What I Love About This House: Stoberry House & Park, Wells
Posted: June 3, 2020Posted in: Property Spotlight
An award-winning lifestyle business, breathtaking views and so close to Wells: This five-bedroom home, beautiful garden and B&B will be well-missed by the current owners. Read about their time there to inspire your next move.
How long have you lived here and what were your first impressions of the property?
When we first arrived, 24 years ago, we were greeted by piles of rubble left from the demolition of the previous house! My initial reaction was to turn around and flee – but my husband fell in love with the setting. And as he reminded me, the location and views are outstanding and cannot be changed – whereas a house and garden can.
The garden is breathtaking now…
Thank you. I love its beauty, its views, its tranquillity and its space. It’s been featured in the publications ‘Gardens of Somerset’, and ‘Hidden gardens of Somerset’ and in several television programmes and periodicals; it has been designed with a sunken garden which is a contained within the walled garden, both filled with scents in various seasons and a large area of vistas and views.
Over the years we have created a garden lake / large pond which attracts a variety of wild life and there are various sitting areas placed to enjoy the outstanding views. I intended the garden to feature interest and colour throughout the year; the freshness of Spring daffodils leading through to tulips, irises, roses progressing through the year to Autumn colour. It has been designed for beauty and lower maintenance, the pond area being a large feature and the wild life with paths mown through this make for beauty but easy maintenance.
What about inside? Describe your favourite rooms and tell us why you love them
This is difficult, because the house with all its rooms has been so flexible and adapted so well to our changing requirements; from a family home close to good schools, to having a home office, to accommodating a granny coming to live in the annexe, as a hub for teenagers – and when the children left – and my husband was working overseas – it became a luxury, award-winning bed and breakfast.
Sounds like there are so many benefits to living here – the views for one, which must also be a hit with B&B guests?
Absolutely. Our bedroom overlooks Wells Cathedral, Glastonbury Tor and the Vale of Avalon. Downstairs in The Orangery where we serve breakfast, the cathedral takes centre stage, the small city of Wells nestles in the hollow around it, with the Vale of Avalon to the Purbeck Hills beyond, Glastonbury Tor to the right. The large spacious drawing room with its grand piano has been party to so many lovely events and celebrations.
Do you know anything of the site’s history?
I do. Stoberry House and Park occupies the site of a former Mediaeval field. Stoberry is approached at the head of College Road and the original house was built in the 18th Century by Peter Davis, one of the resident gentry. In 1718 he began to acquire parcels of land. On this he built Stoberry, set in landscaped grounds. The name was antiquarian in inspiration, deriving from an earlier name of the open field which was Stabergh. It was built and lived in by 1745. The house was demolished in 1957 and used to stand where our garden lake is now situated; the present Stoberry House was originally the Coach house.
It’s certainly idyllic here, but is it too remote?
Not at all – it’s the perfect mix. Just 20 miles to Bath; 21 miles to Bristol and 17 miles to Bristol airport; Castle Cary is 14 miles; Heathrow 115 miles. We have both worked from home and run a business from home, both ran very smoothly and easily as it a very adaptable house. One feels completely in the country but from the bottom of the park it is only an 8 minute walk to Wells cathedral within the city of Wells and its restaurants.
What do you recommend about the area?
One of the reasons we chose this area was because of the variety of good schools. We have a musical daughter, so the cathedral school being in walking distance is ideal; Millfield is a large International school that suited our son perfectly and is an easy drive; King’s Bruton is also a very good school, as is Downside and the Blue School.
There are many restaurants all within easy walking distance and you can either be very involved in lots of societies and groups, or just enjoy your own space.
What are you favourite memories of living here?
All of the above – but since running the business, it will also be how everyone walks in and says ‘ Wow! Just look at that view’, and stands gazing, and then say how lucky we are to live here, which we are. The changing view and light makes photography a unique experience, and my husband having been overseas for long periods of months at a time would come back and could not stop taking photographs.
Watching the sunsets, enjoying birds and the peace. We’ll miss it all.