Handsome house offers rural idyll


Address: Chimneys, Stone Pit Lane, Marston, Grantham

Guide price: Offers in the region of £950,000

On the market with: Mount & Minster, Autumn Park Business Centre, Dysart Road, Grantham NG32 7EU

Telephone: 01476 851400

Website: www.mountandminster.co.uk


Featured in:
February 2024

Perfect for buyers looking for an equestrian family home, Chimneys is a stylish, recently renovated Victorian residence offering plenty of space and flexible accommodation.

Situated in spacious private grounds in the popular village of Marston, near Grantham, Chimneys is a fine example of a classic Victorian farmhouse.

Once the centre of a 5,000-acre family farm, it has been extensively renovated to a high standard by the vendors, Martin and Katie Adcock, and now offers superb flexible accommodation, including four double bedrooms, plus a one-bedroom annexe.

Outside is equally impressive with attractive gardens and well-tended paddocks, where the family’s horses and ponies graze contentedly.

The Adcock family, who are all passionate equestrians, have lived here since moving from Marlow in 2020 with a mission to restore the house to its full beauty, while adding some bespoke stylish touches, combining tradition with modern creature comforts.

Martin and his wife Katie, who are both in the RAF, were keen to return to Lincolnshire which they consider “our true home base” as they also have close family nearby.

“The village of Marston appealed to us for its fantastic location and lively community,” explains Martin.

“When we first saw the house, we realised that the pictures we’d been sent didn’t do it justice. After 10 years of being rented out, it just looked a bit drab and unloved – it was as if it had lost its way.”

The family purchased the house in November 2019 and having instructed local contractors to completely reconfigure the layout, they commuted to Lincolnshire weekly to work on the property.

“By March 2020, the contractors had reduced the house to its bare essentials, and then due to the sudden lockdown we moved into a building site with a three-year-old, a fifteen-year-old and no furniture, so we literally lived through the redevelopment, slowly expanding into the rooms as they were finished.

“We decided that we needed to be sympathetic with our restoration, but also a bit radical with the layout.

Half of the house has a more contemporary feel, with strong Farrow & Ball colours and open plan living, whereas the other side of the house retains its original features and more subtle paint schemes.

“My late father ran an antiques business, and this house provides the ideal setting for some of his pieces.

“We went to town on the rewiring and plumbing in the house. We used an excellent plumber whose copper work is a work of art – he redid the whole house, installed cast iron radiators (from the Cast Iron Radiator Company) and laid wet underfloor heating in the tiled areas.

“We moved the kitchen from a mid-sized dark room into a large open area that benefits from light from the breakfast room and houses a large island.

“We also turned a small boot room into a boiler room and fitted an enormous Heatrae Sadia mains pressure hot water system – so there is always oodles of hot water.

“We wanted a fancy utility room with eye level appliances, so we created one, as well as a really cool snug area. Initially, we zoned the enormous sitting room into a seating area and a consulting/study area.

But when our daughter got a grand piano, we converted the dining room into what I call my ‘grown-up study’ and moved in there.

“At the rear of the house, we remodelled the outdated little annexe into a boutique Airbnb flat, which has been incredibly popular (and also provides extra space for family to stay). Upstairs, we created a master bedroom with an enormous ensuite, dressing room (effectively the whole wing) – because we could!

“Our daughter is starting to outgrow her massive room now, so we have created an ensuite bedroom at the front of the house for her to grow into! When he is home from boarding school, our son loves his bedroom at the front of the house with views across the fields – and his own shower room.”

Martin says he especially enjoys spending time in his study: “I love it because it allows me to concentrate on work, whilst surrounded by really cool stuff; yet I am well connected to the family who are creating mayhem in our wonderful kitchen living area.

“That said – I’m also happy when I settle into my leather wing armchair in front of a fire in our warm, cosy yet impressively large sitting room – it’s an awesome family room for a movie night on the projector!”

The house is extremely well built with high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms.

“It feels really warm, secure and homely, and provides us with the flexibility to be together as a family or have our own space.

“The centre of the home is the kitchen area – it’s the hub of operations for everything and where we have the most laughs. It’s where we cook, eat, watch a movie, or just chill and chat on the sofa.

“The snug is connected, which is great when there are lots of children in the house on a playdate. In the winter we fire up the Aga – because my wife loves the way it cooks and it’s great for Christmas. Although during the summer months we turn it off as the underfloor heating makes the house too warm, but we also have a gas Smeg range – which makes cooking easy.”

Equestrian facilities
This stylish country house, which was originally built in 1848, also offers excellent equestrian opportunities. The grazing paddocks extend to just under two acres with an additional four acres available to rent by separate negotiation. It also features three driveways on approach, including one to the rear paddocks and yard.

“We are a horse-mad family and purchased Chimneys because of its equestrian potential, as we had a couple of polo ponies, as well as my daughter’s pony.

“We separated the land into three post and wire (mains connected) paddocks with a stable paddock (with a steel framed and clad field shelter which I had made).

“All the fields have mains water. I also rent another four acres from the farmer, and this is used for grazing, as well as making hay twice a year.

“The hacking is amazing (the Viking Way is at the end of our drive) and the local competition centres (Arena UK and Leadenham Polo Club, which has one of the finest pitches in the country and has opened a full-sized Winter Arena polo facility) are right on the doorstep.

“There’s enough space to build a large American barn type stable block (part of the future plan) and plenty of parking for even the largest horsebox.

“I also dabble in go-karting and the internationally renowned Paul Fletcher International Karting circuit is just five minutes down the road.”

Gorgeous gardens
Chimneys’ gardens feature multiple lawned areas complemented by trees, shrubs and flower beds, with two terraces providing an ideal space for outdoor dining and entertaining, together with a further terrace in the northern garden.

Outbuildings include a triple garage and a workshop suitable for conversion to an office block (subject to planning).

“The previous owners did some clever planting, and the house is surrounded by mature trees. We got a local tree surgeon (The Tree House) to curate the surrounding trees to ensure that we have a manageable thriving boundary, which has allowed the variety of easy-to-manage plants to flourish.

“The lawns are flat and easy to maintain with a ride-on mower. I like that there are zones to the garden; you can have a family party on one lawn (we have had several open-air cinema and birthday parties using our bazaar marquee tent) whilst the kids are playing on another.”

Perfect setting
The village of Marston has plenty to offer residents with an impressive church, primary school, and a public house and shop for daily essentials, with additional shopping facilities in nearby Long Bennington and Caythorpe.

Grantham has excellent travel connections, with regular rail services to London and easy access to the A1.

Martin says he feels Chimneys is perfectly located for making life work: “It stands in its own plot and feels rural, yet is on the edge of a vibrant village, close to Grantham which has excellent travel connections, with high speed train journeys from London King’s Cross and the A1.”

He believes Chimneys would suit a family with older grandparents; or independent young adults as it offers a multi-generational living opportunity; or an equestrian focused outdoorsy family.

“There are good options to work from home too, so this could also suit someone with their own business.

“It is rare to find a property that is so close to lines of communication yet is so rural. The house sits well on its own plot and you can breathe without feeling isolated.

“Aside from having an attractive ‘face’, the construction of the house and how it has been maintained make it an extremely solid and substantial property.

“What will we miss most about living here? Everything!

“It is a lovely village with lovely people. There is a real sense of community here (the community run the pub, shop and post office, which is really cool). The walks and hacks from the end of the drive make [this] a fantastic place to live.

“We have had an amazing time creating our home in the really weird context of the pandemic.

“Despite the chaos, the house has provided a safe sanctuary, and a home full of love and laughter.”

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