Get brand editions for Desmond & Co, Plymouth

This property has been removed by the agent. It may be sold or temporarily removed from the market

View similar properties

Manor House for sale

Orford Mill Holiday Cottages

Withdrawn from Market £1,650,000

Property Description

Key features


Full description

Tenure: Freehold

LOCATION The Orford Mill holiday letting complex lies in a delightful and unique riverside setting in an area of high landscape value forming part of an impressive wooded valley immediately adjacent to the Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Rosemoor, just outside and nestled below the town of Great Torrington, in North Devon. The property itself enjoys 200 yards of fishing on the River Torridge for salmon, sea trout and brown trout and there are regular sightings of otters, dippers and kingfishers along the bank.

RHS Rosemoor which is immediately adjacent to Orford Mill, have recently completed a £1m wedding and conference centre, and the vendors are already getting enquiries for accommodation from prospective wedding parties. They expect this to increase as popularity for the new RHS venue increases.

Great Torrington lies in the very heart of Tarka Country, a landscape made famous by Henry Williamson in his novel 'Tarka the Otter' in 1927. In fact Orford Mill or 'Town Mills' as it is also known, itself featured in the book being where Tarka hid in the mill wheel from the hound, 'Deadlock'.

Torrington is recognized as an important heritage centre with particular reference to the English Civil War in the 17th Century and is an excellent base from which to explore the spectacular cliffs and sandy beaches of the Atlantic Coastline of North Devon and North Cornwall as well as the Dartmoor National Park.

BUSINESS This is a rare opportunity to acquire an established holiday letting complex with a captivating image. The property has strong historic and literary associations, enjoys fishing rights on a healthy river and offers regular glimpses of exciting wildlife.

Presented to a high standard throughout, the accommodation comprises 9 letting units of varying sizes sleeping from 3 to 12 guests. The owners occupy a further most comfortable and spacious 3 bed unit with an attractive prospect on both sides. However, the option exists to choose any of the units as owners' accommodation dependent upon the amount of space desired.

The site also incorporates a stunning indoor swimming pool which is part let during school term time under a most remunerative arrangement to an established local swim school without impinging upon use by visiting guests and further income can be derived from the on-site tea room, games room, spa room and from the private fishing rights. There is also a tennis court and plenty of on-site parking.

The business operates all year round, the property enjoying a sheltered position, and the opportunity exists to increase income through a more proactive approach to the advertising of short breaks and last minute deals.

The current owners have invested heavily in the property and its facilities throughout the period of their ownership and are now looking to retire.

The attractions of this stunning complex can be appreciated only by a full external and internal inspection and interested parties are invited to contact Desmond & Co to discuss their interest and desire to view. Assistance with finance is available upon request.

HISTORY Orford Mill, formerly 'Town Mills' is understood to have been built c 1835 as a further development of the Rolle Canal, then comprising a grain mill, saw mill, manor house and farm buildings. The canal ran through the grounds allowing sawn timber to be loaded directly onto barges and also to take delivery of newly cut timber from the woodlands further along the canal.

The canal was largely built without permission, work commencing in 1823, with an act of Parliament eventually being granted for the purpose in 1835. The principal function of the canal was to import limestone and coal from South Wales to be burnt at inland kilns to make lime fertilizer which would greatly increase soil fertility and thereby enhance the value of agricultural land. As evidence of this, the remains of a complex of 5 lime kilns lie at the end of the canal proper within the grounds of Rosemoor, beyond which the canal became a feeder leat which took water from the River Torridge, a short distance away at 'Dark Weir' (again see 'Tarka the Otter').

Town Mills was built by John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle (died 1842) of nearby Stevenstone House, lord of the manor of Great Torrington, in a flamboyant style, designed to present a romantic riverside group as seen from the town above, its corner towers, octagonal turret chimney and crenellated walls to match those of the rebuilt town castle keep, high on the hill above the river.

It was a working mill until c 1935. The overshot wheel that once powered the wood mill was replaced by a water powered turbine which proved to be inadequate and operations ceased. It was subsequently opened as a hotel c 1963 and operated as a hotel and restaurant until 1990 when it was converted into self-contained holiday cottages. It was acquired by the current owners in 2001. The names of the individual letting units are derived from creatures and places made famous by Henry Williamson's book.

TRADE Details available on application from Agents.

The 9 holiday letting cottages are advertised through the English Country Cottages website. Details for the 9 letting units may be seen via the following link:

Direct bookings may also be made via the Orford Mill website bookings portal here:

A review of the occupancy pattern for 2016 shows a clear bias towards the school holidays and the vendor freely admits that they could do more to promote opportunities for short breaks and last minute deals throughout the year. Working from a schedule provided for the owner by the lettings agency, which shows recommended weekly prices for each unit, together with the sum (inclusive of Vat) payable to the owner after deduction of agency fees, which we have compared with available average month by month occupancy statistics for self-catering accommodation in Devon, it is evident that the letting income is c 15% below the average, thereby suggesting the existence of 'low hanging fruit'.

REASON FOR SALE Having owned the business for 15 years, the vendor and her husband now wish to retire. 

STAFF The business is run by a husband and wife team with the part-time assistance of a family member who lives locally and with further casual assistance during the peak summer trading period. 

HOURS OF BUSINESS The business operates throughout the year. 

BUSINESS PREMISES Orford Mill comprises a Grade 2 Listed former mill house, malthouse and water mill that has been converted into ten high quality cottages/apartments, one of which is occupied by the vendors.

The property was first listed in 1951. An overshot waterwheel (15ft x 3ft approx) remains, this having been restored to working order in the early 1980's. It bears the name Garnish & Lemon, Barnstaple.

The whole is set in about 2.33 acres (0.943 hectares) and includes formal garden areas, sweeping entrance drive, dedicated car park, tennis court and three blocks of buildings containing the holiday units and proprietor's accommodation as well as fully heated indoor swimming pool, games room, spa room and tea room.

The conversion of the property to holiday units was carried out in 1990, the property having previously been a small hotel.

The standard of conversion is high with quality fitted kitchens and bathrooms installed throughout.

The former mill house has interesting part castellated stone elevations and the former mill buildings are similarly substantially built both having solid stone walls and pitched natural slate roofs.

Former Mill Building

Now converted to a large single unit of holiday accommodation known as;

1. Tarka (sleeps 12)

Rear entrance leading to open plan

Lounge/living room/kitchen 10.0m x 4.8m

incorporating quality fitted kitchen section, dining area and lounge area.

Internal staircase leading to;

First floor landing with airing cupboard and storage cupboard and;

Bedroom 1 2.8m x 2.7m with radiator;

Bedroom 2 2.8m x 2.7m with radiator;

Bathroom 1.9m x 2.7m with whirlpool bath, WC, heated towel rail/radiator, wash hand basin and half tiling to walls;

Bedroom 3 3.5m x 3.6m with radiator, built-in wardrobe and;

En-suite shower room/WC 0.9m x 3.5m with wash hand basin, heated towel rail/radiator, extractor fan, large shower cubicle;

Stairs to second floor landing with radiator and wardrobe and access to;

Bedroom 4 2.6m x 2.8m with radiator, built-in wardrobe;

Bedroom 5 2.8m x 2.6m with radiator;

WC with wash hand basin

Bathroom 1.9m x 2.8m with air spa bath and wash hand basin, WC, heated towel rail/radiator, half tiling to wall;

Bedroom 6 3.5m x 3.6m with radiator plus;

En-suite shower room WC with heated towel rail/radiator, shower cubicle, extractor fan.

Main Building

2. Mill Pool (sleeps 5)

Ground floor

Rear entrance to inner lobby with cloakroom cupboard and access through to;

Lounge 6.6m x 3.7m with radiator, double glazed doors to;

Dining Room/Kitchen 2.5m x 6m with quality fitted kitchen section.

Stairs from hallway to first floor landing;

Bedroom 1 3.1m x 3.1m with radiator, built-in wardrobes;

En-suite bathroom 1.5m x 2.35m with panel bath, wash hand basin, WC, radiator, part tiling to walls;

Access via hallway with radiator to;

Bedroom 2 1.8m x 2.24m with radiator, built-in wardrobe and built-in bunk beds which can be folded up into the wall;

Bedroom 3 4.8m x 2.35m with radiator, built-in wardrobes;

Bathroom with whirlpool bath with shower over, wash hand basin, WC, radiator.

3. Mere Brook (sleeps 4)

Courtyard garden area leading to;

Sun Lounge 3.3m x 3.3m with radiator leading into;

Lounge/Dining Room 3.6m x 6.1m incorporating staircase, understair cupboard, radiator;

Kitchen 3.1m x 3m with radiator;

Stairs to first floor landing and;

Bedroom 1 3.7m x 2.64m;

Bathroom 1.35m x 2.25m with panel bath, wash basin, WC, shower over bath;

Bedroom 2 5.6m x 4.2m with built-in wardrobes and cupboards and incorporating;

En-suite bathroom/WC with panel bath with shower over, wash hand basin, WC, radiator;

4. Otters Haven (sleeps 5)

Entrance porch 2.3m x 1.5m leading to inner hallway with radiator;

Bedroom 1 4.4m x 3.2m with radiator;

Bedroom 2 2.2m x 4.15m with radiator;

Bathroom 2.2m x 1.7m with whirlpool bath, wash hand basin, WC, heated towel rail, shower over bath;

Bedroom 3 2.25m x 2.5m with radiator;

Kitchen/Dining Room 4.3x 3m;

Lounge 4.5m x 4.5m incorporating wall inset open fire and 2 radiators.

5. Owlery Holt (sleeps 4)

External staircase and comprising;

Lobby leading to inner hallway and;

Lounge/Dining Room 3.6m x 4.5m with radiator;

Kitchen 1.9m x 2.5m;

Bedroom 1 2.6m x 3.3m with radiator, built-in wardrobes;

Bathroom 2.5m x 1.6m with panel bath with shower over, wash hand basin, WC, radiator;

Bedroom 2 3.5m x 3.5m with built-in wardrobes, radiator.

6. Henry Williamson (sleeps 8)

Ground floor main former entrance to building with;

Stone porch 3.5m x 2m leading to;

Spacious inner reception hallway and stairs 5.2m x 2.7m with adjacent understair cupboard and laundry room;

Stairs to first floor and;

Galleried landing 5.2m x 2.7m and access through to;

Lounge 4.55m x 4.7m with radiator, fireplace, wall inset open fire, cornice;

Kitchen 3m x 2.5m with radiator, airing cupboard;

Bedroom 1 5.23m x 3.85m plus en-suite bathroom/WC with wash hand basin with shower over bath;

Bedroom 2 3.8m x 2.6m with radiator plus en-suite WC with heated towel rail;

Bedroom 3 3.22m x 3.85m with radiator plus en-suite WC with heated towel rail;

Bathroom 1.6m x 1.85m with whirlpool bath with shower over, wash hand basin, WC;

Bedroom 4 3.05m x 3.07m with radiator, built-in wardrobe.

7. Skirr (sleeps 4)

Entrance lobby and hallway leading to;

Bedroom 1 2.8m x 3.5m with radiator;

Kitchen 2.35m x 2.55m;

Living Room/Lounge 5.25m x 5m with stone fireplace, wood burning stove, radiator;

Bathroom 3.5m x 1.7m with whirlpool bath, wash hand basin, WC, radiator;

Bedroom 2 3.75m x 3.65m with radiator.

8. Kingfisher (adjacent to Tarka and sleeping 3)

Entrance porch 1.5m x 1.5m leading to inner hallway and;

Kitchen 2.7m x 2.8m in turn leading through to;

Lounge 3.6m x 3.7m with dual aspect, understairs cupboard.

Access via stairs from entrance hallway to first floor landing;

Bedroom 1 2.4m x 3.7m with radiator;

Bedroom 2 2.2m x 1.96m with radiator;

Bathroom 2.9m x 1.8m with panel bath, wash basin, WC, airing cupboard with immersion heater.

9. Riverside (sleeps 8)

Inner hallway/lobby leading to;

Lounge and Dining Area 4.9m x 5.3m with two radiators, fireplace and double doors onto balcony bordering the River Torridge;

Kitchen 4.04m x 2.4m;

Bedroom 1 2.5m x 4m with radiator and double doors also onto balcony;

En-suite bathroom/WC with air spa and whirlpool bath, WC, wash hand basin, heated towel rail;

Bedroom 2 4.5m x 3.1m with radiator, double doors onto balcony and adjacent;

Bathroom/WC with panel bath with shower over, wash hand basin, WC, heated towel rail;

Stairs to first floor landing and;

Bedroom 3 3.43m x 3.23m with radiator;

Bedroom 4 3m x 3.8m with radiator and built-in cupboard.

It is calculated that the total gross external floor area of the principal buildings on site is approximately 1,495m².

Where items of equipment and appliances are mentioned, no warranty is given or implied as to their operational condition.

(all sizes are approximate & should be considered 'nominal'.)

Proprietor's accommodation

Situated within the main block this is accessed via a private courtyard garden and presently comprises the unit known as:

10. 'Owlery Oak' ;

Entrance lobby;

Lounge 3.8m x 6.7m plus bay window, with 2 radiators;

Kitchen/Dining Room 3.7m x 3.7m with radiator;

Proprietor's office 2.5m x 2.5m with radiator;

Stairs to first floor landing and;

Bedroom 1 3.05m x 2.5m with radiator;

Bathroom 2.7m x 1.7m with panel bath with shower over, wash hand basin, WC, heated towel rail;

Bedroom 2 2.8m x 3.8m with radiator;

Bedroom 3 4.2m x 4.7m with built-in wardrobes, radiator and incorporating;

Bathroom/WC with heated towel rail, panel bath, wash hand basin, WC;

Laundry area providing access to the proprietor's accommodation, this comprises;

Porch with commercial drier, entrance hallway, storage cupboard, laundry room with commercial drier and washing machine and boiler room containing two twin oil fired central heating boilers plus four hot water cylinders.


Facilities and outbuildings

Garage 9m x 3.23m

Store room 3.2m x 2.1m

Spa Room with 4 person hydrotherapy hot tub, dry sauna and steam shower/wet sauna combined unit

Log cabin/games room 4.7m x 4.7m with pool table and amusement machines

Indoor heated swimming pool

Incorporated within main pool area (14.5m x 5.4m) heated indoor swimming pool 4m x 9m to the rear of which steps lead up to;

Changing rooms within an area of 5.7m x 5.2m incorporating;

Lobby, changing room 1 1.34m x 2.03m with radiator, tiled floor, shower/WC with a fully tiled wet room shower, radiator, wash hand basin, WC;

Changing room 2 1.2m x 1.2m with access to boiler room for central heating and adjacent plant room.

Tea Room 4.5m x 6.2m incorporating servery section with sink unit and electric panel heating.

Additional outside facilities include lawned areas in front of the River Torridge, a designated car park for ten cars plus additional parking, full sized tennis court and riverside fishing.

The property is Grade 2 listed and as such the property is exempt.


LEGAL FEES Vendors and Buyers each to meet their own legal costs. 

SERVICES Mains electricity (2 metered supplies). Mains water (2 metered supplies). Private drainage (2 septic tanks emptied once annually at total cost of c £300). Oil fired central heating (4 x boilers). 

AGENTS NOTE Desmond & Co are acting as sub agents for the marketing of Orford Mill. For more details please call 01752 343172. 

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
15 November 2017

Map & Street View

Disclaimer - Property reference 102895000043. The information displayed about this property comprises a property advertisement. makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the advertisement or any linked or associated information, and Rightmove has no control over the content. This property advertisement does not constitute property particulars. The information is provided and maintained by Desmond & Co, Plymouth. Please contact the selling agent or developer directly to obtain any information which may be available under the terms of The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 or the Home Report if in relation to a residential property in Scotland.

* Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time (8pm to 10pm) from packages available on Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing. Fibre/cable services at your postcode are subject to availability. You can confirm availability on the provider's website. Providers may increase charges. You should have the right to exit your contract without penalty if this happens. The information is provided and maintained by Decision Technologies Limited.

Map data ©OpenStreetMap contributors.