Architect: Brendan Woods

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The idyllic woodland setting of this four bedroom house belies the fact that the building was once part of a busy 19th century paper mill. Converted by the architect Brendan Woods in 1979, and extended by him at a later date, this is a remarkable and rare example of a former industrial building in a tranquil AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) location.

Perhaps the property’s most impressive feature is the first floor open plan living / dining room; an expansive, loft-like space with exposed solid stone walls and a partly glazed roof which floods the room with light. Also on the first floor is a kitchen that occupies a fantastic addition to the original structure that was designed by Woods in 1999. There is a wood-burning stove in the living area and underfloor heating throughout this floor. The house is powered by LPG, which is delivered to an external tank.

On the ground floor can be found four bedrooms, two on either side of an inner hallway. The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and there is a further family bathroom and an additional WC. Also on this floor is a good-sized reception hall / library, where another wood-burning stove can be found, as well as a boot room.

The building, which has a beautifully symmetrical appearance, is a solid stone structure which was insulated by Woods during his original conversion. Further insulation has been more recently added during a renovation to the roof. To read more about the building see the History section.

There is a driveway that leads from a small country road to a large parking area at the front of the house. The current owner estimates the plot size to be just under two acres. The upper part of the Whitebrook valley is a wonderfully quiet, wooded area which, along with a small stream running through it, characterises this site. The site borders a large area of Forestry Commission land. To the rear of the house is a sloping area with some magnificent woodland whilst the front is flatter and clear of trees. One of the most distinctive parts of the gardens are the ruins of three stone ‘tanks’ – originally used as part of the paper manufacturing process (and subsequently used as trout ponds) but now empty.

The Whitebrook valley is located five miles from the popular town of Monmouth on the Welsh side of the England / Wales border. It forms part of a Conservation Area in the wider Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is well known for its outdoor activities including walking, cycling, kayaking and horse riding. It is also celebrated for its food and produce. Less than a mile from the house is the Michelin Star-winning The Whitebrook and numerous celebrated pubs and restaurants including The Walnut Tree (Llanddewi Skirrid), The Inn (Penallt) and The Ostrich (Newland) are just a short drive away. There is a village shop nearby in Trellech (where there is also a primary school) with further facilities available in Monmouth.

Monmouth is an historic market town that was recently named by The Sunday Times as one of the best places to live in the UK thanks to its attractive architecture, surrounding countryside and excellent schools (Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls and Monmouth School in particular). Bristol is approximately 22 miles away, from where London can be reached by train in under an hour and a half. Newport, which is a slightly closer than Bristol, also runs direct services into London with train times of an hour and 45 minutes. Also on the way to Newport is the world renowned Celtic Manor, a five star hotel and golf course which has hosted the Ryder Cup.

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.


The building was originally constructed in the early 19th century as part of the Fernside Paper Mills complex. It is thought that it was originally the coach house where the delivery vehicles and horses would have been kept. In the 1920s it became part of the Wye Valley Fishery, with trout being kept in the stone tanks where paper used to be processed. The property itself is documented as having being used as a large common room / canteen for the fishery workers. It has also been used as workshops before finally becoming a residence.

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