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Welcome to the start of what promises to be a very wet Escape to the Country.
Today we're in a county that's famous for its dramatic and diverse landscape,
but I have to say I've never quite seen anything like that.
Back in 1797 this extraordinary rock formation encouraged the likes of
Wordsworth and Coleridge to write The Wanderings of Cain.
So where have I come to to find such a biblical landscape?
Well, join me in a couple of minutes and I'll tell you.
Today, we're helping a married couple and a special member of the family
relocate to a place that holds many holiday memories.
And they discover they can afford more than they ever imagined.
-It can't be. What's wrong with it?
But, will they be too spoilt for choice?
Maybe I don't want to see any more cos it's all too confusing!
-Well, you haven't seen all of THIS yet...
Well, today I'm in Devon - on Exmoor to be precise,
right on the northern coast of the county,
and this extraordinary formation behind me is known locally
as the Valley of the Rocks,
carved probably millions of years ago by the elements.
In this strange half light and, as you can probably tell, appalling weather,
it does take on something of a prehistoric feel.
Not surprisingly, the whole area has slipped into local folklore -
some of these rocks have very evocative names like The Cheesering, and Ragged Jack -
and I'm assured that hidden amongst this bracken is a herd
of wild goats, who it's thought have made this place home for centuries.
Devon lies in the southwest of England,
bordered by Cornwall to the west and Somerset to the northeast.
Its magnificent coastline
is dotted with pretty fishing villages and seaside resorts,
a draw for over five million visitors who also come to enjoy
its two national parks -
Dartmoor, renowned for its stunning tors,
and Exmoor, with its wild and rugged landscape.
Here, secret hideaway homes, from quaint little gems to grand getaways,
are what Devon dreams are made of.
Of course, Devon has long been popular with anybody wanting to escape to the country, whether you're
retiring or simply seeking a slice of the good life. After all, look at it. Why wouldn't you want to live here?
But, of course, all that has had an effect on population levels,
a net increase every year of up to 6,000 people.
And that of course has had a knock-on effect on house prices,
they are 14% higher here than the national average -
and within the county it does vary quite a lot as well.
The north, in general, is much cheaper than the south.
So, a county of great contrasts, great beauty, with plenty on offer to suit everybody.
Like this imaginative four bedroom barn conversion
sitting on four acres of glorious rural land near Goodleigh.
For £1.25 million, it also comes with an annexe and its own pool.
For those who love the Exmoor coast, this four-bedroom
stone and slate cottage for £525,000
is tucked away in Heddon Valley,
and sits on two acres of luscious gardens and woodlands.
There are four cosy reception rooms, and a kitchen/diner opening out to a conservatory.
And for just under £300,000, this Grade II-listed two-bedroom cottage in Bideford
is within walking distance of the beach and coastline.
Well, as you can see, some wonderful examples of property on offer here -
just one of the reasons why I love house hunting here in Devon,
and of course why today's buyers want to move here.
Today's house hunters are Jill and Robert who live in the commuter village of Chipstead in Surrey.
For over a decade, they've been dreaming of giving up the suburbs
and retreating to a Devonshire dream home,
but it's never been the right time to leave until now.
I think we've lived in Surrey for the last 20 years, and been in this house for 13 years.
Everything we wanted, we got from this house at the time.
But we could move now - we're in our 60s, and don't want to leave it another ten years.
At this stage of life, they're looking to become part of a village community.
I think, erm...60's the new 40.
I think we want to do it now because it takes time to make friends, real friends.
We want to support our local community.
I'll spend most of my time supporting our local pub...
Jill has family roots and happy childhood memories in Devon, that keep drawing her back to the county.
My mother was Devonshire, my grandmother Cornish.
I've got cousins, relations in the West Country.
I spent most of my formative years down there, and I feel, you know, it's going home really.
And the family ties don't stop there.
An important member of the family will also be relocating - Jill's very active 95-year-old father, Percy.
He's looking forward to it as much as we are.
I think it's a big excitement in his life.
He's very independent, very full of life...
and I think this would be a fantastic end to his life, really.
Because he's 95, he's not going to go on for ever.
I'm not so sure about that(!)
The choice of property needs to be got right in terms of Percy's needs.
The important part of the move really is to take my father with us,
and he will require a separate annexe with a ground-floor bathroom,
probably like a studio apartment.
With retirement, and more time on their hands for reviving old hobbies,
Jill and Robert have a few requirements of their own.
Well, I'd like to do more painting.
Having more space to do my painting would be nice -
instead of having to put it all out on the dining table
I'd like to have a studio, or a room where I could call it my own.
As you can see this is my lovely cluttered garage,
full of bits and pieces that my wife's collected and stored in here.
I haven't been able to get a car in there for over 13 years.
When we move to the country I'd love a barn
or a large double garage, so I can start working on old cars again.
They're looking forward to leaving busy roads behind and enjoying the countryside.
I love the sea and the moors. Love Exmoor - it's so wild and free,
and even on cold days it's brilliant up there to go walking.
So, what's their choice of location?
'I'm thinking maybe towards Exmoor.'
I think Exmoor is my favourite, over Dartmoor.
I think it's wilder, less people...
Sort of around that area, somewhere near the sea, would be nice.
But what would their dream house look like?
Nice square family home, with period features.
-Three, four bedrooms?
-Three or four bedrooms, en suite bathroom.
A large kitchen, kitchen/diner...
Must have an annexe - must, must have an annexe.
Hopefully with nice views on a hillside somewhere, or up fairly high.
-I'd also like an easily maintained garden.
Something big enough so I can buy one of those ride-on lawnmowers.
I've always fancied one of those!
Before we start looking for their new home, we need to find out how much their house is worth.
So, we invited an estate agent round to value their property.
This is a four-bedroom detached family house situated in Surrey with great commuter links
into London via the M25,
and in my opinion I would value this property in the region of £615,000.
-I think that's fantastic.
I didn't expect it to be that much.
-No, it's more than I thought it would be.
-With the housing market as it is.
So, what's their budget?
Our budget for the new property is going to be £700,000.
We can be slightly flexible on that figure.
And if it was absolutely dream house...
If it was the absolute perfect house, we could go slightly higher.
Well, all in all I think it's a pretty manageable list of expectations.
A nice traditional farmhouse, Jill wants plenty of space for her art studio, a nice big kitchen
and of course Robert is after some outbuildings to incorporate his workshop -
but perhaps one of the most crucial things is this all-important annexe for Jill's father.
Now, unusually for this show they haven't asked for acreage, but with their budget
and with the sort of properties that are on offer here, land often does come hand in hand
with the sort of things we're going to be able to show them
so you never know, they might just get a little bit more than they bargained for.
Jill and Robert want to be close to the sea and the wilds of North Devon,
so have asked us to focus the search on the northwest coast, across to
Exmoor National Park on the east
and travelling no further inland than South Molton.
We've lined up some of the area's finest properties to view,
but I won't reveal the price tags until they've taken everything in.
And finally, there's the mystery house - which will open up an even larger window on their world.
Well, Jill, there's something kind of very romantic about
-this story because here you are kind of coming home, aren't you?
-I know. It's lovely.
Wonderful, wonderful childhood memories, and great picnic spots,
rolling in the gorse and the ferns and everything. It's beautiful here, I love it.
I don't know, Robert - stories of rolling in the ferns and the gorse(?)
This is all going slightly off the beaten track!
-I've never heard this story before.
But you're loving it down here, aren't you? This is a huge lifestyle change for you.
Absolutely. And of course it won't just be for us, it'll be bringing Jill's father down as well.
He's a key component of this move - he's 95, bless him...
-And we can't go without him.
-You can't go without him!
We have got some fantastic properties
-for you to look at, so let's see if we can persuade you to buy one.
-OK, that would be great.
With a flexible budget of £700,000, our buyers are looking for a detached
period home with three to four bedrooms, a large kitchen/diner,
a master with an en suite,
an artist's studio for Jill and workshop space for Rob.
Countryside and coastal views from on high,
and a ground floor annexe
for Jill's elderly dad,
with not too much land to look after.
-Now, Jill, your father is a key component of this move...
-Yes, he is.
..both practically and financially in some respects.
-He's been in his house for 60-odd years.
I don't know how anybody makes that kind of transition.
-He knows Devon like the back of his hand.
Well, he courted my mother down here.
Interesting. So, I guess you're picking up where they left off.
-Sort of, yeah!
First up, we're heading to
the seaside town of Croyde on the northwest coast of Devon.
Croyde is known for its nearby sandy beaches, and a village offering loads of olde-worlde charm.
There's also a couple of pubs in town sure to please Rob.
Set in a picture postcard hamlet called Nethercott, just three miles
away from Croyde, our first property
is a sweet farmhouse that serves up a Devonshire dream on a plate.
What a stunning looking house.
It's a perfect size. Not too big...
I really like it. I like the colour,
I like the slate roof, I like the door... It's lovely.
-Good. Let's see what you think of the inside, come on.
'So if first impressions are anything to go by, we're off to a good start,
'as they both seem taken by this 18th-century Grade II-listed property.
'Let's hope the recently renovated interior continues to impress.'
Right. Come on in... Look at this!
-You can just leave me here.
-I don't want to see any more.
-It's gorgeous, isn't it?
-The floor is fantastic.
Let's start in here. This is one of two reception rooms that you've got.
There we are...
-What do you think?
-It's cosy. It's very, very cosy.
You can see yourself sitting here watching the television, having a glass of wine...
-Enormous wood-burning stove.
-Lovely window seat.
-So, first reception room...
Come across the hallway to the kitchen.
Again the slate floor comes off the hallway down into here...
It's square, isn't it, which is great - and plenty of room to eat...
It's a real farmhouse kitchen. It's the real thing, a proper job.
It's a good size kitchen. I like it.
Well, I did say that next door was one of two reception rooms - the other one is over here.
And the nice thing is that the kitchen...
is in the middle of both of them.
So you've got something of a sort of a...a snug, day room...
-This is lovely.
-So you could have a his and hers.
-Yeah, we could!
-Now you're talking.
JULES LAUGHS That's lit him up, hasn't it?!
Well, I mean, you've got lots of options -
perhaps the next thing is to go upstairs, which is this way.
Tucked away. Which is quite nice, so it doesn't take the room over.
I didn't even notice there was a staircase here...
'The cosy feel and versatility of this property seem to go down well.
'Up on the first floor, there are three good size rooms all with pine floorboards,
'and a family bathroom with a classic roll top bath to unwind in.
'But let's head to what could be THEIR room.'
Now, we're calling this the master -
it's the widest, and I suppose the biggest room that's up here.
-The obvious thing I suppose is it doesn't have an en suite.
-I don't know if that's a deal breaker.
In an ideal property, we would want an en suite.
Well, there is a bit of a solution to this problem.
The family bathroom is at the very end of the hallway,
so you don't want to be trotting down there -
but if you put a door there, just beyond that light fitting,
you'd effectively create a sort of master suite. So that bedroom there -
if that were your en suite
I think that would give you a huge amount of space and your own end of the property.
That would be fabulous.
'Once an en suite is built we should be in business,
'because what's coming up next fits the bill perfectly
'for their top priority - Jill's dad.
'A freshly restored barn conversion, designed for holiday lets.
'As well as offering two good sized purpose-built bedrooms on the first floor,
'there's more than enough room on the ground to suit his needs
'including the bathroom.
'Now let's look at a potential bedroom.'
He would have enough room in here to have somewhere to put
his clothes, like a dressing table, and maybe a little couch.
The kitchen is through here, it's something of a kitchen/diner...
The kitchen here is great, because he's still going to make tea and have his breakfast on his own.
He's very independent,
-Well, maintaining that is crucial.
Yeah. And that's why the annexe has got to be right.
'Now, some extra space for Jill's studio - or maybe even a hideaway for Rob.
'Let's see who jumps at it first.'
-Come on in here, guys.
Look at this! Come on, Robert.
-This looks interesting...
-Come on in.
Well, it would give me immense pleasure to hand this over to you.
-Oh, that was easy,
-I thought that was going to be a bit of a tough sell!
-I'd be very happy here.
'Well, that lit up Robert's face -
'and there's plenty of room outside to please him as well.
'An array of stone outbuildings, ideal as workshops,
'to reignite his passion for doing up old cars -
'and what better spot to tinker about in
'than your very own rustic country cottage backyard?'
-That could really work.
-I think it would work.
The other thing that would help, are the extra four acres it comes with.
-The turkey's laughing, isn't he?
You get four acres, which is all sort of that way.
It's one of the things that you're going to sort of scoop up whether
-you want them or not, because of where we are.
-Can you let them?
You can let them. You can also sell them.
There is some local interest in buying those four acres,
and currently here you're talking about five grand an acre
so there's potentially £20,000 to be made there if you don't want them.
Let's have a think about the price. You can go first, this is your patch.
You've got £700,000 or so, maybe more, to play with.
I'm going to come in slightly lower, at 690.
-This WAS on the market for £750,000.
It is now on the market for 700.
-It's a very good start.
Maybe I don't want to see any more cos it's all too confusing!
Well, you haven't seen all of THIS yet...
-Go and have a look at those four acres, they're up there.
I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
-After you, Jill.
Thank you! ..Hello, friend.
Priced at £700,000, this Grade II-listed farmhouse
offers Jill and Robert the country charm they're after.
It has four bedrooms, and the potential of an en suite.
There's a two-bedroom annexe for Jill's dad, plenty of studio and workshop space
for their creative pursuits,
and a sprawling four acres of gardens and paddocks,
which they could rent or sell
for a tidy sum.
It's a typical Devon house, and I like it very much indeed.
Obviously I think we would need to definitely put a bathroom in that upstairs main bedroom.
-We'd just have to make some enquiries, and if this wall CAN come down...
-It'd make a fabulous...
It would. But if we can't...
I think... Regarding the annexe, I think that works perfectly.
That ticks all the boxes.
All in all a nice house.
Now, it's always nice to start your house tours on a high, and this house has certainly done that.
I wonder if Jill's moved in yet?
-Moved in yet, Jill(?)
Almost! HE LAUGHS
Out you come. Come on, Robert.
-Too much to think about.
-Too much to think about.
-And two more to come of course.
-My brain's hurting.
Exmoor National Park provides one of the most spectacular landscapes
in the UK, and its northern coastline is littered with beautiful villages.
Lynton and its twin Lynmouth on the harbour below are amongst its prettiest.
Bird's-eye views and walking trails are high on Jill and Robert's
wish list, so earlier in the week they went exploring.
Lynmouth was a small but lucrative trading port in the 17th century.
Fishing was the main industry, and the big catch back in the day was herring.
In the 19th century the local economy struggled, due to
the high cliffs separating Lynton from Lynmouth, and the Exmoor terrain
was tricky for transporting goods -
so an ingenious mode of transport was created to connect the twin towns.
Local tour guide Tom Evans kindly showed our couple the ropes.
Transport was very difficult in Victorian times.
Horse-drawn wagons labouring up the hill, horses under terrible conditions...
So there was a need for a funicular railway between the two villages,
and this was built in 1890 at a cost of £8,000.
They could take up to 40 people in each of the cabins, and if they removed the cabins they could
actually put larger vehicles on it - even cars at one point were taken up it.
The cliff railway is the only one of its kind in the world.
Powered by a supply of river water, it's totally emission free.
It works by filling up and releasing water into tanks underneath the cars.
The weight counterbalances the cars, like an old-fashioned weighting scale.
One goes up, and the other one goes down.
Oh, there it goes...
Jill wanted high-rise views - but maybe this is one level too high.
-And we have arrived.
-So high up...
Fantastic. Well done.
Well, let me off!
But the ride is worth it.
From Lynton, the breathtaking views can be fully appreciated.
It's easy to feel on top of the world up here, and an array
of arty shops and tea rooms create an altogether enchanting ambience.
The area owes a great deal to its historic benefactor,
Sir George Newnes.
Newnes created a community of artists and writers, craftsmen...
and it is to this day a place for people
who enjoy the countryside walks, wildlife, and peace and quiet.
-It's got a lovely feel.
-A really nice feel to it. It's great.
It sounds a place for us.
Clearly, this is a picture postcard location for Jill and Rob's
new life in the country.
Next we travel east, inland to the rural village of Goodleigh,
a sleepy little village enveloped by undulating hills
and plenty of scenic walks for Jill and Rob to explore.
Our second offering is part of a Grade II-listed Georgian manor house
on the outskirts of the village.
Let's see if they can imagine living the good life here.
What do you reckon?
What a property! It's huge. I like the proportions. Big square windows.
-Lovely looking house.
Looking good. It's looking good.
-Let's get inside, shall we?
-Come on, then.
-I can't wait.
'Although semi-detached, one thing this house doesn't lack is space.
'Jill's in for a real treat with this big country kitchen.'
-I'm liking this.
-This could work.
This could work.
High ceilings got some storage facilities, cupboards.
-It's a nice size this.
-I love this room.
Well, if you like this one
wait until you see the living room, come and look at this, or I should say drawing room.
Oh, drawing room, thank you.
OK, Jill, would this work?
Oh, it's lovely. I love the mouldings around this room.
-And that window is extraordinary.
-Isn't it just.
-See yourself in here with a glass of wine, Robert?
-I certainly do.
I see there's a nice log burner.
-Absolutely perfect. Gorgeous.
It seems the regal feel to this property has Jill and Rob absolutely beaming.
And a grand property
needs somewhere grand to eat
like this elegant 16-foot dining room.
Just for you, mate.
Well, now, this is where we need to get a bit technical with this property
because what we don't have for you is a separate annexe for Dad.
OK, this would be it.
The options are, this room in particular is of a great size,
it's all on the ground floor and it also has its own en suite shower.
That would work.
It's something to think about.
Ideally we were looking for a separate annexe.
You've got the dining room between you and dad.
-And of course you've got the other living room through there.
And doors, big doors.
-Nice big doors, yeah.
Something to think about.
It's encouraging that the lack of an annexe isn't proving a hurdle.
So, onwards and upwards
to some glorious hill-top views of Devon.
That is gorgeous, isn't it?
It's a good size room, lovely proportions again.
Now, currently this is described as the master.
It's got some lovely details.
it's got this lovely fireplace in it and so forth.
The other reason is it's got loads of light coming into it,
through that window and the view beyond, step over and have a look
because that's what you're going to wake up to.
Look at that! Imagine waking up and looking out there every morning.
If it's a gorgeous outlook Jill wants there are two further spacious bedrooms
both delivering those tantalising views.
Also on this floor
is a family bathroom and shower room.
Now, I personally would be quite happy with this as a master.
There's your en suite through there.
I agree with you, I think I would prefer this as a master bedroom.
I don't know why,
just feels right.
The en suite has certainly raised Jill and Rob's spirits
and up in the attic there's space for an art studio.
There's plenty to play with here but that's just on the inside.
They've yet to discover the grounds that are absolutely jaw dropping.
This is what I really want you to see,
because tucked away up here
is this glorious garden.
don't be shy, there's plenty of it to explore.
Oh, isn't it fabulous.
There are one and a half acres for Jill and Rob to enjoy here.
The secret garden opens out beyond the main lawn area
to a mature orchard making the most of the sunny elevated position,
and down below is a rambling woodland
and a serene pond that's just pure magic.
But, how much is it going to set them back?
So, let's have a think about the money then.
This is over budget. I'm going to go for £735,000.
OK, I'm going to go for £753,000.
If it were £700,000 would that be more interesting?
I can't believe it would be £700,000.
Then you won't believe that its £525,000.
-No, it can't be, why is it then, what's wrong with it?
Nothing's wrong with it at all,
but it is a semi.
I think it represents
great value for money, I think it's one you should really consider.
-Lots to think about.
There are still a couple of bits I want you to have a look at.
-I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
this Grade II-listed secret hideaway comes in well under budget.
There are three bright and elegant reception rooms,
one with annexe potential.
Four sunny bedrooms and a charming attic room
all set in one and a half acres.
It sort of elegant but it's very homely.
There's lots and lots to think about with this property.
It wouldn't worry me not having an annexe
particularly in this case because this room is so large.
And near enough for us to be on hand.
And we have got a door we can shut for our own privacy.
If this house had the annexe of the first house
I'd be writing a cheque now, I think.
Out you come Jill, Robert.
I think this is well worth you thinking about.
It is, although I am muddled, confused.
Confusion, being muddled, it means you've got choice.
-Yes, we have.
-And the mystery house is still to come.
As the sun starts to go down over Devon Jill and Rob have a chance
to reflect on the dream homes they've seen so far.
Jill and Robert are looking to spend £700,000 or a little more
if they spot their absolute dream home in Devon.
So far one property delivered on the perfect annexe for Jill's dad and the second was the ideal house.
So, can the mystery property strike a balance between the two?
-I've never seen anything this size in my life.
For the mystery house we're broadening Jill and Robert's horizons
travelling away from the coast and beyond South Molton
to the village of the Stoodleigh.
Armed with a great community spirit its local church,
believed to have Norman origins,
was extensively restored during the Victorian era.
The mystery house has everything the first two houses offered plus a lot more.
Although it's not the coastal location they wanted
it could just paint an even bigger picture of life in Devon and with a potential money spinner on the side.
Come on in.
-Oh, it's huge, isn't it?
What you've got on the right surrounded by the cream render
are what would have been three great big openings
with coach doors on them for coaches and carriages and so forth.
-The stable block is over towards the left,
hidden under that growth, so horses over there
and then above in this enormous range you would have had quarters
for staff, stable hands
overlooking this wonderful courtyard.
-It's quite romantic, isn't it?
-It's a terrific place.
Sort of a romantic feel about it.
The grand exterior has captured Jill's romantic spirit.
Let's hope the romance continues inside
when she sees the enormous kitchen.
Now, I think this is more what you were thinking about.
That is a kitchen diner par excellence, isn't it?
Isn't it just.
-That is lovely.
-They're great windows, aren't they?
-Look at the thickness of the wall.
-Oh, well built this.
-It's not going to blow over, is it?
Built by an aristocrat for his horses, he wasn't going to skimp on it. And it goes on.
It certainly does.
I mean, you've got all that area over there which is currently
the dining end of it.
I can't take it all in, it's so massive.
-You can't fault it, can you?
You can't fault it and there is plenty more where this came from.
Come and have a look back again, through the hallway, at this reception room.
This is where the coaches would go.
What you do in here,
is entirely up to you.
Have a ball.
Have a ball, have a party.
Come on, Robert, what would you do in here?
I'd probably bring my car in here and rebuild it.
Get lost down that end of the room, I've never seen anything this size in my life.
And the impressive rooms don't stop there.
As well as a library there's also a games room
ideal for entertaining.
Up to the first floor,
let's take a look
at the romantic master bedroom.
There's just one potential sticking point,
that all important en suite.
-not en suite.
But, it gives you an idea of the sort of size.
It's a good size bedroom, isn't it?
A lovely size. I love the window.
-Yeah, it is.
They could of course choose an alternative bedroom from
the five here, two of which come with original fireplaces,
reminders of the stables' old living quarters.
Or they could create a master
that's next to one of the two bathrooms located
at either end of the landing.
Oh, this is wonderful.
Many a stable hand would not have enjoyed this, clearly.
Fabulous size bathroom, isn't it?
And this would be for your guests.
Too good for guests.
So, as you can see there's a huge amount on offer
and that's just in the coach house,
-we haven't touched the annexe yet.
The sheer scope of this property has bowled them over so far
but wait till we head outside across the courtyard
to reveal the potential home for Jill's dad.
I want to really start in here with you two because I think this would make
a fantastic living room for Dad.
It's cosy, it's panelled and importantly
it's got those double doors there out to the garden.
Which he loves.
No, this is a lovely room, isn't it?
-It is a very nice room, he'd be very happy here.
Of course the room itself is on the level.
There is one step here which would go down to his bedroom.
But again I think he'd quite enjoy this.
Oh, my goodness.
Good size room for him.
Through there a separate loo and shower room, all on the level too.
OK. It doesn't feel as if it's an annexe at all.
I think he would feel as if he'd moved into his own property in some way.
Really, really good.
Excellent, well done.
Well, we aim deliver and Jill's dad couldn't ask for more.
Along this sprawling annexe is another large bedroom with its own en suite,
another smaller bedroom and a shower room
plus a kitchen for Jill's dad to make himself a cuppa
and a 17-foot long dining room so plenty of additional guest space.
Or it could serve as a separate holiday letting business.
And the pretty grounds won't disappoint either.
There's a south facing courtyard and a short meander through an arch
leads to a private lawned garden with mature shrubs.
Nothing too complicated here, just cutting back.
Just cutting back,
well, are we going to have to cut back on the price, I wonder.
What do you reckon?
Right, I'm going to go for £720,000.
It's not £720,000 and it's not £710,000, I'm afraid.
What is it?
All this for £650,000?
It's an awful lot of house for £650,000.
You haven't seen all of it yet.
Go and explore the rest of that annexe
-and I'll catch up with you a little bit later.
At £650,000 this grand home offers a light and spacious drawing room,
a games room and Jill gets her deluxe country kitchen.
There are also five double bedrooms
and top of the wish list
an attached annexe with French doors out to the garden for Jill's dad.
There are also an extra two double bedrooms
which could be let and a manageable garden.
This house is huge, huge, huge.
The annexe is spectacular.
Enough room for my dad to have a whole,
like a separate house there for himself
and still enough room to have a holiday let.
I think I could see us see us living here quite comfortably.
In fact I could probably see us,
our friends, our next door neighbours
and a few other people living here quite comfortably.
You wouldn't believe the trouble I've had finding these two and getting you out of here.
Really interesting mystery house, I think you'll agree.
I just feel as if I haven't seen it all.
I've just found another room downstairs with a loo in it.
I just opened a door and there it was.
Well, we've had the chance to show you three very viable properties.
I suppose the key question is which one, if any, may be your new home?
I think you need to go and have a think about.
-I think we do.
-Yeah, a long think.
Devon has preserved a unique survivor from our industrial past,
the small village of Sticklepath is home to the last operational
water powered forge in the whole of England, Finch Foundry.
I'm here to find out more about it all works
from custodian Roger Boney.
The foundry, which was powered by the nearby River Taw, was established by William Finch in 1814
and all the original machinery is still going strong.
The family firm was in operation until 1960.
In 1994 the National Trust stepped in
giving visitors a rare insight into this bygone era.
Roger, this is a fantastic survivor, isn't it?
Tremendous. It's, in fact, the very last of its kind.
Now, this is the sort of thing though that most villages,
with a water source, would have had at some point.
Water was the electricity of its day, really.
Certainly in this part of the world.
There were eight water wheels working in this village,
all using and reusing the same water
before eventually it goes back into the river again.
Really clever stuff.
Finch Foundry used to be a woollen mill
but then produced cutting tools for use in agriculture and mining.
-Ahh, a lovely scythe.
-One I made earlier.
To power up a lever is pulled to release the water onto the wheels
setting all the cogs and belts in motion
enabling a giant set of shears to cut the hot metal.
Cast your mind to the 1840s and imagine
mass producing 400 tools a day in here
when the forge was in full swing.
You can almost smell the Industrial Revolution.
You've got 25 men in here.
And then you've got this.
The tricks of the trade were cutting edge for the time.
That's the off switch.
All right, what do you do, just shove it in?
-I thought you might like that.
-I love it.
We talk about the genius of the Industrial Revolution and it's a bit of wood.
So that's the tools being cut to shape in the forge.
Next though we need to get a handle on how they're sharpened
and to understand the original meaning behind the phrase
keeping your nose to the grindstone.
So, this is it, this is your grinding shop.
This is the grinding shop.
So, the big idea with this
is what you do,
you've got to climb up on the top of here.
-This is a kind of a bed.
-This is a kind of a bed.
You get up on the top of here like this, and you've got to lie down.
-Rather you than me, Roger.
-And you do all of this.
That's phenomenal, brilliant.
And this is where keeping your nose to the grindstone comes from.
That's remarkable. It would have been a lethal place.
Absolutely. Being a grinder
was one of the most hazardous occupations there was.
These things were prone to bursting.
That's one of the stories of the Industrial Revolution, in some respects.
It was a risky business but it's brought us to where we are now.
And without these kind of tools,
these things that were made in small enterprises like this,
none of the big houses, for instance, would have been made.
The fact that the mill is still running 200 years on
is a tribute to its builders
and despite the passage of time it's a rare opportunity
to get a very real sense of what the Industrial Revolution was all about.
Well, it's my favourite part of the show now, decision time.
When we left our second property yesterday afternoon Jill said she was pretty confused.
Well, since then we've shown them the mystery house
and my sense is that that confusion just got a little bit worse.
So, have they been able to untangle their thoughts, I wonder?
Well, let's go and ask them.
Well, you two, here we are, it's the end of the road, we've shown you all that we can.
Have you enjoyed it?
Yeah, we've had a great week.
We kicked off with that lovely old 16th century farmhouse.
I loved that. I felt it was cosy inside.
I loved the sort of simpleness of it
and the annexe there was absolutely perfect.
I think we had an issue with the en suite bathroom upstairs, didn't we?
Yeah, I think we could have resolved that issue.
I thought it would appeal to you because it was very much going back to your rural roots.
Yeah, I did like where it was positioned
with those other little houses around there in that little sort of hamlet,
but, you know, we were looking forward to the next one, always.
Well, the next one
was very different.
A slice of Georgian grandeur, half of that enormous house.
It really was a regal semi, wasn't it?
-What a place.
Which you absolutely fell in love with Robert.
Loved it, absolutely loved it, I could see myself moving in.
And what about Dad, the idea of converting that fantastic snooker room?
Yeah, we thought about it and I think it probably would have worked.
Yes, I think we could easily have done that there.
-And the garden.
-The garden. Let's get into the garden.
Here we are sitting in the grounds of another glorious manor house.
-Let's think about the garden, that was fantastic.
It was unbelievable that garden.
What a fantastic price. 525.
Oh, my God yes,
the price was amazing.
We had, of course, one more to come, our final property, the mystery house.
An extraordinary conversion of the old stable block.
Your thoughts, Robert?
I need a map! It was just a sprawling mass of rooms.
-Yes, it was great.
-Have you figured it out yet?
As far as the annexe went
it was a separate home.
That wing down the side
was split into two really, wasn't it?
Because the bit we would put him in
was like a house on its own
and also it had an extra bit which you could let as a holiday let?
I mean, I suppose it leads me on neatly to my final question,
what happens next?
Well, we've decided to stay down here for a few more days
to look around the area
and we're going to make some more enquiries
about that last property.
Good, guys I'm really delighted
because this was always going to be a bit of a challenge
because incorporating your father is a key component.
This isn't some wayward whim.
No, it's got to be spot on.
So, if that's the case I look forward to hearing his reaction when you finally get him there.
Come to his 100th birthday party.
Fabulous, I would look forward to that.
Here's to you, and here's to him. Cheers, guys.
Best of luck.
Now, of course we'd all love to escape to the country
in a building like the one behind me
but for most of us it is of course an impossible dream.
But, for Jill and Robert, well,
if they do go for that coach house and old stable block
I think they'll get pretty close to it,
and as for her father, well I'd love to be a fly on the wall when he walks through the door.
See you next time.
Well, Jill and Robert thoroughly considered
the mystery property but decided it was just too big to handle.
However, they were sold on the area and are now looking in mid Devon.
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