Victorian Elegance in Thomas Hardy’s Shaston (Shaftesbury)
June . 2017
A former rectory for sale in the heart of a historic market town of Shaftesbury
Where is historic Shaftesbury?
Straddling the Wiltshire/Dorset border, the ancient hill top market town of Shaftesbury, or Shaston as Thomas Hardy named it, is a truly historic settlement. It may have Celtic or Roman origins but is strongly associated with the Saxon era and King Alfred who built an abbey there in 888 which became the wealthiest nunnery in England and is where King Canute died.
The abbey was demolished following Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. Close to where it once stood, stands a former church, The Holy Trinity which was rebuilt in 1842 and whose tall tower can be seen for miles around. Opposite, on the old street of Bimport, an elegant residence was built for the rector in the 1850’s. The church was decommissioned some years ago and is now a community centre.
Victorian Rectory for Sale
Grade II Listed, The Old Rectory is a fine example of early Victorian architecture drawing upon the symmetry of the Georgian era with its double fronted façade in dressed greenstone under a slate tiled roof. It is now a comfortable family home with high ceilings and wooden shuttered sash windows complimenting the varnished wooden floors and original fireplaces.
The present owners have carefully maintained the house over the years and modernised it but sympathetically so in order to retain the intrinsic period character.
The well-proportioned and particularly versatile accommodation is arranged over four levels and is more extensive than might be readily appreciated at first glance from outside. This includes an excellent lower ground floor annexe designed and fitted by a local craftsman in the spring of 2016 with a sitting room, kitchen, two bedrooms, well-appointed bathroom, cloakroom and wine cellar.
The reception rooms on the upper ground floor include a drawing room, dining room and study. This level also has an attractively fitted kitchen/breakfast room with a four door electric Aga, rear hall/garden room and cloakroom. There are three very pleasant principle bedrooms on the first floor, one of which has an en-suite shower room. There is also a dressing/bedroom and family bathroom.
The second floor has two good-sized bedrooms, a family room that could be used as a sixth bedroom, a cloakroom and a large loft room that subject to consent, has potential to be converted into a bathroom.
To the front of the property is a shallow area of garden with wisteria, climbing hydrangea and roses bordered by a wall and iron railings. A shared drive to the side provides access to an electric gated and gravelled parking area for several cars with lapsed consent for a two bay car barn. The prettily landscaped walled and stone paved town garden to the rear is a delight with well stocked flower, shrub and rose borders.
The Old Rectory is being marketed by Rural View for a guide price of £765,000