric range cooker, and a double-butler sink below a window that frames views of the garden. Adjacent to the kitchen is the dining area, bathed in sunlight streaming in through windows on two sides. The living room beyond has a warming wood-burning stove and wonderful new wooden shutters, inspired by 19th-century originals.
Upstairs there are three bedrooms, each with original floorboards; one of these is currently used as a dressing room. There is also a shared family bathroom on this level with beautiful green glass mosaic tiles and sanitary ware from C. P. Hart.
The annexe – historically the site of the village’s telephone exchange – was designed by local architects to resemble a converted barn and has been clad with blackened barge boards. It has large floor-to-ceiling glazed windows, which open out from the double-height living room onto a paved terrace. A wood-burning stove is set against the exposed brick wall, while the rest of the room is clad in bead and butt panelling. There is a separate tiled bathroom and a utility room which could easily be converted into a kitchenette. A double bedroom occupies the mezzanine which, like the utility room and living room, has solid walnut flooring underfoot.
Adjacent is a room currently used as a workshop for bicycle storage and maintenance, although this would also make a good studio, workspace or further bedroom. Outside there is a carport with access from the road, and a potting shed that has electrics installed which could be used as another home office.
The Great Outdoors
The partially walled garden has been thoughtfully designed and is filled with an abundance of plants and trees. Wisteria climbs over the external walls and a recently added pergola provides a lovely place to sit in the warmer months. A striking row of pleached crab apple trees blossom in the spring, bear fruits in the autumn and give additional privacy throughout the year.
There are many beautiful cycle rides and walks nearby, including to the aforementioned Shingle Street which is a matter of minutes from the house and is perfect for lazy picnics and swims all year round. The ever-shifting shingle moves throughout the year, creating swimming opportunities in the smaller sea pools, the waters of which warm quicker than the open sea.
Out and About
Alderton is just a short walk from a stunning stretch of Suffolk coastline, and near to the riverside pub at Ramsholt where there is a quay and mooring for boats on the River Deben. The picturesque market town of Woodbridge is only nine miles away and is a thriving spot with many small independent shops, a cinema, a variety of restaurants, pubs, cafes, and a supermarket. Snape Maltings, a world-renowned musical destination, is a 20-minute drive away; while Orford, a pretty medieval village on the River Ore, is also nearby and home to the celebrated Pump Street Bakery & Chocolate Makers. Further afield is Aldeburgh, another popular seaside town – the home of Benjamin Britten, it is also famed for its ice cream, fish and chips.
Alderton’s nearest railway station is Melton, a 12-minute drive away, on a branch line with hourly trains north to Lowestoft and south to Ipswich (23 minutes). From Ipswich there are direct connections to London (in one hour and 12 mins), Stansted, Cambridge, and Norwich.
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