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4 Bedroom detached house Chapel Road, Fingringhoe £675,000

St Andrews House, which enjoys panoramic views out over the picturesque fields of Roman Valley, has been a magical place to live, work and paint for almost 45 years. Perfect village home, with its large studio, if it's now time to work from home

Looking out from St Andrews House, the current owner can watch the changing colours of the landscape turn throughout the year. From her unique home at Fingringhoe, she looks out across her own gardens and then green fields of animals grazing and the Roman River. “We have the most wonderful views of the Roman River Valley,” she explains. “We knew the area well before we came here, as we sailed in the area for many years. We wanted to be closer to the water on a more permanent basis and to live somewhere peaceful. My husband and I were both artists and we wanted to be somewhere with a view, close to the marshes and saltings, with their beautiful seascapes.”

ORIGINAL CHARM

Believed to date back to approximately 1780, St Andrews House was originally two cottages, likely to have belonged to farm workers. Around 1900, the cottages were brought together to make one property, which was then subsequently greatly extended. Today, the ground floor of the house is entered via an impressive portico, which opens into the central reception hall. To the left is the very large, dual-aspect drawing room, which has a feature fireplace and door through into the conservatory. “We added this on to the south-west side of the house and it offers wonderful views out over the garden and the fields,” she says.

VERSATILE SPACE

To the other side of the hall is the dining room, which in turn leads into a study or possible extra bedroom. The kitchen breakfast room, with access into a walk-in pantry and a cloakroom is at the back of the house. The family bathroom, a cloakroom and three bedrooms are all located upstairs. The master bedroom is especially generous and enjoys a dual aspect. “This is a lovely large room which we have used as a studio in the past,” she explains.

GARDEN STUDIO

The property has been her home for about 44 years and in that time some substantial additions and changes have been made. The kitchen and former dining room were opened up to make a larger space and the kitchen and bathroom have been replaced. “We also had a brick-built studio erected in the garden, which has always been a great place to work as it has such beautiful views. It is light and has a vaulted ceiling.” Subject to the relevant planning permissions, this could have a variety of alternative uses, she suggests: “It could make a good home office or annexe accommodation.”

BRIGHT SUNSHINE

The orientation of the house has been changed to make the most of the views and the light, she explains. “The sun comes in through the front in the morning and then moves round to the back for the afternoon and evening.” She adds: “This is quite a quirky house, which is on two floors with different levels on each. It is also very bright and airy – its many windows give you the sense of being inside and out at the same time.”

COAST AND COUNTRY

The gardens, with their lawns, beds and seating areas have been excellent for entertaining as well as soaking up the serenity of the surroundings. There is space for outside dining and barbecuing, as well as growing fresh fruit and vegetables. “You can be on a footpath in a matter of minutes from here – there are walks in all directions. You can walk across the fields, to the river and the saltings.” Fingringhoe is known for its nature reserve and it is just a short distance to Abberton Reservoir and Mersea Island, with its beaches, fresh seafood and opportunities for sailing. “This is a lovely village, with a church, school, pub and village hall,” she says. “It is a peaceful place, yet it is just 15 minutes’ drive into Colchester from here and it is quick to reach the A12.” The house has something to offer everyone, she agrees. “For me, it is about the personal memories, the quirks and the setting,” she admits. “It could also suit someone else seeking beautiful landscapes and a place to work from home – and could be perfect for anyone wishing to be in the countryside yet close to the coast as well.”

SETTING THE SCENE
St Andrews House is set in mature, landscaped gardens. There is a driveway offering good parking space, as well as a detached garage. Within the grounds are an art studio and red-brick wash house. There are places to sit and soak up the sunshine and the views, as well as to grow home produce.
WHATS NEARBY
Fingringhoe is located approximately 4.2 miles south of Colchester with its wide range of local amenities. The village is in the borough of Colchester and is served by Fingringhoe Parish Council. The property has easy access to West Mersea which is a small town that boasts the West Mersea Yacht Club a notable centre for sailing on the East coast of England. The town also boasts an RNLI lifeboat station and hosts an annual regatta, usually in August each year known as Mersea Week. The area is also well known for its fresh fish.
WITHIN EASY REACH
Colchester caters for a broad range of commercial entertainment, shopping and educational amenities and its railway station provides a regular service to London Liverpool Street with an approximate journey time of 55 minutes. Within easy reach the A12 dual carriageway junction 27 is just to the West of Colchester providing access to the M25, opening onto the extensive motorway network of the South West or alternatively into East Anglia and its renowned scenery and open countryside. The county of Essex is distinguished by its open undulating farmland and provides a broad range of leisure pursuits including a number of local golf clubs and the Essex coast offering extensive walks, bird watching and sailing, particularly on Mersea Island to the South.

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