Shyre Cottage is a beautiful Grade II Listed family residence located at the heart of the Bedfordshire hamlet of Ickwell. Occupying a unique position overlooking the Village Green with its Maypole, Cricket Club, and the 'Ickwell Oak,' which is believed to be over 350 years old. The property was originally two timber-framed cottages, dating back to 1680, before the outer brick walls were bu…
Shyre Cottage is a beautiful Grade II Listed family residence located at the heart of the Bedfordshire hamlet of Ickwell. Occupying a unique position overlooking the Village Green with its Maypole, Cricket Club, and the 'Ickwell Oak,' which is believed to be over 350 years old. The property was originally two timber-framed cottages, dating back to 1680, before the outer brick walls were built in the 19th Century to create the current facade. It eventually became the imposing family residence that it is today in 1990 under the careful and sympathetic supervision of the current owner.
The ground floor offers a wealth of period features and comprises a country-style kitchen, drawing room with separated dining room, and a living room. There is annexe potential with its own front door access using the current utility room, ground floor shower room and the family room as the fifth bedroom. The first floor offers four double bedrooms, with an en suite and family bathroom. To the rear is an office outbuilding with electricity and telephone connection. The rear garden is largely laid to lawn and has stunning views across the adjacent parkland. This residence is currently offered with a 60-year lease, but the freehold is available for purchase. The property has planning permission (until July 2020) for a single-storey rear extension of the kitchen, as well as the construction of a detached double cart barn with studio room over.
Shyre Cottage is a hugely characterful period home that enjoys an enviable location overlooking Ickwell village green. The property originally dates back to c1680, but in recent years it has been beautifully and sympathetically renovated by the current owners, Ian and Marlene. "We purchased one half of Shyre Cottage back in 1981 and I'd say that we fell for it as soon as we saw it," said Ian and Marlene. "I happened to be driving through the village one day and as I did, I noticed a large homemade For Sale sign sitting outside this rather lovely cottage. My wife and I had been searching for a new home for quite some time, and by complete chance, we came across this cottage being renovated by two local builders. It was the most beautiful August day; cricket was being played on the green, the bees were buzzing, and the birds were singing... It was completely idyllic and that was it! We were totally sold, and we've since had thirty-seven incredibly happy years here."
"Back then, the house was a very small two-bedroom semi, but just a few years later we were able to buy next door. We then embarked upon a four-year project of renovation, during which time we transformed the two cottages into one integrated house. We were very keen to maintain the historical integrity of the building as a whole, but at the same time we wanted to create a warm and comfortable family home in which to bring up our children, and also share with our friends. This we achieved."
"So the house retains an absolute wealth of stunning period features, including three rather impressive inglenooks and lots of exposed beams and timbers, but it's also a house that's wonderfully conducive to modern living. It's just stunning as it is, but there's still the potential to enhance it further. We actually have planning permission in place to add a large single storey extension."
"Another wonderful feature of the property is the garden, which is a very good size indeed and backs onto open pastureland," continues Ian. "We get the sun from around 10:30 in the morning to 7/8pm in the evening and this makes for some wonderful summer days. It's been an ideal space for the children, it's great for entertaining and it's also an absolute haven for wildlife. We get muntjac deer coming to visit, squirrels, rabbits and the birdlife is amazing."
"We love the whole house, but the main living room is really quite special," says Marlene. "The main feature is the huge inglenook and we've spent many wonderful evenings sat around the fire with friends, putting the world to rights..."
"Ickwell has been a wonderful place to live and bring up our family," says Ian. "There's a really strong sense of community within the village and there's always something going on, whether that be a cricket match, a big picnic on the green or the famous May Day celebrations. We're also just five minutes from the A1, I can be at the station in Biggleswade in no more than ten minutes and from there it's just half an hour into Kings Cross, so it's a great base for commuting. In short, we've been able to enjoy the best of both worlds."
"This is a house that holds an awful lot of wonderful memories and it's been a super place to entertain and host big celebrations," says the owner. "In fact, in the mid-90s we had a particularly memorable event that we actually held out on the green. It just happened to be my father's 80th birthday, my 50th, our son's 21st, our daughter's 18th and it was our 25th wedding anniversary, so we erected a huge marquee and invited all of our friends, family and neighbours. It was a fabulous evening, which we often recall with great happiness. Our daughter was also married in the village church, leaving from the house by horse and carriage, and returning to the Reception which again was in a marquee, but this time in the garden. Charlotte was also May Queen - a great honour!
"Without exception, everyone who walks into this house comments on the warmth of the atmosphere, and we always say that you're not coming into a house, you're coming into a home," says Marlene. "It's a place that has provided us with an exceptional quality of life and there's absolutely no doubt that we'll be very sad when the time comes to leave."
Front door to:
Window to rear aspect. Exposed timbers to walls and ceiling. Staircase to first floor landing with understairs storage cupboard. Brick-built inglenook fireplace with inset craftsman-made 'dogs and grate,' canopy hood and oak lintel over. Original brick tiled floor. Radiator.
LIVING ROOM 4.80m x 3.65m (15'8" x 11'11")
Two windows to front aspect. French doors to rear aspect. Exposed beams to ceiling. Brick-built open fireplace. Radiator.
DRAWING ROOM 4.50m x 4.50m (14'9" x 14'9")
Two windows to front aspect. Brick step up to double multi-pane glass doors to Kitchen. Exposed timbers to ceiling. Brick-built inglenook fireplace with inset cast-iron wood-burning stove, brick hearth and timber bressumer over. Radiator. Exposed open timbers to:
DINING ROOM 4.15m x 2.55m (13'7" x 8'4")
Window to front aspect. Exposed brickwork to wall with alcove. Exposed beam to ceiling. Open beams to Drawing Room. Radiator.
KITCHEN BREAKFAST ROOM 5.50m x 2.80m (18'0" x 9'2")
Window to rear aspect. French doors with glazed side panels to rear aspect. Exposed timber to ceiling with hanging hooks. Exposed brick pillar. Fitted with bespoke pine base and wall mounted units with complementary worksurfaces, tiled splashbacks and under-pelmet lighting. Stainless steel one and a half bowl sink unit with swan-neck mixer tap, independent hot water tap, and drainer. Built-in eye-level Neff fan oven and Neff multifunction oven/microwave/grill. Inset LPG hob with built-in extractor over. Space for dishwasher. LPG boiler. Door to pantry cupboard. Recessed ceiling lights. Tiled floor. Covered radiator. Multi-pane glass door to:
UTILITY ROOM 5.10m x 1.75m (16'8" x 5'8")
Door to front aspect. Window and stable door to side aspect. Door to Family Room / Bedroom Five. Exposed brickwork to wall. Wall-mounted ceramic sink with wall-mounted taps. Space for washing machine and American-style fridge freezer. Tiled floor. Radiator. Door to:
GROUND FLOOR SHOWER ROOM
Window to rear aspect. Three piece suite comprising a low level WC, hand wash basin and walk-in shower cubicle.
FAMILY ROOM / BEDROOM FIVE 5.80m x 2.75m (19'0" x 9'0")
Window to front aspect. French doors to rear aspect. Exposed beams and brickwork to walls. Hatch to boarded loft. Recessed ceiling lights. Two radiators.
FIRST FLOOR LANDING
Window to rear elevation. Exposed brick chimney breast. Exposed beams to walls and ceiling.
MASTER BEDROOM 4.85m x 3.70m (15'10" x 12'1")
Window to front and rear elevations. Vaulted ceiling with exposed beams. Radiator.
Window to side elevation. Exposed beams to part-vaulted ceiling. Hatch to boarded loft. Three piece suite comprising a low-level WC, pine vanity unit-mounted hand wash basin with tiled splashbacks, and walk-in shower cubicle.
BEDROOM THREE 3.40m x 3.25m (11'1" x 10'7")
Window to front elevation. Part-vaulted ceiling. Door to built-in storage cupboard. Radiator.
BEDROOM TWO 4.50m x 3.20m (14'9" x 10'5")
Window to front elevation. Exposed beams to wall. Vaulted ceiling. Vanity-unit mounted hand wash basin. Radiator.
BEDROOM FOUR 3.60m x 2.85m (11'9" x 9'4")
Window to rear elevation. Vaulted ceiling. Door to walk-in airing cupboard housing hot water tank. Three double built-in low-level storage cupboards. Vanity-unit mounted hand wash basin with tiled splashback and vanity mirror. Radiator.
Window to front elevation. Exposed beams to vaulted ceiling. Three piece suite comprising a low-level WC, pedestal hand wash basin, and a pine panel bath with power shower over and tiled splashbacks. Radiator.
The driveway to the side of the property leads to a five-bar gate, opening onto a further gravelled driveway with parking space extending to the rear garden, where the LPG gas tank is located. The property has planning permission (until July 2020) for the construction of a detached double cart barn with studio room over, in this area. To the other left-hand side of the property is a further gravel drive offering additional parking, with access to the utility room (annexe front entrance potential). Front lawns with stocked borders and brook.
The rear garden is mainly laid to lawn with extensive mature trees and planting. Gravel and stone patio extending to the width of the property. Three timber sheds. Greenhouse.
OUTBUILDING / OFFICE 4.20m x 2.45m (13'9" x 8'0")
Two windows and door to front aspect, with a veranda. Brick and timber construction with pitch tiled roof. Power and telephone connections.
Date built: 1680
Altered / extended 1990
99-year leasehold with 60 years remaining, with an understanding that the freehold is available to purchase (freeholder being Bedford School). Current Ground Rent is £125 p/a.
Grade II Listed
LPG gas-fired boiler
Situated on parish council-owned road, with service charge of £50 p/a at present
Planning Application Number: CB/17/00491/LB (until 27-07-2020)
All measurements are approximate and quoted for general guidance only and whilst every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, they must not be relied on. The fixtures, fittings and appliances referred to have not been tested and therefore no guarantee can be given that they are in working order. Internal photographs are reproduced for general information and it must not be inferred that any item shown is included with the property. Seller Insight: Comments are the personal views of the current owner and are included as an insight into life at the property. They have not been independently verified, should not be relied on without verification and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agent.