Architect: Liddicoat & Goldhill
Please note that the price includes the existing house and land only.
This truly magnificent rural plot of land in the rolling hills of Somerset, described by the architect as “one of the most special locations I’ve come across”, benefits from a rare planning permission for a six bedroom, three reception room house designed by David Liddicoat of Liddicoat & Goldhill, one of the UK’s most celebrated young architecture practices.
Approximately 2 ¼ acre in size, the site currently has an existing habitable farm house on it (which will be replaced under the proposed scheme). Reached via a quiet country lane approximately 12 minutes drive from the popular town of Bruton, the private site has beautiful 360 degree rural views with a particularly attractive outlook towards the ancient Bronze Age fort of Small Down Knoll and Maes Down, an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). It is in an elevated position, surrounded by open farmland with extensive gardens that slope down to a small stream.
Liddicoat & Goldhill have established an enviable reputation in recent years for being perhaps the country’s finest one-off house designers. Previous designs have won or been shortlisted for numerous RIBA awards (amongst other prizes) and their work has won extensive praise from publications including The Times and Wallpaper* magazine.
Their design for the house (which totals approximately 4,000 sq ft internally) mimics the footprint of the existing buildings, creating a courtyard house with high levels of energy efficiency arranged across three connected but distinct buildings.
Liddicoat & Goldhill have written that their proposed scheme is: “underpinned by four key principles: to create an elegant new home commensurate with its beautiful setting, to incorporate the materials and forms of local architecture, to curate and enhance the surrounding landscape and to minimise the building’s ecological impact.”
In relation to the proposed layout of the site Liddicoat adds:
“The existing farmhouse and outbuildings form a tiny ‘citadel’, creating an enclosed and private inner courtyard. The proposed new house looks to maintain this sense of security and shelter by preserving the existing footprint of development…
The site affords spectacular views across the open valleys. Windows have been designed to frame these views while maximising natural daylight, and controlling solar gain. The design captures key views across the valley to Small Down Knoll, the Bronze Age hill fort that sits to the South of the site. To the East, views are directed across the steeply sloping meadow towards Chesterblade. These extremes of enclosure and openness have been created to offer occupants a close relationship to the Somerset landscape while providing a protected and secure home…
The new farmhouse building will address the existing garden to the South, which will be revitalised as a walled garden in the English picturesque tradition.”
Internally the spaces have been designed to be optimised for what Liddicoat calls “a modern, multi-faceted set up”. There is a part of the house, termed the ‘living block’ by Liddicoat, that contains three bedrooms (one master bedroom with en suite bathroom) and family bathroom on the first floor. On the ground floor is another bedroom with en suite bathroom, a utility room and a cosier, more intimate living room than the grander reception room that can be found in what Liddicoat terms the ‘saloon block’. Here there is proposed an impressive room with soaring ceilings and framed views that contains kitchen, living and dining areas with smaller ‘nooks’ off the main space. Glazed doors lead onto a terrace from this room. Lastly the ‘annexe block’ provides two further bedrooms, a shower room and another reception room.
The land around the house is a significant part of the appeal of the property. It incorporates a south-facing walled garden, a terrace, lawn and fields. Dr. Chris Smith, a conservation consultant who visited the site, describes “an extremely attractive and ecologically diverse rural setting”.
“The surrounding rolling countryside of steep, hedged fields, striking knolls, woodland tracts and deeply incised, sparkling streams is very characteristic of this region…
There is a garden with a lawn, terraced beds and shrubbery at the rear of the farmhouse, with lesser celandine, primrose and false oxlip among the spring-flowering lawn plants observed, a fine display of grape hyacinth flanking the path there… and with larger shrubs and trees including sumach, eleagnus, pine, lilac and blackthorn, set off by a wild cherry tree. Disturbed ground here contains a range of annuals including shepherd’s purse, rock-cress and red deadnettle, the latter supplementing the farmstead’s source of pollen and nectar for the early-season butterflies, bees and hoverflies recorded over the area… Wild plants observed within this sector included annual brome-grass, garlic mustard (Jack-by-the-hedge), green alkanet, thale cress and wild onion.”
The site is situated close to Chesterblade, a picturesque hamlet populated by houses largely built from the beautiful local Doulting stone. Approximately 12 minutes drive away is the small town of Bruton that has been rapidly gaining an international reputation thanks to the Hauser & Wirth arts centre which has a gallery, gardens, shop and on site restaurant. The attractive village of Batcombe is nearby, which is home to the renowned pub The Three Horseshoes. A little further afield is Castle Cary, where trains run direct to London Paddington in approximately 90 minutes.
The area is well served for excellent schools. Millfield, Hazlegrove, The Blue School at Wells, Wells Cathedral School, Downside, Sherborne and the Bruton Schools are all within easy driving distance.
Full details of the planning permission can be found on the Mendip District Council planning website using reference 2015/1250/FUL.
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
Liddicoat & Goldhill
David Liddicoat and Sophie Goldhill are a husband-and-wife team. Their boutique architecture and interior design practice creates bespoke homes for private clients. Founded in 2011, the London- and Margate-based studio takes an artisanal approach to the assembly of their work. Although each house is truly individual – unique to the site and client – they are unified by the designers’ interest in the visceral experience of architecture and inhabitation.
Liddicoat & Goldhill were awarded an RIBA award and Manser Medal nomination for the hand-crafted ‘Shadow House’. The ‘Tailored House’ in Kensington won an RIBA shortlisting, while a prestigious Stephen Lawrence Award shortlisting and a second RIBA award came for the kinetic ‘Ancient Party Barn’.
Featured in the Architecture Foundation’s “New Architects 3: A decade of New British Talent,” the practice was also named as one of Wallpaper* Magazine’s ‘Future 30’, was shortlisted for Building Design’s One-Off House Architect of the Year and longlisted for Young Architect of the Year.
The studio’s work has been widely exhibited and published in the UK and abroad with several of their models selected for the architecture room of the Royal Academy of Arts. The studio’s work is published extensively worldwide, and the Times and Telegraph newspapers have identified the firm among Britain’s leading house design practices.