Blunham, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK44 3PA
- Grade II listed 18th century property
- Five bedrooms; two en suite
- Three 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 at the end of a private driveway within formal gardens and grounds 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 extensively renovated including a full rewiring, new plumbing, and new windows changed with the approval of the local authority. Other modern improvements include an alarm, outdoor HD cameras and underfloor heating in the kitchen/breakfast room and two of the bathrooms. These modern features have been blended successfully with period and traditional features which include high ceilings, grand proportions, and decorative plaster work. The large, sash windows allow plenty of natural light into the rooms. The well maintained gardens include formal box hedge bordered beds, lawns with mature trees interspersed, and a courtyard garden with cut flower beds and a shaded dining area.
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.
In 1840 the house was bought 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 Winston Churchill stayed at the property on several occasions during the war. In 1952 it was purchased by Mr La Barre whose idea it was to convert the property into two wings. Blunham Court is in the impressive formal portion of the property. In 1956 Blunham Court in its refurbished form was bought by Mr and Mrs Lawrence and by Mr and Mrs Heckler in 1976.
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 and exposed oak flooring. The fine oak staircase was mentioned in Pevsners Buildings of England and is 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. A feature archway leads to inner halls which give access to the reception rooms. The lower level hallway has exposed oak flooring and overlooks the courtyard which is shared with the neighbouring wing. The cloakroom is fitted in a contemporary style suite.
The drawing/dining room has full length sash windows with working shutters, one of the windows can be used as access to the terrace. The room has high ceilings, oak flooring, and an Adam style fireplace surround with marble inlay and open grate. The dual aspect sitting room has a marble fireplace with an open grate. The study is the former butlers pantry and overlooks the courtyard.
Kitchen/Breakfast Room and Utility Room
The kitchen/breakfast room has been refitted in a custom built range of cream Shaker style cabinets by Aisling. All cabinets have walnut interiors and include a fully equipped larder cupboard, a dresser style unit and glazed display cabinets. The central island includes a sink unit and food preparation area, as well as a breakfast bar area with comfortable seating for four. The worksurfaces are granite. Integrated appliances include two conventional electric ovens (one with a microwave function), a steam oven, coffee machine, dishwasher, integrated bin store and tall wine chiller. A full height larder fridge and separate freezer are also included. The utility room is fitted in a contemporary style range of units with granite worksurfaces incorporating a sink. There is space and plumbing for a washing machine and tumble dryer, a separate shelved pantry cupboard and a gun safe.
First Floor Principal Bedrooms
The staircase divides into two landing areas. There is an arched window to the front and windows overlooking the courtyard. The master bedroom is accessed via a short sweeping staircase and has a traditional fireplace with an open grate. The two floor to ceiling sash windows, with working shutters, provide plenty of natural light and views of the garden. Marble steps lead down to an en suite bathroom which has a marble fireplace and floor. A curved wall forms the splash area to a walk-in shower and there is a freestanding double ended bath, twin wash basins set into a marble shelved vanity unit, a bidet and WC. 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 dressing room.
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. The wet room serves these two bedrooms and features Italian marble tiling to the floor and splash areas. There is a walk-in shower area, a wash basin set into an ornate vanity unit, a bidet and WC. Bedroom five is a smaller double bedroom with a single sash window overlooking the gardens, a traditional marble fireplace with a cast iron grate, a deep moulded ceiling and dado rails.
Gardens and grounds
A tree lined, part shingled 400 ft. driveway gives access to the property and opens into the formal gardens at the front and side of the house, which are in excess of 3.5 acres. The gardens are mainly laid to lawn with some fine, mature cedar trees and well stocked beds and borders. At the side of the property is a walled south facing terrace ideal for outside entertaining. At the far end of the garden is a hard surfaced tennis court with sport fencing and a paved area with an attractive 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. The communal courtyard is planted with several pockets of grasses and beds with flowers including verbena, hostas and crimson dahlias. An old fruitful grapevine and climbing roses shade an outdoor seating area.
Blunham Court is positioned on the edge of Blunham village on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border, 53 miles north of London. The village has a village shop, a public house and lovely riverside walks. Sandy, 4 miles away has more varied shops and St Neots, 8 miles away, has a Waitrose and a Marks and Spencer. Both towns have regular rail services into London Kings Cross taking 48 and 38 minutes respectively. Luton International Airport is 26 miles distant. Bedford, 8 miles away, has more comprehensive amenities including excellent schooling for all age groups. 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.