Property floorplan
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The Windmill

21 Quinbury End, Blakesley, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8RF

£1,500,000Guide price

7 4 3

Property Highlights

  • A Grade II listed 19th century four storey mill tower and modern mill house
  • Seven bedrooms
  • Three bathrooms
  • Four reception rooms
  • Kitchen/breakfast room
  • Triple garage, stable and paddock
  • Surrounded by open countryside
  • Approximately 2.7 acre plot

Property description

A Grade II listed 19th century four storey mill tower and modern mill house, with wrap around gardens, a separate triple garage with stables and paddocks in a village location surrounded by open countryside.

On a raised site with its own grounds, the painted mill tower is visible beyond Blakesley village, its position giving panoramic views over the countryside, especially from the tower rooms. The current owners acquired the derelict mill tower about 26 years ago and since then have restored its fabric, preserved its original features, and built a contemporary house alongside, which complements the Victorian building. The tower, dated 1832 by the stone plaque on the front, is built of red brick laid in English bond and rises to a new domed roof. Whilst the workings have long since gone, the flavour of the mill’s heritage is retained: a platform at the front for grain carts is unchanged, once functional ironwork is still imbedded and the internal brickwork is exposed. The modern brick mill house with brick piers and a slate roof, is designed in a 60 degree arc, and curves around, but does not affect the tower.

The Mill House

The mill house front door opens into an atrium which has steps up to the mill dining room or accesses the kitchen/breakfast room, which leads to the sitting room with a further door to the study, a utility room, a cloakroom and an understairs cupboard. A wooden staircase accesses the first floor which has five bedrooms, two family bathrooms, and a bridge to the tower. Throughout the modern building the double-glazed heat efficient windows and French doors have been built to a high specification by a Danish firm, STM Windows and were installed by UK-based Enlightened Windows, of aluminium clad timber. The handmade wooden doors in the mill house have traditional and unusual wooden catches. The modern building has underfloor heating from an oil-fired boiler.

The Mill Tower

The tower, accessed from the mill house atrium, or from a direct entrance at the front, has a dining room from which a hand-built, wide pine staircase leads to a connecting landing, known as ‘the bridge’, which links to the first floor of the new mill house. Beyond the first floor this staircase also continues circling up the exposed brick tower wall to access a bedroom with an en suite shower room on the first floor, another bedroom on the second floor, and finally a library on the third floor under the cap. The tower staircase has continuous jute banister ropes attached to the exposed brick tower wall and on each of the floors there are automatic sprinkler systems in the ceilings. The traditional windows (sash or casement), and doors are handmade. (Grade listing no.: 1294397)

Ground Floor - Mill House

The atrium is crucial to The Windmill, connecting the modern mill house to the mill tower on the ground floor and via a ‘bridge’, which crosses the atrium at first floor level joining the first floor landing and the tower. Apart from this connection, both buildings are structurally independent of one another. The modern atrium roof forms part of a spiral with radiating interior ceiling rafters, and slate tiles accentuating the curve on the exterior. The distinctive outline of the two full-length windows to the side of the front door, joining the two buildings at ground level, is repeated at the back of the atrium, with three glass panels overlooking the garden. There is a reclaimed York stone floor.

Sitting Room

The sitting room has three windows overlooking the garden and French doors opening to the garden terrace. On the opposite wall, an internal window overlooks the atrium, and there are steps up to a door accessing the atrium. The sitting room has a central fireplace with a Clearview wood burner on a stone hearth with fitted bookshelves on each side. On the left of the fireplace the room follows round into an area of seating and bookshelves overlooking the garden; on the right, and set back, is a door that opens to the stairwell and other ground floor rooms.

Kitchen/Breakfast Room

Left of the front door and through the atrium, is the modern kitchen/breakfast room, which has a window in the gable end overlooking the drive and two further windows overlooking the garden and steps down to French doors opening to the terrace. The kitchen area, with a quarry tile floor, has an oil-fired Aga and a walk-in larder with a slate shelf, further shelving and power. There are handmade wooden base and wall units with ample drawers and cupboards and a quartz worksurface with an inset double Belfast sink. Further storage is in a painted Edwardian dresser with glazed sliding doors and cupboards beneath. There is space and plumbing for a dishwasher and a fridge/freezer and room for a table seating at least eight people. A door and two steps down access the sitting room.

Study, Utility Room, Cloakroom

A quarry tiled hallway with the modern stairwell has an external door to the garden area between the atrium and the tower, and three rooms with similar flooring. The largest of these rooms is the study which has two windows overlooking the garden, and storage space. Next door is the utility room with a window in the gable end, which has built-in cupboards and shelving, a work surface with an inset Belfast sink and space and plumbing for a washing machine and a tumble dryer. This room houses the Worcester boiler. The downstairs cloakroom has a WC with a raised cistern, a basin, and a window. The understairs cupboard has two doors, hooks and there is a boot rack.

Ground floor – Mill Tower

York stone and brick steps lead up from the atrium to the dining room. This is the first and largest room in the mill tower and is sufficiently high to show the gentle inward sloping of the external tower walls. There is a wrought iron hand rail by the steps. The doorway, in the tower wall that is 2 ft. 6 in. deep at this point, has a triple segmental brick head which appears again over the doorway to the bridge. Sympathetic to the internal exposed bricks of this room, the floor has been laid with concentric circles of reclaimed oversized bricks. There are two 12-light sash windows and the main panelled timber door to the entrance of the tower. There are exposed transverse ceiling beams and the modern open pine staircase that leads to the bridge as well as continuing up the tower.

First Floor Mill House

The modern interior of the first floor appears deceptively simple with an unadorned modern staircase, with bookshelves built into the stairwell, leading to a curved landing with a curved ceiling. The landing accesses five bedrooms that are arranged in an arc following the outer edge of the plan, so that each bedroom has windows overlooking the garden and views beyond. Along the landing is a double doored airing cupboard by bedroom five and two further cupboards by each of the two family bathrooms.

Bedrooms Two to Six

Bedroom two is the first bedroom immediately to the left of the modern staircase. It is dual aspect with a window in the gable end and two overlooking the garden. This arrangement, including the adjacent family bathroom, is duplicated at the other end of the landing with bedroom six. Bedrooms three, four and five are all different, but roughly L-shaped in layout and all, except bedroom five, have double windows overlooking the garden. Centrally placed bedroom three – opposite the bridge - has double-doored built-in wardrobes.

Two Family Bathrooms

At each gable end of the mill house are two identically planned family bathrooms with windows facing the tower. The walls are fully tiled and the floors and sides of the panelled baths also have ceramic tiles. The baths have shower fittings, heated towel rails, WCs with hidden cisterns and matching basins inset in wooden shelf surrounds.

First Floor – Mill Tower

Bedroom One and En Suite Shower Room

From the dining room or the bridge, stairs reach bedroom one with a window on the stairs and a casement window in the room itself overlooking the drive. The circular walls are exposed brickwork, there is a built-in wardrobe and exposed ceiling timbers. The en suite shower room has a single shower cubicle built into the wall, tiles surrounding a basin in a wooden topped cupboard, a WC with a hidden cistern and ceramic floor tiles

Second floor – Mill Tower

Bedroom Seven

Treated as the main bedroom by the current owners, bedroom seven, reached by the continuing circular staircase, has the same exposed brick walls and ceiling beams, here with reinforcing ironwork. There is a built-in wardrobe with hanging rails and shelving. Diametrically opposite, identically sized Juliet balconies with wrought iron railings have partially glazed doors opening inwards. The views across the open countryside from these two balconies, one to the front, the other at the back, make this exceptional bedroom cool in the summer.

Third Floor – Mill Tower

The library is again reached via the circular staircase. When the current owners arrived at The Windmill, there was no cap to the mill tower and they had a wooden dome built with a lead roof – the construction weighed over two tonnes. In the library the painted structural ribs are evident from below. Currently used as a library, the shelving is not however fixed and the room could fulfil a different purpose. From this, the highest point in the tower, three casement windows, like those in bedroom one, give panoramic views across the surrounding countryside, or over the closer, historic ridge and farrow undulations visible in nearby fields.

Triple Garage and Home Office

The triple garage is positioned on the right of the house and tower, accessed by the gravel drive with ample space for parking in front. It has paved hard standing directly in front and to one side, where there is an external tap. The modern garage with a brick exterior and a pitched slate roof, has a breeze block interior and a concrete floor. There are three double wooden doors and a window in the gable end away from the house. The garage is undivided inside and has shelving and a built-in work bench beneath the pine staircase that accesses the first-floor home office. The office has a boarded floor, extensive shelving and two night-storage heaters. The broad band connection is good; the village has fibre optics.

Drive and Front Garden

Turning off a minor village road in the village, a five-bar farm gate opens to a gravel drive which leads past the garage and to the front of The Windmill. The drive is bordered with mature indigenous trees which follow round behind the garage on the right and round the boundary on the left. The front of the property has areas of lawn enclosed by brick edging, there are clipped hedges and an established border beneath the gable end of the mill house. The garden behind the mill house is predominantly lawned and enclosed by hedging or post and rail fencing, and overlooks the paddock and fields beyond. A York stone terrace has been laid adjacent to the back of the mill house, accessed by the kitchen/breakfast room and the sitting room, providing seating areas. The garden around the mill house has been planned to complement the architectural layout of the new building with a clipped beech hedge planted to echo the segmental shape of the house, with a central break in the curved end hedge to create a vista. Enclosed by these formal hedges are two deep herbaceous borders and a central specimen tree. Beyond this formal garden there are informal kitchen garden beds raised on reclaimed sleepers, the rest is laid to lawn.

Rear Garden Stable Block and Paddock

An area of paddock extends behind and beyond the gardens. It is enclosed by hedges or post and rail fencing and adjacent to the stabling. The single timber stable (currently used for storage), has a concrete base, a stable door, a full door and a tap.

Location

Blakesley is a small but active village in west Northamptonshire, 5 miles west of the market town of Towcester. It has an originally 13th-century church, a village hall, a reading room, a public house, and an independent village shop with a post office. There are also playing fields and a primary school. The village has a long history, it was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and archaeologists continue to speculate about whether it once comprised more than one settlement. Proof of its mediaeval heritage is evident in the ridge and furrow patterns (in interlocking furlongs), left in nearby fields, which attest to an agricultural heritage which continues in a different form to this day.

Schooling and Situation

The primary school in the village is rated Outstanding by Ofsted and the property is in the catchment for Sponne School which is also rated as Outstanding. Other local schools include Quinton House, Northampton High School, Northampton School for Boys, Stowe School, Beachborough School and Winchester House School. The village has a village hall, church, post office/shop and a public house.

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2024-04-21T02:20:04+01:00