The garden at The Orchard in Church Hill in Ironbridge is as productive as it is interesting.
There is a small vineyard at the far end of the garden consisting of Phoenix grapes which can provide up to 70 bottles of wine for personal consumption per year.
More curious is the turreted folly with entrance beneath. Log stores are neatly stacked in stone archways alongside it which make up the tiers to the different levels of the garden.
This Grade II listed Victorian family home is built in the Gothic revival style, most noticeable in the windows and coving.
The house is a prominent feature of Ironbridge as it is positioned high up above the gorge, giving it outstanding and uninterrupted south-facing views of the village below.
The Orchard was built in the early 18th Century and is mentioned in the deeds as “1 acre of south facing land bought in 1816 by Richard Reynolds, a local ironmaster, for 65 good British pounds.”
Later owners have included such notables as the parents of Captain Matthew Webb who were living there at the time when he became the first man to successfully swim the English Channel in 1875. He had actually learned to swim as a boy in the River Severn at Coalbrookdale.
It was also home to Henry Powell Dunhill in 1888, founder of Hargreaves, Craven & Dunhill which went on to become one of the country’s leading manufacturers of ceramic tiles.
A glazed double front door leads into an entrance hall featuring a decorative Craven Dunhill mosaic floor, coved ceiling cornicing and a ceiling medallion shaped like a cross.
The drawing room is a lovely light room with an oriel window which looks out over the gardens and has spectacular views across Ironbridge Gorge. It has an open fireplace with marble insert and wooden surround along with a ceiling rose.
A sitting room features double glazed doors with a stained glass inset and working shutters which offer access out onto the top garden and gravel terrace.
There is a gas fire with marble insert and oak surround.
The modern fitted kitchen/breakfast room has hand-built wooden units with Gothic arch features, replicating those of the windows. It has an integrated Neff double oven and hob, along with space and plumbing for a dishwasher.
The study looks out onto the driveway and has space for bookshelves and a table.
A rear hallway provides access to the top garden and the gardener’s toilet, and further access to a workshop which could be converted to an en suite for one of the bedrooms (stpp).
The lower ground floor is currently being used as further entertaining space. Stairs lead down to an art room with quarry tile flooring and a wood-burning stove. Rooms off consist of a utility room, a wine cellar and a large dining room.
On the first floor there is master bedroom with Gothic style arched recesses and views out over the top garden and across the gorge.
The guest bedroom features an en suite dressing room and shower room. It enjoys an outlook towards the distinctive iron bridge and the River Seven.
A further two double bedrooms make up the first floor along with a family bathroom.
Outside there are steps leading down from the driveway to the turreted folly which in turn leads to the rear lawned area which falls away from the house and is planted with trees.
Various paths and walkways flow through the garden to allow access to the orchard, lawns and vineyard.
The top garden hosts a beautiful ancient Cedar of Lebanon tree. Raised beds flanked with stone walls provide shelter. A gravelled terrace provides one of two seating areas.
At the far end of the top garden is a three-storey former coach house currently used as a store. With the necessary planning and listed building consent it has the potential for further development.
Originally called the Severn Gorge, Ironbridge now takes it name from the famous bridge and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first of its kind in the world, the bridge was built in 1779 by Abraham Darby III to link the industrial town of Broseley with the smaller mining town of Madeley and the growing industrial centre of Coalbrookdale.
Ironbridge Gorge celebrates the origins of the industrial revolution with its extensive museums, public buildings and original architecture.
Its high street and its square house shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and a wine bar.
Ironbridge is situated close to the town of Telford. There is easy access to the Midlands business centres and national motorway network. The county town of Shrewsbury is 16 miles away.
Schools in the area include the well respected Coalbrookdale Infant and Junior School, and Thomas Telford Academy, Abraham Derby School and William Brook School in the nearby town of Much Wenlock.
In the private sector, Wrekin College, Shrewsbury School and High School and a variety of prep schools are within a short travelling distance.
TEL: 01952 239500
GUIDE PRICE: £695,000