This beautiful 18th-century cottage in West End, on the edge of Nailsea, is a masterpiece of painstaking modernisation and refurbishment, writes James Higgins
This venerable cottage dates to 1787 and it remains much as it has done for over two centuries, a beautiful rural family home undisturbed by the world around it. The hamlet of West End is just seven miles from Bristol and sits between Backwell and Clevedon amidst the unspoiled North Somerset countryside.
The setting in which Nurse Batch Cottages are found could not be more bucolic. Surrounded by farmland, the hamlet of West End is a truly unspoiled corner of England and, as far as the eye can see, meadows and pastures stretch out in every direction. The hamlet is approached via a single-track road lined by hedges and dry-stone walls. Every so often, a break in the field boundaries reveals a bridleway or a footpath that leads out across the meadows. West End comprises only a few homes and farmsteads dotted along West End Lane – the buildings are a mixture of styles including Georgian, crooked stone-built cottages and more modern builds.
The cottage is slightly set back from the road and has undergone a thorough restoration and an extensive programme of modernisation. The result of this labour of love is a truly stunning family home; a Georgian property with 21st-century conveniences. There are period features aplenty, but windows have been replaced and extensions built on to the kitchen and main reception, further expanding the ground floor and providing flexible living areas. There is also a newly reconstructed single-garage and gym/office. This new timber construction has a pitched roof, a secure garage door and sliding patio doors.
The ground floor features an entrance porch that gives onto an open-plan sitting room that adjoins the newly built garden room and study. A wooden doorway leads through to the kitchen and a utility room/WC. The kitchen has an extension with a timber beam and glazed roof which has created an informal dining area with single-door access to the garden. A single door from the kitchen accesses the final room on the ground floor, a 14m2 reception with a staircase ascending to the first floor.
The porchway has an original flagstone floor that gives way to wooden floors in the reception. The dark tones of the flooring complement the stained beams and oak doorways in the large 34m2 sitting room where there is also a stone inglenook fireplace with an inset wood-burner.
The garden room has a breathtaking atrium ceiling and windows on three sides – it makes it an airy, bright oasis. There is parquet flooring, underfloor heating and French doors that lead through to the garden, garage and gym.
The state-of-the-art kitchen has pastel-coloured, soft-closing fitted units and gorgeous white worktops. There is a wide extractor fan fitted above an opening for a range cooker, and an integrated dishwasher. The adjoining dining area expands on the kitchen and is large enough for a four-seater dining table. The glazed ceiling allows natural light to flood into the kitchen and illuminate the exposed stone walls.
The second reception has lots of original Georgian character. A weathered cupboard door, an inglenook fireplace and exposed ceiling beams really imbue this room with a sense of history – there is lots of space in this room for a much grander dining area which makes it perfect for entertaining.
The second floor comprises a split-level landing, three double bedrooms, a single bedroom, a bathroom and an en suite wet room which adjoins the master bedroom. The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and access to a balcony – another modern addition which lends the room a luxurious touch. The balcony is west-facing and would be a fantastic place to unwind and watch the sun go down before bed with a glass of wine and a book in hand.
The landscaped garden is around 0.18 acres in total and features a large lawn with some well-stocked flower beds and a flagstone patio. The driveway has a pair of solid hardwood gates and a neatly surfaced driveway providing ample parking for a number of vehicles.
Agent: Hydes of Bristol, 0117 973 1516, www.hydes.co.uk