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3 bedroom detached house for sale

Stocks Lane, Walberswick, Southwold

Withdrawn from Market £1,200,000

Property Description

Key features

  • 'Hidden' location close to centre of village
  • Of great historical interest
  • Magnificent drawing room/ dining room with large fireplace
  • 2 Double bedrooms
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen with walk in pantry
  • Linked 1 bedroom guest accommodation
  • Fabulous views towards the beach and sea
  • Summerhouse, garden shed and Pillbox
  • Garage

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

Designed by architect Ernst L Freud in his Hiddensee style, and built in 1934 on what is believed to be an Anglo Saxon footprint, this enchanting cottage sits in half an acre of gardens and offers an idyllic country home or rural retreat. Commanding exceptional views of the dunes and the sea from the drawing room and master bedroom, the property is almost hidden from view at the end of a lane, yet is only minutes walk away from the thriving and highly desirable village of Walberswick, situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Suffolk Heritage Coast.

Accommodation comprises briefly:

2 double bedrooms
Drawing room/dining room
Walk in larder

Downstairs accommodation:
1 double bedroom
Shower room/WC
Large conservatory
Separate entrance
Linked to main house

The Property

This enchanting 3-bedroom thatched cottage is situated at the end of an
unadopted track leading from the main street in Walberswick down to the dunes, beach and the sea. Elfinston is the last cottage at the end of the track. The house has had many distinguished owners and retains a considerable amount of its original features. Almost hidden by magnificent trees, the cottage is reached by entering a picket gate and following a pretty red brick path to the imposing oak front door (with porch) to the side of the cottage. The hallway, with original pine floorboards, has a downstairs cloakroom and a generous understairs cupboard. To the right of the hallway is the kitchen with tiled and wooden floor and window looking out to the lovely side lawn, trees, shrubs and flower borders. There is a Rangemaster cooker (fed by LPG and electricity), Belfast sink, plenty of storage space above and below the work surfaces and plumbing for a dishwasher. A traditional, walk in pantry with a sliding door offers more storage and there is space for a small table and chairs for breakfasting.

The magnificent beamed drawing/dining room has a parquet floor and window looking out onto the side garden. A focal point is the original substantial brick fireplace with oak mantelpiece. Currently fitted with an electric fire, the owners have had the flue lined giving the option for either an open fire or a wood burner to be installed. There is ample space for dining in a luxuriant and characterful room. The drawing room section is conservatory style, with huge windows to three sides, the south aspect looking out across the garden to the dunes, beach and the sea. Two side windows show the south and west facing gardens.

Back into the hallway, and stairs lead to the first floor. The stairwell has attractive shelving for books and ornaments and a side window looking down to one of the side gardens across arable fields. Straight in front is the bathroom, with laminate floor, bath with shower over, WC and basin. A pretty window looks down onto the west facing side garden. The airing cupboard and water tank are situated in one corner.

The pretty guest double bedroom has wooden flooring, built in cupboards and a window looking down to the main entrance of the cottage and the brick pathway.

The master double bedroom is very generously sized, carpeted and with built in wardrobes and space for a sofa or chairs. A side window looks east across fields and arable land. Opening out from the bedroom to the southerly end of the cottage is a fabulous sitting room area, with windows to three sides, the largest of which has incredible views across the dunes to the sea. A room to sit and contemplate in or simply enjoy arguably one of the best sea views from any property in the village!

Access to the attic / loft room is through a pull-down ladder which
leads to a part boarded space with three cupboards and the diamond
shaped window.

Back downstairs, three steps down from the hallway lead into the annex, with its own private front door. The annex is currently used for family guests. This section of the house could be separated from the main section if desired. The kitchen has a window to the side and is fitted with a sink/drainer, hob and room for a cooker, a fridge/freezer and washing machine. Off the kitchen is a shower room with WC and hand basin. From the kitchen is a lovely double bedroom with parquet flooring and plenty of room for storage. On from the bedroom is a modern conservatory/sitting room with doors leading to the south facing garden.


The gardens at Elfinston have a magical quality, only enhanced by the Pixie Den, a lovely thatched summerhouse situated close to the main cottage. It has numerous uses, is fitted with night storage heating and plumbing and with three windows overlooking the garden. There is a 'threepenny bit' greenhouse next to the Pixie Den facing arable land. There is also a timber garden shed near the front door, and, partly concealed by foliage in the south facing side garden is an original Pill Box dating from the war, which can be used for storage or imaginary games to entertain the children! A tiny pathway shrouded by a small glade of tall trees leads to a 'secret reading dell', another contemplative and peaceful spot hidden away from the cottage. A beautiful weeping willow takes pride of place in the garden, and there is a small pond and well established shrubs, bushes and flower borders. Close to the Pill Box is a chicken run. A single garage lies to the front of the property near the entrance to the gardens.


The property has original Crittall windows throughout (apart from the conservatory). The drawing room with the sea views, the landing and the two upstairs bedrooms also have secondary glazing. The property is heated by oil, and the Rangemaster is fuelled by LPG and electricity. Mains water and sewage. Good WiFi and Broadband connection. Plans were passed in 1989 (now lapsed) for a large extension of two further bedrooms looking out to sea, a kitchen and dining room. These are available to view on request.

A Brief History

Known locally as 'the house by the sea', Elfinston Corner has a fascinating history. Originally called Oak Barn, the property was designed and built by visionary architect Ernst L Freud (son of Sigmund) who considered the village of Walberswick sanctuary to offer to his own family and friends forced into exile by Hitler's accession to power in 1933.The design conforms to Freud's Hiddensee 1920s houses and used timbers from an oak barn in Lavenham. Its high thatched roof contains a north facing attic window which was used for signalling to the Church Tower during the Second World War. Oak Barn was built for the exiled Prussian aristocrat and sculptress, Elizabeth von der Schulenberg and her husband, Fritz Hess, an art collector and businessman; they had left Germany in 1933.

In the summer of 2012, Cambridge archaeologists found evidence of inhabitance dating back to Anglo Saxon and Roman times.

Subsequent owners include Mrs Neville Norway Shute, wife of the novelist. Neville Shute worked for the Admiralty's Miscellaneous Weapon Development Department, and appeared to have spent some time in both Orford and Dunwich (a primary radar station). Villagers have recalled a propeller on one of the walls and a prominent painting of a Spitfire. Mrs Shute was both a doctor and a pilot.

The house has not been on the market since 1970 when it was sold at auction after Mrs Shute's death. The current owners moved here in 1987 and three generations of their family have lived at the house.

The charming and highly desirable village of Walberswick sits on the Suffolk Heritage coast in An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This pretty and popular village is well-stocked with amenities including two pubs, a Village Hall, tea rooms, village shop, and an art gallery. The dunes, beach and sea are a major attraction to sailors, windsurfers, swimmers and kite flyers. Across the River Blyth, accessible by a footbridge just upstream or by a small rowing boat/ferry is the historic town of Southwold which has an excellent range of leisure facilities and amenities including, golf club, bowls, yacht club, independent shops, pubs and restaurants, hospital, library, primary school, doctors and dental surgeries. The railway station at Darsham is about 7 miles away with trains to Ipswich connecting to London Liverpool Street.

Saxmundham: 12.5 miles
Southwold: 8.3 miles (closer if walking via bridge/ferry)
Halesworth: 8.6 miles

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
20 October 2016


Map & Street View

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