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High Fen Farmhouse is a sixteenth-century farmhouse sitting in the centre of an acre of gardens. A truly homely home, from the traditional farmhouse kitchen, complete with Aga and plenty of room for a kitchen table, to the music room with its Georgian cabinetry and open fireplace. One of the earliest parts of the house is the spectacular reception hall, which is divided by a stone chimney stack added in late sixteenth, or early seventeenth century. One end of the hall is used as a formal dining area, the other a spacious lounge. The Georgian wing includes the music room, utility room, cloakroom and snug. There is also a triple garage with annexe above, currently used as a home cinema, with a bathroom. Above all, this is a homely home, with the feel of a farmhouse where meals are generous and life is lived abundantly.
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A modern addition to the house, the entrance hall provides a convenient place to welcome friends and family home, with doors to the snug / bedroom four, the dining area and the kitchen. It is spacious enough for all manner of boots and coats, or to be made into a formal hallway with occasional furniture.
The kitchen was an eighteenth century addition, and if the kitchen is the heart of the home then this is a very warm-hearted home. Wooden furnishings, a beamed, vaulted ceiling and a forest green Aga are complemented by modern fitted appliances making it a joy to cook. There is plenty of space for a large kitchen table, so all the family can enjoy cooking together, or working on homework, while someone else cooks.
High Fen Farmhouse was built in the mid-sixteenth century as a single storey hall house. The stone chimney stack and the first floor were added in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. The chimney stack now divides this magnificent room into two distinct, but joined areas
The lounge area is bathed in light by four large casement windows and a glazed door, which leads to the garden.
The dining area is in the centre of the house, with doors leading from the entrance hall and to the inner hall. It is conveniently close to the kitchen and has space for dining on a grand scale.
The inner hall takes you into the Georgian wing of the house and also houses the staircase leading to the first floor.
The music room is the centrepiece of the Georgian wing and, with its original twin cupboards and fireplaces, as well as generous casement windows overlooking the gardens on both sides, you could easily imagine the Bennett sisters holding court here, while Mr D'Arcy pays them a visit.
The utility room leads out to the cloistered walk and provides an excellent space for washing and drying; for storing boots and for sleeping dogs.
A snug to which teenagers can escape; a home office; or a fourth bedroom this room at a corner of the house is large enough to be put to many uses.
Stairs rise from the inner hall to the first floor landing, which has doors to three bedrooms and the family bathroom.
At close on twenty-eight feet long, the master bedroom is magnificent in scale, but the stone chimney stack convenient divides the room into a sleeping area and dressing area, each with their own dormer windows.
A convenient en-suite to the master bedroom
Each of the subsidiary bedrooms is a generous double; the measurements given exclude areas of restricted head height and dormers, so they feel even more generous still.
Measurements exclude areas of restricted head height.
A modern, cloister style, covered walkway leads from the utility room to the triple garage and games room.
There is a fantastic games room above the garage, which is currently used as a fully functioning cinema. With a bathroom already installed, it could easily be converted to provide generous annexe accommodation for a relative, or live-in nanny.
Between the games room and its bathroom.
The gardens extend to an acre, bordered on two sides by a wooded copse and on two sides by a track leading to Fodder Fen Drove, with farmland and a nature reserve beyond. The garden is mostly laid to grass, with a small orchard towards the northern end; a patio on the south-western side of the house, next to the living room; and a large, enclosed area for a vegetable garden, but which is currently out of use. The gardens provide a largely blank canvass on which to make your mark. There is space enough for a large vegetable garden, a few chickens and ducks and even some pigs, if you're looking for a more sustainable lifestyle. For a growing family there is room for football, adventure, badminton and all sorts of games. For the ambitious gardener, the rich, dark, fenland soil provides an exciting opportunity to create a classic English garden, replete with roses, peonies and delphiniums.
Wicken is home to two of Europe's most important wetlands the National Trust's oldest nature reserve, Wicken Fen, supporting more than 8,500 species of wildlife; and the Kingfishers Bridge wetland creation project. It is in this environment that you will find High Fen Farmhouse, at the end of a quiet lane, nestled against a wooded copse and surrounded by the rich, dark, fenland soil. Peaceful, it may be, but remote, it is not. The cathedral city of Ely is just eight and a half miles away and one of the current owners commutes to an office on the south side of Cambridge in less than half an hour.
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