Pembridge, Herefordshire + excellent commercial element

£1,250,000

Guide price

  • Bedrooms: 4
LIFESTYLE OPPORTUNITY - With approximately 10,000 visitors per season delighting in these unique water gardens, this is an outstanding opportunity to purchase a very individual and inspiring country property which could offer the perfect work/life balance. The gardens are supported by a delightful cafe and nursery which currently offer an excellent income with huge further potential for weddings, or perhaps glamping (subject to approval). The house is set in gardens and land which extends to approximately 17 acres and viewing is strongly recommended.

Situation and Description

PLEASE REQUEST A BROCHURE IN ORDER TO FULLY ABSORB WHAT THIS PROPERTY HAS TO OFFER.

This delightful property occupies a private position in an unspoilt part of north west Herefordshire and is initially approached by a shared road and then its own long private driveway. The historic black and white' village of Pembridge lies within 1 mile and provides a range of amenities including a village school, church and shop. Further afield are the market towns of Kington, Presteigne, Leominster and Hay on Wye, the latter hosting a world-renowned annual literary festival as well as providing a gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park. More extensive facilities are available at the cathedral city of Hereford (15 miles) with a main line train station and road links to other parts of the country.

Westonbury Mill is available to the open market for the first time in 50 years. The current owner, Richard Pim, bought the property in 1969 when the building had fallen into disrepair and the land which is now the garden was covered in brambles. However, what he could see was an unspoilt location, huge potential and, of particular interest to a hydrogeologist, an attractive stream. After some initial improvements the old mill was used as a holiday cottage for thirty years and some work was done to clear the land, build bridges and create a large pond.

Following his retirement in 1997, Richard decided to develop the garden mainly for his own benefit but also with an eye to creating something that perhaps could be attractive to others and provide a commercial return. With no experience of gardening but with plenty of imagination, he set about restoring the original mill leat and making new waterways. As the project expanded, he decided to build structures throughout the garden to create points of interest including making use of an original mill wheel, now incorporated in the stone water tower which greets visitors on arrival. By now Richard had been joined by Sally whose enthusiasm and gardening knowledge became a huge support.

The Mill

Adjoining the leat and overlooking the gardens, The Mill' is now a very comfortable house full of character and charm. On arrival a door leads into an enclosed entrance porch with double doors opening into a central hallway and dining room. This area creates a welcoming space for entertaining, with a free-standing wood burner, glazed doors with a view to the gardens and a door to the sitting room. This is the lovely Mill Room with its exposed timbers retaining something of the character of the original late 18th-century mill. There are double-glazed windows on three sides and a further wood burner in a recess which originally housed a large mill wheel. The kitchen/breakfast room is an excellent size and very practical with an oil-fired Rayburn, fitted cupboards and double-glazed windows at one end which wrap around and overlook part of the gardens. A door leads through to the garden room or conservatory which again has a delightful outlook over the leat. In addition, there is a useful cloakroom, boiler room and a study which provides a quiet area away from the main hub of the house.

On the first floor there are four bedrooms, each with its own distinct character. The master bedroom enjoys a dual aspect and en suite bathroom with a further family bathroom supporting the remaining bedrooms.

The Water Gardens

In our view the gardens are an absolute delight to explore for both young and old. The planting includes a huge collection of trees, shrubs and perennials, the latter mainly moisture loving varieties with primulas and irises predominant in spring. In summer large and unusual plants and grasses complement willow, alder, birches and other more exotic trees to screen the background and gradually reveal a constantly changing view to the visitor.

Several of the focal points in the garden are decorated with remarkable follies. The centre-piece of these is a delightful bottle dome made from about 5000 coloured wine bottles that create ever changing light inside. This unusual structure has appeared in several British and international architectural and landscape design publications. In another part of the gardens there is there is a unique 7 metre half-timbered water-powered cuckoo clock nestling among tall conifers. The aforementioned stone water tower and dovecot has a mechanism which uses a water wheel to lift water to the castellated top of the tower and send it cascading from the mouth of a gargoyle. There is an African' summer-house and, in the wildflower meadow at the furthest extent of the gardens, a spiral mound children love it! Throughout the gardens there are many areas to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, watch birds and butterflies and admire the views through to Herefordshire countryside and the adjacent hills.

Visitors' Café and Plant Sales

In addition, the property has a small very good café providing coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas. There is also a plant sales area. Both are now open in conjunction with the gardens from April to September. All the above create a very healthy commercial element with the potential to expand the business if desired.

The Sheep Field

The Curl Brook running along the north side of the gardens continues through the Sheep Field, just over 13 acres, and at present is let out for grazing on an annual basis to the neighbouring farmer. The field has an interesting 19th-century irrigation system, now disused, including an old stone dam which would make a challenging restoration project. With the farmer's permission, the near end of the field has on several occasions been mown and, with the use of a marquee, become a wedding venue.

Westonbury Mill Water Gardens are now hugely popular. They have featured twice on BBC Gardeners' World' and frequently in articles in magazines including Gardens Illustrated and Country Life, and in national newspapers. Most recently The Times included Westonbury Mill Water Gardens in its list of the 20 Best Gardens to Visit Now' (3rd August 2019). Last year there were approximately 10,000 visitors from all over the world, delighting in the gardens' beauty and tranquillity. However, it is important to point out that for the remaining six months of the year Westonbury Mill is a quiet country home which could easily be returned to a full-time private residence.

Directions

From Pembridge, proceed on the A44 towards Kington and after approximately 1 mile, turn left, as signposted to the Water Gardens. Continue past the lodge house for approximately 350 yards before turning right and follow the track to a parking area in front of the property.

To:

Pembridge - 2 miles

Leominster - 9 miles

Hereford - 17 miles

Hay on Wye - 18 miles

Birmingham Airport - 73 miles

Services and Considerations

Mains electricity, mains water, private drainage, oil fired central heating. It is not our company policy to test services and domestic appliances, so we cannot verify that they are in working order. Any matters relating to rights of way should be checked with your solicitor or surveyor. Council tax band E. EPC tbc. Tenure freehold.

Arrange viewing 01432 507070

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