'The view from Lake House will be hard to beat'
AS WE sit at the kitchen table, looking at photographs of this house as it was being rebuilt in 1996, a wistful look passes across Sarah Clements' face when she spots her two small boys in some of the images.
That was 16 years ago, and the boys are now 22 and 19, and work full time for their father, Vince, who runs his own insulation company, Warmcare.
While the brothers still live at this house, their parents are hankering after a smaller property in order to free up some cash to spend the colder months in warmer climes. But, having pretty much built their beloved home from scratch, the decision to leave hasn't been easy to reach.
Overlooking the Barrow reservoirs and surrounded by countryside and more than 5.5 acres of its own land, the central part of the house dates back to 1890 and was once owned by Bristol Water.
Bridal hand tied bouquet (Roses)
2 Bridesmaids (Roses)
Groom & Best Man button holes (Roses)
Discounted rates apply to larger Bridal party requests.
Not to be used with any other offer.
Contact: 0117 2448228
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
After buying the four-bedroom property and outbuildings at auction, the Clements' set about a massive building programme, adding a two-storey extension to each end and putting up a detached annexe with garages.
Not to mention the landscaping, planting an orchard and laying an extensive cobbled driveway.
This process of evolution means the property has been moulded to fit this family like a glove.
"We have had go-kart tracks, and quad bikes and it has been a great place for two boys to grow up," says Sarah.
"But it is a big house. We have been talking for four years about putting it on the market. We thought that, if it sold, we could help out the boys with property.
"If we had a smaller property, when we want to go away we wouldn't be leaving so much. It is a big place to lock up and leave."
Designed by a local architect and built with help from Roberts Property Services in Stockwood, the main house has five bedrooms (four doubles and a single) and two bathrooms on the first floor.
Below are three reception rooms, each with prominent brick fireplaces and carved wooden surrounds, a snooker room big enough to take a full size table, a kitchen that was upgraded two years ago and a utility room/WC.
There's a also a study from where stairs drop down to a double garage-sized cellar that's now used as a gym. A door in the gym opens to reveal a double garage proper, that's at present home to lots of boys toys: pin ball machines, quad bikes and the like.
When considering the detached annexe as part of the package (with lounge, kitchen/diner, reception room, bathroom, bedroom and garage), then the possibilities for this property as an income generator, as well as a home, become apparent.
While the annexe would be great for live-in relatives, with Bristol airport just down the road, a B&B or holiday let are other options.
An artist might be inspired by the size of, and the amount of natural light that floods the snooker room, and there's enough land to keep ponies or sheep, to operate a smallholding or kennels, while still leaving plenty of space indoors for offices and/or to run a business without impinging on family accommodation.
The house has been designed with the view in mind, so the principle rooms all overlook the lakes.
There are windows pointing in two directions in the kitchen, for example, which was given a makeover two years ago.
It now has cream-coloured units with solid wood worktops, an electric double oven, ceramic hob, wine cooler, plus space for a dishwasher, fridge/freezer and a table and chairs big enough to seat six.
Underfoot is oak flooring which continues down the hall and into the next door utility room/WC.
French doors open from the biggest of three reception rooms on to a raised stone terrace – again with that view – while the two biggest bedrooms above benefit from a similar outlook.
With the master is a dressing room and large en suite, with twin countersunk wash basins, a large corner bath and a separate shower. Like the main bathroom, this has a white suite. Soft yellow or cream paint covers the walls throughout, with cream carpets adding to the calm and cosy feel.
Beyond the wide terrace is an expanse of lawn, with deciduous and fruit trees, and under the terrace are arched storage recesses, perfect for outdoor furniture.
A circular fishpond is placed in the centre of a cobbled driveway, which wraps around the house and has space for numerous cars.
So, all in all, that's a lot of property, and the Clements' are torn about leaving. Sarah explained: "We are spoilt here and we do find it difficult when we look at other properties because of the space we have here and the privacy and the size of the rooms."
Vince added: "What I like about it the view of Dundry Hill and looking over the lakes on a summer's day."
Yep, that's going to be hard to beat.
Five-bed, plus annexe
Haigh & Sons,
0117 973 5859
Lake House, Barrow Lane, Barrow Gurney