5 bedroom house for saleBlunham, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK44
- Grade II listed 18th century property
- Five bedrooms; two en suite
- Four reception rooms
- Tree lined driveway of approximately 400 ft.
- River frontage to the Ivel and a spinney
- Formal gardens of approximately 3.5 acres
- Hardstanding tennis court
- Detached double width garage
Blunham Court is a Grade II listed 18th century property which is the formal part of the original Blunham House situated within formal gardens of approximately 3.5 acres. A unique, west and south facing portion of a Grade II listed mansion house with accommodation over two floors. The property has been updated and now successfully blends period and traditional features with modern day facilities.
The village of Blunham is on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border, 53 miles north of London. The property can be accessed via the nearby A1(M) which leads south to the M25 and London and north to the A14, and then onwards to the M1 and M6. Sandy is 4 miles away and St Neots is 8 miles away and both have regular rail services into London Kings Cross taking 44 and 52 minutes respectively. Luton International Airport is 25 miles distant. There are everyday shopping facilities in Sandy, a Waitrose at St Neots, and more comprehensive shopping facilities in the county town of Bedford, 8 miles away. Within the locality there are a number of historic villages, including Ickwell and Old Warden, as well as the market town of Ampthill. The University City of Cambridge is 23 miles to the east. Schooling for all age groups is available in the area including the Harpur Trust schools in Bedford.
Bedroom five is a smaller double bedroom with a single sash window overlooking the gardens, additional character features include a traditional marble fireplace with a cast iron grate, a deep moulded ceiling and dado rails. Bedrooms three and four are both double bedrooms, situated off the second landing at the front of the house. Both bedrooms have views of the front gardens and character features that include high ceilings with moulded cornices, picture rails and marble fireplaces with cast iron grates. In addition bedroom three has a built-in, shelved storage cupboard set into the chimney breast recess. The family bathroom is at the far end of the landing and is fitted with a screened shower/bath, wash basin and WC. There is a shelved linen cupboard and a window to the side.
Gardens and grounds
Access to the property is made via a tree lined, part shingled driveway that extends to approximately 400 ft in length that opens into the formal gardens at the front and side of the house, which are in excess of 3.5 acres. The gardens are principally laid to lawn, enhanced by stocked borders with a number of fine, mature cedar trees. At the side of the property is a walled dual level terrace with steps leading down on to the main garden. At the far end of the garden is a hard surfaced tennis court with a side gravelled area on which stands a steel framed gazebo. Twin wrought iron gates open into a spinney area leading down to the river frontage to the River Ivel. Within the spinney is an open field shelter, a hay barn and a timber garden shed. A post and rail fence provides the boundary of the garden. There are separate gates which enable access to a paddock area which is currently leased by the current owner.
Kitchen/Dining Room and Utility Room
The kitchen/dining room has original ceiling cornices incorporating dentistry, wall freezes and ceiling roses and an original marble fireplace with an open grate and raised hearth. Dual aspect sash windows with working shutters have views over the gardens. There is a large island unit including cupboards and drawers with a granite worksurface and an inset sink. Integrated appliances include an electric double oven and ceramic hob and two fridges. There are two original bespoke glazed display cabinets and exposed floorboards. The utility room has a walk-in shelved pantry cupboard, and fitted base and wall cupboards with plumbing for a washing machine and an inset Belfast sink. Two freestanding gas fired boilers serve the heating and hot water systems as well as a lagged hot water cylinder.
First Floor Principal Bedrooms
The staircase divides off into two landing areas. There is an arched window to the front and a window overlooking the courtyard. The master bedroom is accessed via a short sweeping staircase and has a traditional fireplace with an open grate as well as two floor to ceiling sash windows with working shutters. The en suite bathroom is fitted with a bespoke white suite including a freestanding double ended bath and has a marble fireplace. The guest bedroom has two sash windows with views of the garden, an open fireplace with traditional style surround, picture and dado rails and a built-in wardrobe. The en suite shower room is fitted in a white contemporary style suite including a shower enclosure incorporating seating and body-jets. In addition there is a walk-in storage room/additional wardrobe, with a shelving display area and a window overlooking the courtyard.
In 1840 the house was bought from the Campbells by Sir Peter Payne Bart, a local radical MP. Blunham House became the Paynes family seat for almost a century and many of them are buried at the local village church. It remained in the family until it was sold in 1922 to by Sir Sidney Henn, also a former MP.. In the period before the Second World War, the house changed ownership comparatively quickly. In 1926 it was sold to Mr and Mrs Anderson who remained there for only two years. Its next occupant was Brigadier General Newton, who lived in the house until 1952 and it is believed that during the war years, Winston Churchill was entertained at the property on several occasions. In 1952 it was purchased by Mr La Barre whose idea it was to convert the property in to two separate wings. In 1956 Blunham Court in its refurbished form was bought by Mr and Mrs Lawrence and by Mr and Mrs Heckler in 1976. The current owners purchased the house in 2000.
The Doric pillared porch area has a Venetian style window above and steps up to the solid wooden entrance door with a leaded light glazed surround. The reception hall has a Minister style open fireplace, exposed Herringbone style oak flooring and a solid oak staircase believed to date from the 1700s with sweeping handrails and twisted balustrades to the galleried first floor landing. There are panelled walls to dado height and feature sash windows. Oak doors lead to the boot room and the inner hallway which has doors to the study, utility room and cloakroom which is fitted in a traditional style suite. There is an archway to a lower hallway and side hall which has a full length door to the side terrace. The lower level hallway has exposed oak flooring and overlooks the courtyard (shared with the neighbouring wing) and has doors to the drawing room and the former butler's pantry which is now used as a craft room.
The drawing room has full length sash windows with working shutters, one of the windows can be used as access onto the terrace. It has high ceilings, a traditional carved fireplace surround with marble inlay and open grate and oak parquet flooring. The family room is accessed from both the boot room and study and is a dual aspect room overlooking the front garden. The study is accessed via an inner hallway and has a window to the side.
History and Heritage
Blunham Court is situated at the end of a 400 ft. long driveway opening into the formal gardens, spinney and river frontage extending to approximately 3.5 acres in total. The property forms the west and part of the southern wing of the original Blunham House, with the house being divided into two separate residences in 1956.
Blunham house was originally constructed in 1727 for Thomas Bromsall and his wife Margaret, who were small landowners in the area and were the only people ever regarded as Squires in the village. The property was inherited by John Orlebar, the Bromsalls nearest relative in 1755. He lived there for 13 years, after which time he sold the property to Colonel John Campbell together with 240 acres of arable land. The Campbells made alterations to the house and its grounds, enlarging the property in the late 18th century. When the fields of Blunham were enclosed in 1796, they extended their land to the river, providing it with a river frontage. The road, which had once run alongside the River Ivel, was moved by the Campbells to form what is now called Station Road.
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