Would a six-acre estate in idyllic Cornish countrywide complete with four dwellings, an indoor pool, walled gardens and much more suit you? Hosting family parties, reunions and weddings are among the best memories of life here for David and Sarah Short, writes Harriet Meyer.
Name: David and Sarah Short
Occupations: Now retired, David previously worked in oil.
Property description: A six-acre estate set in idyllic rural surroundings with fantastic views of Dartmoor across the Tamar Valley, 11 bedrooms and seven reception rooms. It includes the main house, grooms’ house, carriage house and separate studio, with a working water wheel alongside the terrace, walled gardens, and an indoor swimming pool in the ancient orchard.
Among its many attractions is an amphitheatre on the ruins of the old mansion where the owners have hosted music festivals to raise funds for local charities. There is also a tree house complex and zip wire in the woods – and much more…
Asking price: £1,300,000
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Estate Agent handling the sale: Duncan Ley, of Humberts, Truro.
Why are you moving? We are downsizing as our children and grandchildren have moved away and so the house is no longer the multi-generational haven we’ve enjoyed for the past 15 years.
Have you found somewhere to move to? No, but we shall be moving nearer to our daughter and family who live in Tavistock.
What do you like most about the property? Its history, individuality and tranquility – the only sound we hear is birdsong. We enjoy sipping a glass of something chilled on a balmy evening while gazing at the view, smelling the roses as we stroll around the garden or watching our dogs fail to spot the rabbits in the woodland.
What is your happiest memory in the property and when did it happen? We have had many, many family reunions, parties, christenings, engagement parties and weddings. In particular, our daughter’s wedding reception held in the garden in July 2010 – we were able to put up most of our extended family on site.
When did you buy the property and how much was it worth? It was bought in September 1999 for £660,000 when it was minus the swimming pool and other major improvements – such as an extension on the grooms’ house.
Do you know your neighbours? Most of our neighbours have four legs and a tail. The Duchy College of the Countryside lease the fields from the Duchy of Cornwall. Our other nearest neighbours are approximately a mile away across four fields.
What do you like about local schools? They have served our grandchildren well, being relatively small with very good reputations. The nearest state schools are Stoke Climsland Community Primary School and Callington Community College – now an Academy. There are two grammar schools in Plymouth. Nearby independent schools include Launceston, St Joseph’s School, Mount Kelly College in Tavistock, and Plymouth College.
What is the traffic and transport like in the area? A car is a necessity, but there is a bus link from the village a mile away.There is easy access to the main road between Plymouth and Launceston and we’re only one hour from Exeter.
What’s your favourite place for dinner in your area? The Royal Inn at Horsebridge. It’s actually in Devon, but only three miles away across the Tamar.
How would you spend the perfect day in your area? Whiteford is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so there’s lots to do. But we love just sitting in the garden watching the swallow ballet or the skies over Dartmoor.
What local secret is there in the area what would take a new resident a while to discover? Our local village, Stoke Climsland, has a thriving community centre with many activities. It’s a mixture of working farms, young families who send children to local schools and the expected sprinkling of retired folk.
If you would change one thing about the house, what would it be? We would enclose part of the courtyard outside the kitchen to make it squarer.
What items are included in the sale of the property (eg white goods in the kitchen)? None at the moment, but this is subject to negotiation.
Who would your ideal buyer? Someone who can see its potential. There is space for a tennis court, a paddock for horses or maybe even a vineyard. It could easily be transformed into a commercial venture or it would suit someone with an extended family who needs separate residences.
What do you fear most? Downsizing! With four dwellings to de-clutter and dispose of excess furniture we have our work cut out.
Agent’s advice on tackling these fears? Duncan Ley, director of Humberts in Truro, says: “As our clients have lived in their property for some 15 years and it comprises of 8,500 square feet it’s not surprising that the thought of downsizing is intimidating.
“Many of the items will do well at auction, much can be dispersed to family members, while some can be donated to charity. Some buyers may also be interested in retaining some of the furnishings.”