Fancy buying a £1.2m rectory with a nuclear war shelter?
PUBLISHED: 08:37 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:37 24 November 2017
See inside a Victorian rectory kitted out with a nuclear war shelter
It’s not often you find a beautiful Victorian rectory which is fully kitted out for a nuclear war! Property editor Caroline Culot went to visit The Old Rectory, Garvestone, for sale for £1.2 million with Strutt & Parker.
It was a delight, when I now see many new builds, to visit a traditional period knapped flint and brick rectory in beautiful condition and with a rather unusual extra feature below stairs! The Old Rectory was built in 1846 and sits in 2.2 acres with a very pretty fountain at its formal front.
I found myself arriving at the tradesmen’s entrance whereas in fact the owners still use the formal front door and indeed there is a second too which would have served the reverend’s parishioners.
What I love about properties like this is it comes with history; it belonged to the Church until the 1970s and indeed must have been a wealthy parish because this house comes with the most gorgeous polished mahogany doors, several inches thick, and brass door handles, locks and keys - it just has those luxury finishes from the Victorian era that meant the person living there was of status.
Indeed the Rev Francis Edward Jackson Valpy was given a very luxury ‘new build’ when he moved in because deeds show the house cost £2,500 in 1846 - the equivelant of about £3 million today! Valpy had come from a wealthy land owning family and he and his wife Eliza ran the rectory at one time as a school for about 10 scholars with five servants.
The rectory has many original features with a drawing room, music room/library and dining room, which boast original ceiling roses and there are some impressive fireplaces. Upstairs you have a minstrel’s gallery and large landing area with five bedrooms including the master with an en suite. All are just beautifully proportioned with large windows.
And then there is the unexpected - a Swiss design, fully kitted out nuclear war shelter installed at some considerable cost by the previous owner. This reinforced concrete room is used for storage by the owners but has a 10 inch thick door and features including a device for measuring radium in the air within the shelter and a full ventilation system, wiring so you could get a radio signal, a generator for electricity, a water butt and yes, even a rather rudimentary toilet. Let’s hope it never has to be used!
Outside is a coach house with its own living room, bathroom and bedroom, ideal if you have an elderly relative and it has its own private terrace area. The main garden includes a kitchen garden and orchard with apple and pear trees.
The Old Rectory is for sale with Strutt & Parker in Norwich on 01603 617431, www.struttandparker.com