DOWNSIDE HOUSE SHEPTON MALLET, SOMERSET, BA4 4JL
A handsome Georgian House with great character and charm standing within its own grounds on the northern outskirts of the town.
The house has retained many of its original details and provides great living areas with enormous appeal with 4 reception rooms including a fine first floor drawing room. It also includes a farmhouse style kitchen, rear hall, back kitchen, wine cellar, boot room, cloakroom, 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms
Mature gardens surround the house and there's plenty of parking whilst the old coach house provides garaging and stores.
Downside is an historic area in an area steeped in history since the Dark Ages with Shepton Mallet deriving its name from old English and the Norman "Malet" family who took a lease on property from Glastonbury abbey.
About the property
Downside House is the prime residence of the area and is an impressive and handsome building dating back to at least the restoration period but probably having medieval or earlier origins. It was later refronted forming its beautiful clasical Georgian facade.
The external fine details include the dressed quoins, sash windows and a semi circular stone hood above the panelled front door. Internally there are many further details including flagstones, good architraves and skirtings, polished floorboards and coving.
The front door, flanked by a pair of sash windows opens into the hall with reception rooms to each side. The sitting room is a comfortable room with a central firepace with an efficiient inset Jetmaster open fire with side alcoves. On the other side of the hall is a study with an inglenook fireplace and a wood burning Jotul stove.
Also approached from the hall is the central dining room with an open fireplace and doors to a wine cellar, boot room and cloakroom.
Beyond the dining room is the kitchen & breakfast room with fitted units and an oil fired Aga cooker range.
A door from the kitchen leads to a rear hall, a back kitchen and the back staircase.
Returning to the main hall a panelled door opens to the staircase rising to a half landing and then to the upper landing and the splendid drawing room. This has a coved ceiling, three sash windows, an open fireplace with a stone surround and side shelved alcoves..
Off the drawing room is a lobby to a shower room and a bedroom which has a dual aspect, a walk in small store room (ideal for dressing room) and a bathroom.
Returning to the main landing there is access to two further bedrooms.
The back staircase is off the back kitchen and this leads to two further bedrooms and a third bathroom. One of these bedrooms interconnects with one of the front bedrooms.
A particularly attractive feature is the sunny west facing garden terrace approached form the back bedroom at garden level.
A drive leads into the side of the house where there is a large parking area in front of the Coach House. This has open fronted garaging with a loft above suitable for many uses. Also off the courtyard is an old stable now used as a workshop.
There are very attractive gardens surrounding the house which give privacy and together with the building create a great atmosphere of peace and tranquility which is rarely found elsewhere than with such period properties.
The gardens include lawns, pathways, herbaceous borders, shrubs, a laurel hedge, clipped box hedges, a chicken run, greenhouse and mature trees including a ancient yew sheltering a young apple. A gateway in a high stone wall leads to a further lawned garden, a stone outbuilding and a paved terrace.
About the area
Shepton Mallet is an historic market town with the usual features and also benefits from a Mulberry Store and Kilver Court being a major designer outlet. The thriving Cathedral City of Wells, about 5 miles away, with its many concerts and cultural events also provides a wide range of amenities. The small but increasingly well known town of Bruton is also just a short drive away.
This part of Somerset with the Mendip Hills to the north, Wells to the west and Frome to the east provides some truly hidden treasures within its undulating countryside.
Communications in the area have improved significantly with the upgrading of the A303 to a dual carriageway the majority of the way to the M3 and London. The A37 leads to Bristol and Bath whilst Bristol International airport is about 20 miles to the northwest. Of particular note is the mainline railway station at Castle Cary (Paddington about 100 minutes).
There are excellent schools for children of all ages within easy motoring distance including Millfield, the Blue School at Wells, Whitstone, Wells Cathedral School, Downside, All Hallows and Strode College at Street.
The area is well provided for with bridleways, quiet lanes and footpaths suitable for all outdoor enthusiasts. Golf is available at nearby Mendip Springs, Farrington Gurney and Wells. Racing at Wincanton, Salisbury, Bath and Taunton. Leisure centres at Shepton Mallet and Wells.
From Wells take the A271 to Shepton Mallet. Enter Shepton Mattel and at the first roundabout turn left.
Pass under the viaduct and a short distance beyond this raod joins the A37. Turn left into Downside House just before the roads join.