The Old Watermill
Mill Lane, Odell, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK43 7AT
- 18th century former watermill
- Six bedrooms; two ensuite
- Kitchen and dining room, family room
- Sitting room, drawing room
- Study with balcony
- Double garage, summerhouse
- Riverside position with fishing rights
- Set in over 0.5 acres
An 18th century limestone six bedroom detached former watermill in a village edge position on the banks of the Great Ouse.
In the original conversion several architectural features were installed using reclaimed materials, the most salient of which include the Irish imported oak staircase, the 16th and 17th century oak doors and various oak floor boarding. Over the last few years, the property has been significantly refurbished (including fully re-wired and re-plumbed) yet retains many of the period features such as exposed beams, original panelling and fireplaces, and the old mill wheel.
History and Heritage
The Old Watermill is situated on the banks of the River Great Ouse, to the southern side of the gardens of Odell Castle. The mill formed part of the Odell Castle Estate, which, for three hundred years, was owned by the Alston family, and was finally sold off in the 1930s to the philanthropist George Lawson Johnston, who had recently become ennobled and had chosen the title Lord Luke. A mill at this site is mentioned in the Domesday book of 1066. The present building is of limestone construction under a clay tiled roof and is believed to date from the 1750s. The mill remained largely in working use until the late 1940s, when the area was drained, and then, shortly after, permission was granted to convert the building into a residential property.
Steps rise from the driveway, above the water wheel, to a glazed entrance porch where an oak door leads to the entrance hall. The entrance hall is part panelled and has stripped oak floorboards, an inglenook fireplace with an inset wood burning stove, exposed beams and a period oak staircase. Oak doors with wrought iron furniture open to all rooms on this floor. The cloakroom has a two piece white suite and coat hanging cupboards spanning one wall.
Reception Rooms and Guest Bedroom
The drawing room has an open fireplace, fitted bookshelves, exposed beams and timbers and a triangular shaped lattice window with a window seat overlooking the mill wheel and river. A replica of the fireplace in the drawing room can be found in the study, where there is oak flooring and a Gothic style part glazed door opening to a decked balcony which is enclosed by glazed panels. The guest bedroom has exposed beams, and there is Fired Earth tiling continuing through to an en suite shower room, entered via oak double doors, which has a power rain shower with jets.
This floor has been recently refurbished, is predominantly open plan and has underfloor heating throughout. There is a family/playroom with a range of fitted cupboards and shelves, a kitchen and dining area and a sitting room at the far end of the house. The sitting room has a double height vaulted ceiling with an exposed stone wall and extends out to the garden via bespoke European Oak tri-folding doors with integrated remotely controlled blinds. These doors open to two aspects in a three and six door configuration to provide a fully integrated indoor/outdoor space
Kitchen, Dining Room and Utility Rooms
The kitchen and dining room have Italian porcelain floor tiles incorporating underfloor heating which continues to the sitting room. It is fitted with a range of Harvey Jones bespoke handmade and handpainted Shaker style units with oak worktops, a Belfast sink, an island unit, double larder, and integrated appliances including a remote controlled electric triple oven Aga, a combination oven with microwave, fan oven and grill, a fridge/freezer, an induction hob with pop up extractor fan, and a dishwasher. There is an open fireplace and painted beams. The utility room is fitted with Shaker style units and has a Belfast sink, plumbing for a washing machine and space for a tumble dryer. The cloakroom is fitted with a two piece white suite. The boot room has a built-in cloaks/general storage cupboard
A galleried landing overlooks the entrance hall and has a staircase with a cupboard under to the second floor. The master bedroom has a built-in wardrobe and an en suite bathroom which includes a double ended zinc and copper bath, double sinks, and a double shower enclosure with power rain shower and jets. There is Porcelanosa and Fired Earth tiling to the floors and walls, and underfloor heating. The adjacent bedroom is a double bedroom with a cast iron fireplace with working fire, and a range of fitted wardrobes and shelved cupboards, and bedroom four is a double bedroom with fitted wardrobes and shelved cupboards. The family bathroom is fitted with a white suite which includes a freestanding double ended bath and a shower enclosure with power rain shower with jets. There is travertine tiling to the walls and floors, and underfloor heating.
A staircase leads to the landing area which has fitted cupboards and a vaulted ceiling. Bedroom five has painted beams and timbers and a part vaulted ceiling, and bedroom six, which is a double bedroom, has a built-in wardrobe, access to a store room, and features the wheel of the pulley previously used for operating the mill wheel.
Mains water, electricity (3 phase) and drainage are connected. The house has central heating provided by a heat pump that converts heat from the water in the river to provide heating to the radiators throughout the house.
Gardens and Grounds
Remote controlled electric double oak gates lead into the garden. The gardens have lawn areas sloping down to the river to the south, whilst on the north side the ground rises towards the grounds of Odell Castle. There are numerous seating areas in the garden, the principal area being the flagstone terrace immediately outside the sitting room, and also include a decking area next to the mill wheel and overlooking the river, seating around an original mill stone at the rivers edge, and a further stone balustraded area above the boat house. There is river frontage on the south west side. The property extends to the middle of the river and includes the fishing rights. There is also a double garage.
Odell is a small North Bedfordshire village comprising mainly stone buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The village is designated as a Conservation area lying in a wider area classified by the local authority as being of special landscape value. There is a recently refurbished public house in the village, a 15th century church and local amenities, such as shops, pubs and restaurants, can be found in the nearby villages of Harrold and Sharnbrook, both approximately 2 miles away. Harrold Lower and Middle Schools have good Ofsted reports and feed into Sharnbrook Upper School. The highly regarded independent Harpur Trust schools can be found in Bedford. There are many countryside walkways in Odell, as well as bridleways, and the property is just a 5 minute walk to the Harrold Odell Country Park. Bedford mainline station is approximately 9 miles away and has rail links to London St. Pancras International (Eurostar), in just 35 minutes.