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Southwell, Nottinghamshire £575,000 Freehold
An utterly charming Grade II-listed, former weaver’s cottage in the heart of historic Southwell

This beautiful Georgian Grade-II listed house is in the middle of the idyllic village of Southwell. Described as the ‘The Jewel in Nottinghamshire’s Crown’, the historic town is a short distance from Newark-on-Trent and the city of Nottingham. The house was built in c1760 at the street side in front of an older, frame knitters cottage which now makes up the garden cottage. Extending over 1,600 sq ft, with three generous bedrooms in the main house and two further bedrooms in the cottage, Westgate has been lovingly maintained and cared for under the current ownership.

Setting the Scene 

Since pre-Roman Britain, Southwell has been a significant settlement and one of religious importance. The stunning Southwell Minster is a splendid cathedral with one of the finest Norman naves in Europe. Due to the Minster, ecclesiastical education became woven into the fabric of town, it had high levels of literacy and as such became an administrative centre for much of the country with little industry of note. In the late 17th century, however, it had a small textile industry, producing goods related to framework knitting, spinning, and weaving – and these cottages were built to house the workers. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour 

The façade of Westgate is beautifully balanced with classical proportions; tall sash windows sit on either side of the central, pedimented front door. Entry is to a vestibule and a secondary glazed door, leading to a hall that extends the entire length of the house.

To the right is the open-plan kitchen, dining and living room. This space is bathed in light throughout the day by windows on the north, west and south axis. A wood-burning stove within an exposed brick hearth forms the focal point of the sitting area. Large original beams run overhead. An original material of lime plaster wattle and daub has been throughout the building.

The kitchen is bespoke and constructed of laminated ply. White hand-cut tiles reflect light and form the splashback; walls are painted in chartreuse, adding a vibrant and sunny pop of colour. Opposite the kitchen is a cellar, located a half-storey below ground, this functions as a generous pantry and larder.

At the front of the house is a formal sitting room, where hardwood floorboards run underfoot. This room is arranged around a Regency-era open fireplace with an ornate surround referencing classical swags and urns.

On the first floor are three bedrooms, each with a large sash window. The main bedroom is a generous double room, with a large wardrobe, likely in the place of the original stairs. The second bedroom is near-identically proportioned to the main bedroom, and the third is at the rear of the plan, overlooking the garden. A good-sized family bathroom is found on a half-landing.

Across the garden is the utterly charming secondary cottage with neat proportions. Extensively restored under the current ownership, the cottage now provides living accommodation with a kitchenette, WC and modern wood burner on the ground floor. Former barn doors have been replaced with double-glazed, hardwood-framed sliding doors flooding the space with light. Upstairs, two additional rooms are configured as a bedroom and home office; both would make good bedrooms. All of the windows in this building are double or secondary glazed.

The Great Outdoors 

The private garden to the rear of Westgate is a fantastic space. A mixture of lawn, deep flowerbeds and a small kitchen garden provide beauty and sustenance. The current owners have chickens, which suit the enchanting atmosphere of both the house and town perfectly. A driveway next to the garden cottage provides off-street parking for a large car. The drive also houses a bike shed and wood store.

Out and About 

Westgate is in a fantastic position. It enjoys all the benefits of being in the heart of a town while being a two-minute walk from extensive parkland and rolling fields; it is a 30-minute drive to Nottingham. There is a wonderful community in Southwell, with a weekly farmers market every Saturday, a highly regarded local butcher and deli, an independent baker, along with several pubs and convenience shops.

The Southwell Leisure Centre is a five-minute walk and has various swimming, sports and gym facilities. With its many foot and cycle paths, Sherwood Forest is an easy-going half-hour cycle. Further afield, the vast beaches of the Lincolnshire coast are an hour and 40 minutes. The River Trent nearby is known for good angling.

The Reindeer Inn is locally renowned for delicious curry and is a short walk away. There are many good gastropubs, all within a 30-minute drive, including The Dirty Duck Public House and The Durham Ox Inn, Orston. There are various good independent shops in the town, including Mr & Mrs Fine Wine and Tally Home, to name a couple.

The area is well served by the arts; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is just over an hour away, and the Barbara Hepworth Museum is also nearby. Nottingham Contemporary is a half-hour away and is the fifth largest arts institution in the country. Nottingham is also home to a thriving music scene, attracting acts often seen in larger cities and with a seemingly limitless pool of homegrown talent.

Many schools are nearby; the Minster School, Southwell, is rated OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ and teaches primary and secondary. The Iona School is a well-regarded primary Steiner School in Nottingham. Nottingham High School is private, in the HMC and teaches ages 4-18.

Newark-on-Trent is a 20-minute drive from Southwell and 1 hour 15 minutes by train to King Cross. Nottingham Rail Station is 30 minutes from Southwell and one hour 40 minutes by train to St Pancras; journey times from Nottingham will significantly reduce in coming years due to HS2.

Council Tax Band: D

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.


Southwell is an ancient ecclesiastical and market town. Southwell Minster was founded in the 7th century by Roman missionaries and the first Archbishop of York, Paulinus. The Romanesque Minster was built following the Norman conquest on the site of an older Saxon building. Being such an exemplar of the Romanesque style, Nikolaus Pevsner dedicated a whole book ‘The Leaves of Southwell’ to the building.

The town played a pivotal role in the English Civil War. King Charles I spent his last night as a free man in Southwell in May 1646, when he stayed in the Saracen’s Head Hotel (ironically, then known as the King’s Head). He surrendered to the Scottish Army based at Kelham shortly after. The Saracen’s Head stills stands today and played host to a number of notable guests including Oliver Cromwell and later Lord Byron. Byron living in the town for a time.

The Civil War saw many of Southwell’s historic buildings and landmarks suffer damage. The Archbishop’s Palace adjacent to the Minster was largely destroyed by wars end, with only the Great Hall surviving. Historically important, this was the site of Cardinal Wolsey’s final unsuccessful attempts to negotiate the annulment of of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

Westgate — Southwell, Nottinghamshire
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