Jules Hudson helps a couple with a budget of 450,000 pounds find a home with bags of West Country character. Jules is also given a private tour of Castle Drogo.
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This magnificent structure behind me
is known as the last castle to be built in England.
Created to evoke a real sense of medieval pedigree
it took 20 years of agony and effort to realise.
It was the culmination of one man's dream,
to create a beautiful home in a beautiful location.
Something, of course, we know all about on Escape to the Country.
On today's show, I'll be helping a couple downsize with a move to the country.
They love the fact that it gives them more than they bargained for.
But can they cope with the challenge of our mystery house?
-Is it pick-axe work, or...?
-It needs a lot of...
-You never use a pick-axe in the house, dear!
Today I'm in Devon and this is Castle Drogo,
the vision of early-20th-century entrepreneur Julius Drewe.
The building was designed by Lutyens
but is thought to be the last private residence in the UK to be built entirely of granite.
A spectacular structure in a spectacular setting
here on Dartmoor overlooking the Teign Valley.
It's also a lasting testament to Drewe's ambitions to create a real family home full of pedigree.
It's been a very welcome addition to the landscape ever since.
Situated in the south-west of England,
Devon is home to both magnificent countryside and coast,
attracting over five million visitors a year.
It's the only county in England with two distinctly separate coastlines
totalling over 250 miles of stunning cliffs and beaches
which grace the English Riviera resorts of Torquay and Paignton.
Inland, Devon is renowned for its gentle pastures
and two national parks, which include the wild landscape of Dartmoor
and sweeping vistas of Exmoor.
Regularly voted as one of the most tranquil places to live in the UK,
it's no surprise that a survey singled out Devon as the county of choice to retire to.
Whilst Devon may be popular for retirees, it's also very popular for those seeking a second home.
Over the last four years, 20% of property here has gone to second homeowners.
As you can imagine, that's had a radical effect on property prices.
Your average detached will now set you back round about £301,000
that's 14% above the national average.
So if you think Devon is for you, then do some research.
To give you an idea of what's on the market now, have a look at some of these.
Offers over £270,000 will get you this Grade II listed thatched cottage in Ermington.
The cosy sitting room leads through to a bright kitchen/diner
and there's lots of character appeal in the three bedrooms upstairs.
This stylish barn conversion near Umberleigh is on the market for £475,000
and it makes the most of its open-plan layout
with a galleried landing leading to the three bedrooms.
The beautifully landscaped gardens have great views of the Tor Valley.
Or this four-bedroomed renovated farmhouse in Jacobstowe, priced at £725,000.
It provides an array of light, airy reception rooms
overlooking gardens and land which stretch to 7.5 acres.
As you can see, with property like that on the market,
no surprise that Devon remains as popular as ever.
Which is exactly why today's buyers want to move here.
Alan, a retired IT analyst, and Pat, a counsellor,
have lived in their four-bed house in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire,
for eight years. But now Pat is winding down her work,
they've decided to move to the countryside.
We'd like to move somewhere quieter,
somewhere to get more involved in the community.
We've always liked to be somewhere nearer the sea.
I'd like to be able to go out walking.
Alan and I have nothing else to do except enjoy the countryside
and so I'm hoping to retire and just take it easy.
But they want the location to give them the best of both worlds.
We'd quite like to be somewhere near a large village,
to pick up the shopping and go out for a meal, et cetera.
Yes, and doing some nice nature walks as well.
I would love to learn how to recognise bird song
because I never seem to see the birds, but if I could recognise what they were from their song,
-that would be great.
What vision do they have of their perfect property?
We'd like three bedrooms. We'd prefer a detached,
-but we'd be happy to look at a semi-detached if it was full of character.
-And a decent size.
My ideal house, I think, would be in a nice setting
so that it looks pretty, looks nice, when you drive up to it.
A nice garden at the back with an area where I could do my vegetables.
Walk into a beautiful kitchen with clean lines, nice tiles on the floor,
a big area so that there's room to dine. A good-sized lounge,
with maybe a lovely marble fireplace.
There are beautiful marble fireplaces, and a woodburning stove.
Even though Pat's planning to retire, she wants to do some occasional counselling work.
So she'll want an extra reception room, but is happy to share it
when Alan wants to strum a few chords.
On top of that, they'd be delighted if their new property gave them the scope to earn an income.
We're quite interested in maybe a place with an annexe
that we could rent out in summer.
And maybe have the family over the other times.
The move depends on them selling their current home
so we've asked an estate agent to value their property.
The property is a well-presented four-bed detached residence
close to good schooling and a mainline railway station.
I would recommend an asking price of £439,950.
With that in mind, what budget do they have for the move?
The budget for the property, it's dependant.
With an annexe it would be £450,000.
Without an annexe it would be £350,000,
enabling us to use that to buy something else.
In some ways, we've got two house searches going on this week.
If we blow all the budget of £450,000, we need a house and an annexe with income potential.
Or if we spend less, we just need a pretty house. So in some ways, the choices are endless.
Alan and Pat want to base themselves in the south-east of Devon within reach of the coast,
so we'll concentrate the search round Exeter.
I'll show them three "creme de la creme" Devon properties
but as ever I won't reveal the price tag straightaway.
Lastly, our mystery house, which gives generously on the one hand
but could take a lot of their time up on the other.
-Hi, Pat. Hi, Alan. How are you?
-Good, thank you.
-Welcome to Devon.
-We're looking forward to it.
-The start of a whole new chapter.
In terms of what you're after, talk me through your requirements.
If it's old, that would be super because it's full of character.
But I don't want to have to re-roof it or be worried that the pipes will fail.
So maintenance free. Something that's old and maybe been renovated.
-That would be fantastic.
-So you don't want a major project, but what about a new kitchen or bathroom?
-No problem. Absolutely no problem.
-But we're not big DIY-ers.
Poor old Alan! He's thinking, "I don't want a lot of work, Jules!"
-We've got some great properties for you to look at.
-I'm looking forward to it.
Let's get started.
For a maximum budget of £450,000, Pat and Alan would like...
They want to be within easy reach of village amenities
and a community.
-I gather you've just put your house on the market.
-Yes, we have.
We had a phone call yesterday when we turned our phone on,
a call to say there was somebody interested in viewing it already.
-So we were really pleased about that.
-So the pressure's on this week to find you something you can move into straightaway.
Absolutely, yes. And I'm terribly impatient, so if I see something, I'm going to want to do it.
We're starting our search close to the village of Kingskerswell,
on the outskirts of the Dartmoor National Park, four miles from the south coast.
The village serves up all the amenities they could ask for
and has a parish church whose tower dates back to the 14th century.
Among the grand Victorian properties occupying a prime spot
on the outlying edges is our first property
which comes with fabulous views.
Right, in you come.
-What do you think of this, then?
-Blimey, that's exciting!
-At the moment, it looks stunning.
-I'm knocked out.
-If your friends and family turned up...
-They'd be amazed.
-They'd look for the butler!
It does have servants' quarters in it!
-No servants at the moment, but you get the idea.
-It's a big, substantial family home.
-It looks fantastic.
Let's see if you think it's brilliant inside.
I'm hoping the classical proportions and features inside this Victorian villa will knock them for six.
-The staircase is original.
-You have some lovely features.
-They get better as we go through.
-Follow me. Look at this.
-Look at the view!
-You wanted light.
-Yeah, this is lovely.
-Can't get much more light.
-It's sweet, isn't it?
-This is a lovely room.
-Fireplace is original.
-It's unusual because you've got the window above the fireplace.
-Absolutely. It's beautiful.
-It has the addition of this garden room, which I think works quite well.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-That is nice.
-You've got the views out all over.
-Yeah. This is lovely.
-You can make of this what you will.
-A music room...
-It would be a lovely counselling room.
-Good idea. It would be a lovely music room.
-You're saying a counselling room.
-It would be a joint room.
I'd have to move all my gear out every time she's has a session!
We've only just scratched the surface as next door there's a generous study
which one of them could claim as theirs.
Let's see the splendour in the dining room.
-There we are. A bit of opulence for you. They've set the table.
-Another nice fireplace.
-A big room.
-The nice thing about these houses
is that they were designed with dining and entertainment in mind.
That was the Victorian thing. See the little door in the corner?
There used to be a dumb waiter that would operate downstairs.
-It's not there any more, but that's the old vestige of it.
-Very nice, yes.
-We can begin to see life coming together here.
-Is this a surprise, Alan?
-A big surprise, actually.
After the grandeur we've seen so far, the more functional areas include a handy utility room
and a downstairs shower room.
But they may find that the kitchen brings them back down to earth.
-Now, for such a big house...
-A small kitchen.
It is quite a small kitchen. The reason being,
that most of the cooking would have happened underneath us.
So in more recent years, it's been brought up
in the way that we would all have now, without servants.
-But in terms of kitchen, would this work?
-but it's not really the kitchen/dining room I was hoping for.
-That's the compromise.
It is a bit of a compromise.
Hopefully, it'll be a compromise that Pat's happy to consider
after she's seen what's on offer upstairs.
Along with a lavish family bathroom are four bedrooms including a bright, spacious double
and another double with a feature fireplace.
The third has light streaming in but let's see if the main bedroom makes a grand impression.
-It's a nice room, isn't it?
-What we haven't got is an en-suite.
-I know it's something you'd like.
-It would be nice.
-But I guess most of the time it's just you two.
It would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker.
-As a room, I think it's lovely.
-It's a lovely big room.
It's an amazing home, it just feels very large to me, compared to what we've been living in.
We're trying to downsize a bit, and it's huge!
-But it certainly is a lovely house.
-But we have to think about the heating bills.
there are bills to be paid and you've got to afford it.
Now, we've talked about the ground floor, the basement floor, if you like.
-That's the annexe.
-That's your income.
-I see where you're going.
-Could pay for the heating bills!
-Come and take a look. It's huge.
We're testing the water with this house,
but if they want an annexe, there will always need to be a bit of give and take.
Served by its own entrance, the annexe is on the lower level and built into the hillside,
benefiting from a fine bay window which makes the most of that view.
Leading off the hallway is a lovely large sitting room
with a working fireplace.
Along with a guest bedroom, there's a dressing room and serviceable bathroom.
So now we've got to grips with the property,
let's explore outside.
You get quite an imposing view of the house.
-This is the annexe floor.
-Huge, isn't it?
-It is huge.
-Then the whole thing wiggles through this terraced pathway.
It's your own woodland walk!
The terraced garden comes in at around quarter of an acre.
The pathway snakes down the hillside and is flanked on either side
by a variety of mature trees and shrubs.
But what's the price to be paid for all of this?
OK. Here we are at the bottom of your winding terraced garden.
-It's quite a journey, once you get here.
There we are. Property number one. Let's put you out of your misery and talk about what it's worth.
-Boy, that is a difficult one.
-I reckon this must be 460.
-I'll be optimistic and say 450.
450. As well you should be. Cos it's £450,000.
-It was on the market for more than that.
It's been reduced so you're getting a lot for your money.
-Go and explore.
-I'll catch up later.
-Let's have a look.
Bang on budget at £450,000, this fabulous Victorian villa
certainly gives them enough space and a wealth of period features.
A charming terraced garden with views and country walks on the doorstep.
All within easy reach of a popular village.
When we first got in front of the property, I was amazed.
It looked so big that it didn't seem possible that it was going to be the whole lot.
Inside was beautiful. It was lovely.
The annexe was smashing. It was very roomy.
The Victorian features were amazing.
The high ceilings were amazing.
But overall, I began to feel that this would be too large a house for us.
We're rattling around a little bit in our house at home as it is,
and we'd be rattling around even more in a place of this size.
Right, chaps. Out you come.
-The end of our first property.
-It's getting quite exciting, isn't it?
Wonder what else we can find you?
Devon's landscape has long been regarded as one of its most important assets
with over half of the countryside and coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The south is characterised by river estuaries
along which fishing communities and ports of trade have developed.
Marking the start of the Jurassic Coast, the Exe estuary
runs from Exmouth inland to the pretty town of Topsham,
the main port to Exeter.
By the mid-16th century, it was the second busiest in the UK, rivalling London.
A fine assortment of quirky architecture survives from that time.
So, earlier in the week, Alan and Pat met up with local resident Steve Garratt
to find out more about the town's heritage.
This is the old part of Topsham, here, The Strand.
The houses here look more like you'd find in Amsterdam than Devon.
That has its origins in 15th- and 16th-century England
when this was a bustling place with a lot of trade going on with Holland.
It was mostly textiles and cotton being exported from here over to the continent.
These houses were built for the wealthy Dutch merchants.
The ships would come up here, laden with ballast of bricks, which they'd dump in the river behind us.
They'd dump the bricks in the water and load up with their cargo to take back.
The townsfolk quickly realised this was a wealth of building materials
so they salvaged the bricks from the river and built these houses
for the Dutch.
Further along, it wasn't just textiles we used to export.
We used to send people to Australia from here!
At the end of The Strand is a shop that used to be the old town jail.
People would be locked up in there, then loaded on the ships and ferried off to Australia to the colonies.
-Start playing cricket!
Topsham's situation on the estuary has given rise to more than a rich history.
Its wetlands serve as a vital habitat for a huge range of wading and migrating birds
and as a result they've been designated as a protected site of international importance.
As Pat and Alan are avid bird watchers, Steve is giving them an insight into the area.
So the birds have come to feed off the mud?
Yes, it's so thick and nutritious,
a university somewhere did a study on it and measured the calorific value of the mud.
They reckoned that a cubic foot of mud here has the same calorific value
with all the micro-organisms in it, that it equated to a chocolate bar!
Just over on the mud there, that bunch of black-tailed godwits
are what makes the estuary of particular interest.
If you get more than 300 of them in any one place,
then it's designated as an area of international interest.
Here on the Exe, though, we get over 3,000 spread around in groups of 100 at a time.
They make the estuary interesting to bird watchers.
As amateur ornithologists, Alan and Pat know it's the early bird that catches the worm.
And with property in Devon in such high demand,
let's hope we can unearth their perfect property.
Our house search continues half an hour's drive inland
close to the village of Sampford Courtenay.
With a population of 500, this idyllic village is teeming with thatched buildings
including the local pub, and a variety of other period properties.
Just outside the village is our second offering.
Crunch, crunch, crunch!
-What do you think?
-This looks lovely.
-Doesn't it? That looks really nice.
-Very different to our first property.
Victorian grandeur, if you like. This is classic Devon cottage,
-albeit in a barn conversion.
-It looks really nice, much more me.
-Really? How about Alan?
-Much more me, as well.
-Let's go in!
-Let's have a look.
There's no doubt the style of this barn conversion really appeals to them.
I have high hopes that our first room will set Pat's hopes soaring.
Come on in, Pat.
This is lovely. Really is lovely.
-Just what you always wanted.
-Super, isn't it? Yeah, really nice.
-It's taken your breath away a bit.
-Yeah, you've done well here, Jules.
This is lovely.
You know, it is gorgeous. But what do you particularly love?
It's just a really nice feel to it.
A really good feel to it.
And it's big and spacious. It just feels really nice.
It's a brilliant kitchen/diner.
-It's a great space.
It's not a huge barn conversion, but it is a barn conversion with a real cottage feel.
-We don't need huge.
-Maybe last time our property was too big.
-We're only little, aren't we?
The good news is there is a bit more to it. Have a look at this through here.
Next door has a similarly light, airy feel, but with the warm touch they're after.
-We could spend a few cosy evenings here!
-And that will belt out the heat.
-I'd imagine so.
-You've got this nice vaulting which continues from the kitchen.
So far, so good on the second property. Come on, follow me.
The manageable size and clean lines of this barn conversion
have won them over so far.
At the other end of the property is a downstairs bathroom and two of the four bedrooms,
one of which could serve as Pat's counselling room,
another could be Alan's music room.
But we'll head upstairs and see what they make of the master.
-Now we're talking!
-En-suite as well.
-What about the shape?
-The building at this end is made of cob.
Very common material here in Devon. It's a mix of mud and straw.
Hence the walls are very, very wide
-and at this end it's curved.
-Which is why you've got this curious roof arrangement.
Presumably it's well insulated in winter?
Yes, it's very, very good.
-That is really, really nice.
Yeah, very quirky. Just right.
At the other end of the landing, the fourth bedroom would make a good guest room.
Looks like our barn conversion has served up the perfect mix of character and space,
providing a great low-maintenance option.
Outside is a useful double garage, next to which is a large lawned area
which gives Pat ample scope to create her vegetable patch.
Just a few steps along the country lane, this cottage garden complete with summer house
is a real oasis of calm and runs down to the River Tor.
But before we get carried away, it's time for some straight talking.
-Beautiful, isn't it?
-How much do you want it?
Yes, you know what's coming next. How much is it worth?
This is a seriously interesting property. I think it's up for 375.
I'm going to be dead cheeky and say about 340.
-Bit of a difference, there.
-There is a difference.
375 would be fair enough. It's your lucky day, madam.
-This is £340,000.
-No! You're joking.
-You've done it again!
-Done it again.
-That's amazing. That's good.
-Have you been looking at my notes?
-No, I haven't!
This is £340,000. It's at the lower end of what you want to spend.
But what we haven't got for you is the holiday annexe.
But you don't need it because we are saving you 100 grand.
You've got plenty of money left over to make this place your own.
-It's a nice one, isn't it?
-Good way to end the day.
-On a high.
Go and explore. Go and look at the river down there. Through that gate.
-I'll catch up with you later.
On the market at £340,000, our barn conversion is so generously under budget
they could forget the holiday annexe as a source of extra income.
When we first arrived and I saw the property,
it looked really nice.
I was quite pleased.
It did look very much my kind of thing.
We went indoors, straight into the kitchen. It was lovely.
Inside, lots of nice curves in the walls.
Quite quirky, which is one of the things we were looking for.
Plenty of space. Nice high ceilings and beams.
And nicely decorated throughout.
My only concern is that it is quite remote.
We need to look around and see how far the village is,
if there's any community life there.
Would you need all these beds?
I think probably I would start to cut some of these beds back.
-Ooh, cutting back, replanning. It's all good!
-This has worked for you, hasn't it?
I'll drag you away before it gets dark.
So as the sun sets over the Devon countryside,
it marks the end of our first day's property search.
Armed with a £450,000 budget,
Pat and Alan want to escape the hubbub of Welwyn Garden City
and carve out a peaceful existence for themselves in rural Devon.
Although they're entertaining the idea of taking on a holiday let,
they loved our second property which was solely a home for them.
Our mystery house could give them two for one, but do they have the vision?
It has a potential, without a doubt. It's just seeing that potential at the moment.
Well, as you can probably tell, it's a very misty and chilly start
to our final day's house-hunting here in Devon.
Our first property yesterday may have been too big
and our second one may have been too rural for Alan.
So for our mystery house, our final property, we need to strike a happy balance between the two.
I think it does.
For our mystery house, we're staying in Sampford Courtenay
but we're going right to the heart of the village.
It's all beautifully preserved with a strong sense of community
which our mystery property is at the heart of.
This cottage gives them a great option to downsize
but there's definitely work to be done.
However, it does give generously in other ways
which can be best appreciated from round the back.
and survey the scene.
I thought we'd start up here on this one.
We usually start at the front of our properties, but the key to this one
is what it's got.
I think it's important we set that out to start with.
-What you get is that building down there.
It's semi-detached, so your bit is effectively the rendered area to the left
and what's above it, and the garage, the yard,
-and that annexe there.
-Oh, that comes with it?
-That comes with it.
-It looks lovely.
-Yeah. It looks lovely.
-Now, in fairness, whilst the annexe is all done, the house does need...
-Is it pick-axe work?
-You never use a pick-axe in the house, dear.
It needs a lot of updating, shall we say. I think that's fair to say.
-You may have to bend your minds to more of a project than we'd considered.
We'll explore the project that comes with the house later. First, I'll whet their appetite with the annexe.
Let's start in here.
This is the living/dining area of your annexe.
-It is nicely done.
-A few little quirks like a built-in slim-line dishwasher.
-Oak floors. Doors out to what could be a nice patio.
I can imagine with a bit of dressing you could put your mark on this
and make it a very warm place for clients to come to.
It's lovely. I'd be thrilled if I came here as a holiday let. I'd be really pleased.
-It's been very nicely done.
I can see this being very lettable.
Down the hallway is a well furnished shower room and double guest bedroom.
Happily, the agree this annexe has holiday let potential.
So now we'll cross the yard and get to grips with the project the mystery house has in store.
-Grab the door, Alan.
Follow me across here.
-It's very cosy, isn't it?
-Very cosy, isn't it?
It's not the huge kitchen/diner that you wanted.
Certainly it's functional enough that you could basically move in
and then start thinking about how to go about it.
-Cos you could always bunk up in the annexe.
-Course you could.
-For a few months while you do it.
-Very good idea.
-Absolutely no problem.
There's this area through here. The dining bit of what's on offer.
With that range in the fireplace.
-A nice little bread oven tucked away in the corner.
Some nice features in there which would be nice to reveal again.
-Relocate that sort of that way.
-I would suggest.
-It's a big job. It's a big reconstruction.
but it's one of those things, once you've done it, you've done it.
-I think the reward, in having done it, and made it your own,
is what it's all about, really.
Of course. Absolutely.
-Alan's nodding sagely!
Pat's the artist, the artistic person amongst us.
-I'd get an architect in, actually.
-You would, would you?
The living room is less of a challenge. Have a look.
-An office arrangement there, another door out.
This is the bit that really works for me,
-Nice big room.
-Good size. Nice and square.
-It's a nice change after the kitchen and dining room.
-My concern is that the levels are dropping, as they did in our first property.
You showed us the best bit first, of course. The annexe, lovely.
-I did warn you.
-Yes, you did.
It has a potential, without a doubt. It's just seeing that potential at the moment.
Bear in mind, guys, not only are we trying to downsize for you,
we're also playing with your budget in a very popular part of the country.
-You're asking for quite a lot.
-There are going to have to be not just compromises but areas of real effort.
To turn a property around to make it your own.
-Yeah. Ideal location.
-It's what it's about.
-It's this section we have to think about.
I imagine they would also want to put their decorative mark on the three bedrooms upstairs.
One a cosy double, along with a good-sized single
with storage cupboards, and the third just big enough for a bed.
Although turning this house into something that will suit them may seem a daunting task,
the outside space is impressively large
with an array of lawned areas and a substantial vegetable plot for Pat to cultivate.
At the top of the hill, the land flattens out to give them a huge two-acre field.
Our mystery house throws a host of unexpected elements into the mix.
But at what price?
Question is, how much do you want it?
-Yes, how much.
-Or how much would it have to be to persuade you to buy it?
That's the other way of putting it.
I think I would say it may be on the market for...
And I'm waiting to hear Jules gasp!
It's actually what I was going to say. But I can't say the same,
so I'll go lower than you and say 365.
-You have done it again!
-This is embarrassing.
-It's on the market for £375,000.
-I've watched too many of your programmes!
-We've never had anybody get it right three times in a row!
-That does leave a lot in the budget.
-That's the last of the house tours.
This is perhaps the most challenging of the three.
-But think about location.
-It is an ideal location.
-Think about the money you've got to spend to make it your own building.
-Off you go.
-I'll catch up with you later.
-We'll have a rummage.
A rummage, indeed!
Priced at £375,000, our mystery cottage not only offers them an option to downsize,
but leaves plenty in the pot for the project.
There are also the appealing pluses:
All wrapped up in a very desirable village location.
The annexe was terrific. Absolutely spot-on.
That would also offer us accommodation if we took the house on
and did the renovation.
We could live there whilst we were renovating it.
Half the package I'm very impressed with, the plot and the annexe.
The house I'm not too sure about.
I can't really envisage how it would look as a finished product after all the work had been done.
So to that extent I'm a bit confused, I would say.
-OK, chaps, out you come.
-That was the mystery house.
-That was the milk.
Have you had a plan and a think?
-We certainly have, yes.
It does take quite a bit of thinking.
-I'd have to get that architect in.
-It's a real mystery house.
Good. We've given you lots to consider over the last few days.
Let's get you somewhere where you can mull it all over.
-We'll have a chat. Come on.
Castle Drogo's magnificent standing
makes it the only Grade I listed 20th-century building in Devon.
Its founder, Julius Drewe, wanted to display not only his wealth,
but his aristocratic aspirations for the family name.
The result was a 20th-century palace that combines the grandeur of a medieval castle
with designs for the modern era, pioneered by the great British architect, Edwin Lutyens.
I'm meeting Bryon Mason who, as house and collections manager,
knows all about Drewe's vision.
Tell me a bit more about Julius Drewe. He sounds fascinating.
Yes, a really interesting man. He started out working as a tea buyer in China.
That was his family business.
But in 1878, he and his business partner set up what became known as the Home and Colonial Stores.
That became a chain of shops all over the country,
and he sold the shares for £1 million
and decided to retire at the grand old age of 33!
Drewe made his wealth on the back of the British Empire,
a time of great national confidence.
His drive was to build an everlasting residence for his future family.
The 100 rooms inside continue Lutyens' modern take on the medieval theme.
It's said he had an army of 100 stonemasons fashioning these granite stones by hand.
Now, Lutyens may have kept to crisp, clean lines,
but he did have fun with his architectural styles,
employing them to great effect in the library.
The intention was to make it feel like the Norman keep of this castle.
So there's a huge fireplace. The bookcases are intentionally made
to look like they've been inserted into this arch at a later date.
Of course, it all happened consecutively
and is completely intentional.
It's a reflection of Lutyens' genius as an architect
that he could create a castle that looks like a fortress from the outside
but inside it's this warm, comfortable family home.
Lutyens' trick of suggesting that different parts of the castle were built at different periods
led him to create a drawing room in the Georgian style,
befitting the ladies who would gather here after dinner.
This is Frances's domain, who was Julius's wife.
We have a beautiful portrait of her over the fireplace.
But looking after this must be quite extraordinary. Is it in good shape?
In some ways. It's a very robust building, built of granite.
However, it is a building that comes with its own particular set of problems.
And Julius Drewe insisted that because he was having a real castle,
it had to have a flat roof.
Lutyens, as a good architect, tried to persuade him not to have a flat roof.
But Drewe had his way and we have a flat roof
which basically doesn't work.
The technology of the time wasn't up to the challenge
of creating a flat roof on the middle of Dartmoor
in the kind of weather that we have.
Technology has finally caught up with the great Lutyens
and an £11 million restoration project is due to start in 2012,
which will hopefully preserve this unique building
so it may age gracefully for generations to come.
Well, there's no doubt we've given Pat and Alan a fantastic range of options
to meet their property requirements.
But have we got them any closer to finding their dream home in the country?
Let's go and ask them.
Well, guys, this is our final conversation of the week. How have you found it?
-It's been a wonderful journey.
We've had a brilliant time.
The question is, have we managed to find you your new dream house?
Let's recap on the properties we've looked at.
We started with that lovely Victorian villa set high on the hill
with its holiday annexe set underneath it.
That was fantastic, wasn't it?
It was beautiful. It was really elegant. The rooms were tall with high ceilings.
-But I also felt that we'd be rattling around in it.
-Too large for us.
OK. Then we took you from Victorian grandeur
to cosy barn conversion.
-You said, if I remember rightly, "This is more me."
Absolutely. It was much more me.
-You felt that, too.
-It was more me, as well.
That was really nice. It was lovely and light.
-It was a lovely big space.
Beams. The property was fine.
But the location we thought was just a bit too rural for us.
That led us nicely on to our final day and to our mystery house
-which certainly had lots of neighbours on offer.
-A beautiful village.
We started with the holiday annexe that came with it,
-which you seemed to like.
-It was very well done.
I thought it was very lettable.
-It would have been fine.
-Yes, it was lovely.
But I did warn you that the house did need a bit of imagination.
-You weren't exaggerating there!
I wasn't exaggerating in some respects,
-given that you want a big kitchen/diner and so forth.
Now, when I revealed the price to you, 375,
you certainly did have the money to do it.
So would you do it?
-I don't know.
Are you still convinced that the idea of spending up to £450,000
on a property with a holiday let is the way you want to go?
I don't think we want to compromise the house for the sake of an annexe.
So we're going to stay with the 350 and start really looking for the right property for us.
-I think we have shown you the range of options.
It's redefined your focus. I'm delighted that's the case.
-I'm very glad we've seen those properties.
-They were all very interesting.
-It was good to see the ones with the annexe
and for us to understand that actually the property is a priority.
Maybe we're clouding the issue by looking at both.
-I thought that might happen.
-But I couldn't say it.
Guys, very best of luck with your house search.
-Enjoy your retirement.
-And let us know how you get on.
-Thank you so much.
-It was brilliant.
When we set out with Pat and Alan, in some ways we had two house searches to consider.
But as they've realised, trying to find a house with an annexe in the right location
for their maximum budget of £450,000 has proved to be something of a tall order.
So their house search goes on.
But it'll be much simpler. They'll be looking for a home first and a business second.
See you next time!
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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Jules Hudson is in Devon, helping a couple with a budget of 450,000 pounds find a home with bags of West Country character. We step back in time as Jules is given a private tour of Castle Drogo, the last castle to be built in England.