When it comes to houses with history and character, there is no better place to look – or simply drool – than Inigo, The Modern House’s sister site.

Scrolling over the to-buy listings on Inigo’s homepage – or indeed its glorious Instagram feed – feels closer to flicking through the glossy pages of World of Interiors than it does to exhaustively rifling through Rightmove. Indeed, the diversion – to which we have lost many hours – has none of the slight sense of unease that usually attends an on-a-whim deep dive into the property market of a random town or city we might just happened to have passed through. Instead it feels like an elevating activity; one that, after an indulgence, might just inspire us to similarly make the very best of our homes. (Or simply to make a cup of tea and emit a few wistful sighs from the confines of a less photogenic sitting room.)

These are the ones that we’re eyeing up right now.

Little Bucksteep, £3.25m

East Sussex

Set on the High Weald, this Grade II-listed farmhouse is an absolute knock-out, marrying the idiosyncratic with the luxurious. Dating back to 1717, the original part of the building is constructed from Ashburnham brick with a timber frame and set amidst exceptionally beautiful mature landscaped gardens. The secondary range, meanwhile, was built in 1919, and is an exemplar of the Arts and Crafts style. Inside there are six bedrooms, while outside, just to the west of the main building, lies an oast house, complete with cosy living space, a kitchen and three bedrooms, making it an ideal self-contained prospect as a holiday rental. The gardens have been arranged into a series of ‘rooms’, which include a swimming pool, a paddock, a tennis court and a sunken garden. Heaven. Find the details here.

Waxwing, £400,000

Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Built in 1750, this classic Georgian former merchant’s house sits handsomely in the historic centre of Berwick-Upon-Tweed. Spread over 2,400sqft and five floors, it is awash with elegant floor-to-ceiling sash windows, while the sublime simplicity of the interior allows the original features and architectural hardware to sing. The town has strong artistic traditions and, indeed, the current owner is an artist, making this an ideal prospect for those of a painterly persuasion. Find the details here.

Brushfield Street, £1.95m

London, E1

How do you fancy not only owning a slice of historic Spitalfields as living quarters, but as a potential business too? The evocative frontage of this former Victorian milliner – originally built a century or so before that around 1770 – is not just preserved as a decorative feature; it can also be used as an operative shop. Situated inside what was once Henry VIII’s artillery ground, its best-known former resident was one Annie Gold, whose signage is still in place and who once made and purveyed hats from these premises. We love the flat and terrace above, as well as the pleasing wonkiness of the building, whose whitewashed interior has been restored faithfully, simply and in keeping with the original features. The ideal home for a creative shopkeeper after idiosyncratic premises in the heart of Spitalfields. Find the details here.

The Coach House

London, E9

Right in the middle of the Victoria Park conservation area stands this bijou beauty: a quietly beautiful converted two-bedroom Victorian coaching house. True to its light-industrial heritage, there is an elegantly spare quality to the conversion, which riffs on the austere good looks of the below-stairs aesthetic. Joists are exposed, floorboards are untreated and radiators are reclaimed. As Inigo says, there is a monastic quality to the spaces, as well as a focus on good, honest materials. We love it. Find the details here.

The Old Manor, £875,000

Croscombe, Somerset

This ravishing beauty stands on the edge of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, its extraordinary bones built in 1460. Grade I-listed, its south-facing 45,000 sqft abound with architectural features from ecclesiastical motifs to Palladian cornicing, while the back features landscaped gardens which stand on the River Sheppey.

It was originally constructed as rectorial manor house for the treasurer of Wells Cathedral, and boasts the accolade of having featured in Pevsner’s 1958 guide. Inigo says, ‘The house is characterised by roughcast, limewashed walls and a magnificent Tudor chimney pot.’ And at just 20-minutes’ drive from Bruton and with Bath and Bristol a mere 20 miles away, we can think of few lovelier prospects. Find the details here.

Hartland Point, £2.25m

Hartland, North Devon

Do you dream of a life spent in splendid isolation on a wild and rugged coastline? If so, this resplendent Grade II-listed Georgian country house, near the hamlet of Stoke, would be hard to improve upon. With ten bedrooms, 7,300sqft and large gardens that look straight out to sea, that remoteness would doubtless be punctuated with bursts of social activity with visits from townie friends; it is, after all, a place that cries out for the most wonderful parties.

But, in between, the quiet lapping and occasional crashing from the sea would provide the most meditative of soundtracks (and views) in the peaceful lulls. Find the details here.

Gorehill House, £5m

Petworth, West Sussex

Built in 1872, this R Norman Shaw-designed house, which is typical of the Weald style, sits picturesquely on the slopes that stretch down towards the ever-lovely Petworth. Inside there are nine bedrooms and 8,000 sqft, as well as 3,200 sqft belonging to the ancillary rooms which are dotted within its walled garden.

For devotes of the Sussex vernacular – and there are many – this is perfection. Find the details here.

By Nancy Alsop
February 2022

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Nancy Alsop


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