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3 Bedroom cottage Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk £450,000

Set in the picturesque Walsham le Willows, and dating back to 1490, Town House is steeped in history and simply overflowing with character.

Basking by the wood-burner in her inviting drawing room, the owner of Town House imagines what her home must have been like through the centuries. Sometimes, she admits, it is hard to believe it was built in 1490, the year the treaty for the marriage between Arthur Tudor, eldest son of Henry VII, and Catherine of Aragon was ratified. "It is amazing to think of the times this cottage must have seen," she points out. "This village as a whole is very old, with about 17 homes of historical interest: ours is one of about five of around this age." The Suffolk property originally housed three families who all worked for the local landowner. Later it was taken over by the village as a home for the poor. "I visited on my own the very first time," she recalls. "It had so much character and such a warm atmosphere - and I knew it was a home with a happy soul."

Set in a conservation area on the edge of the village, with fields to the rear, Town House has been carefully updated and lovingly cared for by its current owners. To the ground floor, its accommodation includes the drawing room, kitchen breakfast room and a reading room, as well as the family bathroom. All three bedrooms are situated on the first floor. "We have decorated throughout and returned period features such as the beams, to their original state. In all the work we have done, we have tried to use traditional materials, such as limewash paint, in keeping with the age of the cottage."
The drawing room, with its great inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove, has wooden floorboards. The reading room, where a second wood-burner is situated, has a parquet floor. The farmhouse kitchen has been given bespoke, handmade cupboards, together with granite work surfaces, and features a large range-style cooker. "This house has such a wonderful feel as soon as you step inside," she observes. "I love coming back to it at the end of a busy day. There is an immediate lifting of all the stress."
The property is very much a home for all seasons, she agrees. "In the summer, I just love being in the garden, watching the squirrels and woodpeckers, and even deer. In the winter, we light the wood-burning stoves and the whole house becomes cosy and warm." Town House has been an excellent family home: "We brought our family up here and celebrated all the children's big birthdays, with barbecues out in the garden, games and assault courses. We also had a party for my husband's 50th, when lots of our family came over from France."
The pretty cottage garden has been an idyllic place to just sit and relax as well. It features mature trees and shrubs, in beds designed by the current owners. "We have had a large vegetable patch in the front garden - this is now clear but would be perfect for anyone else keen to grow their own fruit and vegetables." Also within the grounds, is an outside store room, which has been converted into an office. This could suit someone seeking to work from home.
The location of this character property is ideal for those who enjoy country living with convenience. There are lots of beautiful walks in the area, as well as charming villages and country pubs. "Our village is quiet but has a lot going on," she says. "We are close to good schools and Wyken Vineyards is just down the road." It takes approximately 20 minutes to drive to Bury St Edmunds. Charming Lavenham is also within easy reach, as is the Suffolk Heritage Coast. "I used to work from home for a long time but now commute into Cambridge, which is not a problem." The couple are only leaving their home of 18 years because they are relocating - and it will be a wrench, she admits. "I have just loved being here so much and we have such happy memories. I do feel proud to have been part of the history of this 600-year-old house, even for a short time during its long existence."
Town House sits in pretty cottage gardens. To the front, the garden is laid to lawn and there has been a vegetable plot in the past. A gated driveway provides off-road parking and there is a garage-style outbuilding, together with various storage sheds. An attached outbuilding is currently used as a home office but could have a variety of uses. The rear gardens are laid to lawn and feature mature plants, flowers and trees.

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