Teigncombe Cleve, Chagford, Dartmoor
Property: Handsome four-bedroomed house on the western side of Dartmoor, with large gardens and a one-bed annexe.
Location: Five minutes’ drive from the town of Chagford, on the gentle western edge of Dartmoor.
Accommodation: Four large bedrooms, two with en-suite bathrooms. A large eat-in kitchen with four-oven Aga and four good-sized reception rooms.
Outside: 3.5 acres of established gardens, one-bedroomed cottage annexe, double garage.
Agents: Jackson-Stops and Staff, Exeter, 01392 214222, www.jackson-stops.co.uk
This week’s star property is a beautiful family home on the gentle western edge of Dartmoor, near the pretty and vibrant town of Chagford.
Linda and John Reid, the owners, have lived here for seven years and in that time they have done a lot of work to improve this handsome 1930s property. As a result, the interiors are now truly delightful and the house is full of character and charm.
The couple first contemplated putting the house on the market last spring, and commissioned these stunning pictures of the garden in full bloom. “We wanted the wonderful azaleas and rhododendrons to be pictured at their very best,” says Linda.
And this year they have taken the plunge and put the house on the market. “It will be hard to leave but we have taken the decision to move nearer to our children, who live in Suffolk,” says Linda. “We want to be more hands-on as grandparents and see more of the little ones when they are small. But I have to admit I will miss this house dreadfully, as it is really heavenly here.”
The house is five minutes’ drive out of Chagford, surrounded by farmland and in a very peaceful and unspoilt part of the Dartmoor National Park. The gentler fields and meadows here are less rugged than the moorland itself.
The house, called Teigncombe Cleve, sits in an elevated position with breathtaking views looking back towards Chagford.
Unlike many of the older Dartmoor houses, this property is unusually light and spacious, with high ceilings and bright rooms. “It was built in 1931 for, we understand, the brother of Amy Johnson, the pioneering English aviator,” explains Linda, who, with husband John, used to own a golf club before their retirement.
Today, it still has much of the characteristic 1930s glamour and practicality. There are solid oak windows and doors as well as attractive carved stone open fireplaces. “We have also added a lot of 1930s touches,” says Linda.
“The oak panelling in the dining room came from a reclamation yard in Wales and had originally been taken out of a house in Cornwall. The date it had been made was carved on the back – 1931 – so we knew it would suit the house perfectly.”
In addition, the house has many modern comforts such as luxury bathrooms, a four-oven Aga and a large glazed breakfast area which leads on to raised terraces overlooking the lawns and ponds.
The house also has a detached one-bedroomed annexe, ideal for guests or relatives. “We have had some fabulous Christmases here, with all the family. There is so much space, the house is perfect for entertaining.” says Linda
The wonderful gardens and grounds here truly set this house apart and amount to about 3.5 acres in total.
They are packed with long-established trees and shrubs, such as acers, rhododendrons and Dicksonia tree ferns. A brook tumbling over moss-covered rocks feeds the lower pond. “This area is a real delight in the spring, when the primulas start to show and the ferns start unravelling their fronds.
“In fact the whole garden is a true gardener’s paradise in a micro climate of its own,” says Linda. “In the summer we barbecue on the top patio which has fantastic views towards Castle Drogo.”
If you feel the need to leave the garden, you can be on the picturesque Two Moors Way within a few minutes, which leads to exhilarating moorland walks in every direction. “Bridle paths abound and open moorland riding is a joy too, for this is big country!” says Linda.
“Then at night, there is absolutely no light pollution so the star constellations above are a joy to see. One can stand outside on the terraces and look down on to Chagford nestled below, almost like a small Alpine village,” she says.
This is a very special property indeed. Newly on the market, it is well worth a look if you are in search of a truly delightful family home.
About the area:
Countryside: Teigncombe Cleve is set in gentle rural farmland on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. Wilder moorland is a short walk, ride or drive from the house.
Town: Chagford is the nearest town, a five minute drive away. Chagford is known for its independent shops, good food and community spirit.
Eat out: The restaurant 22 Mill Street in Chagford is well-loved, while Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park is nearby.
Shopping: Chagford is renowned for its traditional family-run hardware stores, Webbers and Bowdens.
Events: There is an annual film festival and a literary festival in Chagford, as well as the yearly Wonderworks craft weekend.
Schools: Chagford has a Montessori nursery for under-fives, which is “outstanding” says Ofsted. The primary school is “good” say inspectors, while the nearest secondary school, South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton, is “outstanding”. Private schooling in Exeter is within easy reach, too.