The Old Rectory in Burnham Market could be yours for £2.2m

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market - Credit: Archant

This very early 19th century home in Burnham Market built by the First Earl of Leicester, Thomas Coke is for sale at a guide price of £2.2m.

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market - Credit: Archant

One of Burnham Market's prettiest properties - the Old Rectory - can be found set back from the little road on your way into the village coming from Holkham.

It is a quintessential English rectory but comes with some pretty good credentials because it was built in the early 1800s for the first Earl of Leicester, Thomas Coke, on land he acquired from the trustees of the Walpole dynasty.

Going back a little earlier, to the late 1700s, The Nunnery House was on this site occupied by single ladies of little means and the plot of gardens and additional land was acquired by Coke who had the rectory, coach house and stables built in around 1808-9 - which he called then The Nunnery House after the previous building.

The house was built as a retirement home for the venerable and widowed Rev Henry Crowe, former Rector of Deepdale and a beloved chaplain to Holkham. Mr Crowe's granddaughter describes in her diary, how, in 1810 she planted carnation poppies in her own patch of the garden. They still bloom today.

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market - Credit: Archant


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After the Rev Crowe died in 1816, the house went on to be tenanted passing to several people and only in 1882 when The Rev George Goodenough-Hayter acquired it, did the property become The Rectory. One of Hayter's daughters wrote a diary about growing up at the property, attending balls at Holkham and meeting the then Prince of Wales.

During the second world war, the house was requisitioned for use by London evacuees and airmen from Sculthorpe airfield and the property was finally sold by the Church in 1982.

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What you have is a very pretty main house with a smaller, more understated wing, which is believed to have been built at the same time probably for the house servants. It is likely the Rev Crowe didn't want them living in the main house so built a side 'extension' for them with typically smaller rooms, with lower ceilings, smaller windows and smaller fireplaces.

A small plaque stating the property was built by 'Thos W M Coke Esq 1808 was found by the owners in the roof and the date can also be seen over the original stables where there is still the first floor former groom's quaters with a tiny window at the side in the flint wall.

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market - Credit: Archant

One of the spectacular features of this house is its position with a beautiful, really wide garden at the rear which stretches down to open fields. So, you have the beauty of being able to walk into Burnham Market from the front yet enjoy village and country life at the rear and this week with the daffodils and plants springing into life, it really was a pretty picture.

Inside though is equally impressive; you enter an original hallway with the large flagstone floor into a formal drawing room on one side and a dining room on the other.

Many houses (not forgetting the really big one at Holkham) were built for Coke and there are typical features such as the recesses in the dining room and the really pretty archways through from the hall.

There is a very unusual feature to be found upstairs in the form of a Narnia wardrobe system. You can literally go round in a circle through the main bedrooms by walking through the wardrobes. Two big walk through wardrobes link the bedrooms and it just shows C S Lewis was not imagining things.

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market

The Old Rectory, Burnham Market - Credit: Archant

The bedrooms have original working fireplaces bearing the Holkham ostrich motifs. There are six bedrooms and a dressing room and some pretty tiled bathrooms.

You could create a separate annexe from the two storey wing which has its own separate access too and outside you will find a very mature Holkham Quercus Ilex, a feature oak tree in all the gardens of the houses built for Thomas Coke during this period.

• The Old Rectory, Burnham Market is for sale for a guide price of £2.2m with Bedfords on 01328 730500.

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