Historic treasure with hidden garden

It was a heart-wrenching decision for the owners of this stunning Grade II listed house when they put it on the market because the property has been in the same family for almost a century.

It was a heart-wrenching decision for the owners of this stunning Grade II listed house when they put it on the market because the property has been in the same family for almost a century. But now, for the first time, Home Farm, Gimingham, near North Walsham, which dates back to the 16th century, is up for sale with Jackson-Stops and Staff for a guide price of £795,000. ROBYN GREENACRE discovered lots of surprises in this house including a secret garden and guess what, a view out onto one of Norfolk's only hills! And one more thing, inside you won't find it's all beige

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A treasured family home with a rich history lovingly passed down through generations of father and son, this is the first time in almost a century that Home Farm, Gimingham, near North Walsham, has come on the market for sale. It is being offered with Jackson-Stops and Staff for a guide price of £795,000.

Tucked away behind a brick and flint wall is a charmingly unimposing home surrounded by rolling paddocks.

It has been host to three generations of the Cargill family, who after keeping it in the family for almost 90 years, have made the heart-wrenching decision to put it on the market.

Originally from Scotland, the Cargills set about making Gimingham their home and worked hard on the land to build a mini empire. Current owner Al Cargill said: “I can remember my grandfather would sit in the drawing room in a special chair quizzing everyone who entered. He scared a lot of people.”

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First built in 1591, Home Farm was extended to double its size in 1782, which is why there are two windows on one side of the front door and only one to the left. But thanks to impressive building work at the time, the unusual chipped flint exterior runs the full length of the house and means the later addition really tones in with the earlier section.

The Grade II listed house is set in approximately four acres of grounds, varying from meadows to vegetable patches and landscaped lawns. An assortment of outbuildings are also dotted around the back of the property including a former stable block, currently used as a garage, and an annexe which holds two double bedrooms, a bathroom and living room, last used by a nanny.

Stepping into the property, visitors are greeted by a large square hallway with a cream, black and tan tiled floor and store cupboard.

On the right hand side is the kitchen with flagstone floor, cream Aga and pale green cupboards with contrasting black granite worktops, and butler's sink.

Originally a small room, Al knocked down the wall separating the scullery from the kitchen to make a more spacious area with east facing views making the most of the sun. Leading off from the kitchen is also a boot room, utility room, and cloakroom.

The drawing room is a sunshine yellow and what makes the space even brighter is the light that floods in from the adjacent conservatory, painted a pale cream to reflect the light.

Also on the left side of the house is the striking Gothic-style dining room. The floor is painted with a geometric pattern of red, yellow, orange, green and black, while the walls are a bright, blood red.

Mr Cargill's partner Rachel, an artist, said: “We've tried not to have all of the rooms the same colour. Each has been painted in a different style with different influences. There's nothing I can't bear more than having a whole house painted beige.

“I don't think it helps bring out the individuality or features of a house if it's all the same colour.”

Upstairs is a hessian carpeted landing off which are four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The master bedroom at the front of the house has a soft blue and pale pink theme, inspired from an intricate needlework pattern on a chair, with an en-suite, which was originally another bedroom. There is also a family bathroom, with a free-standing bath.

The remaining three bedrooms include two rooms which have been used for children. One is a girl's room with bright pink flowery wallpaper and the other is painted in a deep green and has a stone spiral staircase leading up to an attic. The attic is currently undergoing a conversion, which will mean the luxury of an extra room for the new owners.

All of the paint used in the house is Farrow and Ball, even including the eggshell blue windowsills and doors on the outbuildings.

The windows are large with big ledges and Rachel said she would miss these the most.

“I love being able to sit on them and look out at the views,” she said. “The light here is fantastic. It's so peaceful. I'll also miss the hill at the back of the house. It's a unique sight in Norfolk.”

Home Farm also has the charm of owning its own secret garden. Someone could pass by every day and never know what lies behind the lime trees, but as soon as they do they will be desperate to go back and take just one last peek. But that's something for the new owners to discover!

t The property is being sold for a guide price of £795,000 with Jackson-Stops and Staff on 01603 612333.