Browse content similar to Suffolk. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Many people believe this six-storey medieval tower
was built as a place of study for the daughter of a wealthy lord.
On the first floor, she learnt charity, the second, tapestry,
the third, music, the fourth, painting.
On the fifth floor she learnt literature
and on the sixth, astronomy.
But is this fact or fiction?
Find out in just a moment.
Our couple today are trading their current rather crowded house
for a slice of spacious rural life.
What we've seen is just what we're looking for.
We found them three properties to tempt them into the country.
Oh, wow! Weren't expecting this.
And our mystery house certainly raises a smile!
Wow! I love it.
Today, I'm in Suffolk by the River Orwell, and this is Freston Tower,
believed to be the oldest folly in Britain.
It was also the subject of a popular 19th-century best seller.
Freston Tower and the Life and Times of Cardinal Wolsey
told the tale of the cardinal and his learned mentor, Lord Freston,
who built this tower as a place of study for his daughter.
Over the years, fiction has made its way into the history books.
It's much more likely this medieval skyscraper was built by a wealthy Ipswich merchant
in the mid-1500s
as a look-out for his returning ships.
And what a beautiful setting he picked.
Suffolk is a landscape of gently undulating countryside,
made up of wetland, meadows and farmland.
Home to some of the largest arable farms in the country
it's the perfect environment to grow wheat, sugar beet and barley.
Once a commercial powerhouse due to the textile industry
in the 14th and 15th centuries, Suffolk became one of the richest counties in England.
The evidence of this medieval prosperity
can be seen in Suffolk's range of magnificent churches
and timber-framed buildings.
With East Anglia boasting 11 per cent more sunshine than the rest of the country,
it's no wonder that artists such as Constable and Turner
spent so much time outdoors painting iconic images of this picturesque county.
I just hope we can find today's house-hunters their dream country pile.
Meet property developer Graham and scuba-diving instructor, Nicky.
Both have daughters from previous relationships
so now's the time to swap a crowded house on an estate
for a spacious country retreat.
So why Suffolk?
We can get a lot more for our money in Suffolk than we can in this area.
Also, we're looking for really good schools.
So what type of location are they after?
We'd like something with a village feel to it. Maybe at the edge of a village
or I don't mind going out to a stand-alone house in a country lane somewhere.
Happy for either of those.
OK, but what about the house itself?
I'd like Georgian, or a nice barn conversion.
We're looking for something with nice frontage, wow factor as you approach.
A nice big space. Lots of character.
Is there anything we should steer away from?
Not really interested in a thatched cottage.
Or the housing estate. I don't want to live on a housing estate.
We should be able to find a suitable period property minus the thatch.
So let's get down to the details.
I'd like a nice big double garage, with some sort of workshop, storage area onto it.
Some nice big bedrooms, a minimum of four.
Nice and light and airy.
Yeah, and room to put a pool in, if possible.
I teach scuba diving, so to be able to use my own swimming pool would be fantastic.
And obviously room for parents to stay.
And Nicky wants an acre of land to satisfy her equine urge.
It's a dream to be able to have horses at the house
so that we can look after them ourselves.
To fund their move, they'll be selling their current property.
What sort of money do we have to work with?
Our budget is ?650,000.
Nicky and Graham's main priority seems to be space,
both inside and out.
They plan to get a horse, so we need to find them at least an acre of land.
Inside, they hanker for high ceilings and large windows.
So a traditional Suffolk cottage just isn't going to cut it.
However, they do have a rather healthy budget,
So we should be able to find them something a little more spacious.
We'll be concentrating our search in the north of Suffolk, near the market town of Eye,
an ideal location to find good schools for their respective daughters.
We'll be showing Graham and Nicky three Suffolk gems
without telling them the price until the end of the tour.
As always, there's the mystery house, a twist in the tail of the house-hunting trail.
Graham and Nicky, welcome to Suffolk. Thank you. Hi.
You live in a beautiful area in Hertfordshire. Why move? We'd like more space. More garden,
and the pool is important for my work.
And our family has doubled in size, so we want to find a family home for the four of us.
This is the first time you've bought a home together. Yes. Yes.
For the whole family. Yes. That's wonderful.
This move, you're looking for a bigger house, four bedrooms. Land. You want to get horses.
Yes, the youngest daughter would like a pony. Yeah?
OK. This list is growing! We have got three great properties to show you.
One of which is our mystery house. Ready to get started? Yes!
Come on, then. Thank you.
With a budget of ?650,000 Graham and Nicky want a detached character property.
Our first property is just outside the small market town of Eye.
Lording over the town, the 14th-century church
is said to be one of the finest in the country.
On the high street, Graham and Nicky will be well-serviced with a post office, speciality shops and pub.
And there's a selection of good schools within easy reach.
Our first offering has an impressive 17th-century pedigree.
Well, Nicky and Graham, let the house search begin. Here's Property One.
Wow! It's really nice. Yeah?
Built in the late 16th, early 17th century, it's not listed.
Cool. That's probably music to your ears, Graham! Certainly is.
You might have noticed, this section is different. That was the Victorian extension. Stunning.
Great start. Shall we head on in? Lovely. Thank you.
Do come in.
Here is your hallway.
Very nice. Nice and big.
I like the bell!
Tea, please, butler! Straight through into the sitting room.
That's really sweet! Fantastic!
It's a super sitting room. I love the windows. And the bookcases.
This is exactly what I was looking for, in every way.
That's a very good start. I can feel the pressure!
It's got to go up. It can't go down! Let's continue.
'For a 300-year-old property, it is light, so Graham should continue to be impressed.'
Through the hallway, you have your large country kitchen.
Yep, that's a good size.
It's a good size. Could do with a bit of updating, modernising.
I could have my bespoke kitchen.
Every woman's dream! Absolutely!
Like what you see? Love it.
Perfect. So let's keep going.
Here is your sort of second sitting room/reception room.
Beautiful fireplace. Open fire.
Absolutely beautiful. I love the beams. Beams are fantastic.
Then the beams are a natural divide into the dining area.
That works, doesn't it? Yeah.
It's a big space here as well.
Nice big table in for Christmas. Yeah.
Next to the dining room is a useful study and downstairs bathroom.
Upstairs are two bedrooms separated from the main sleeping quarters,
perfect for when Nicky's parents come to stay.
But we're exploring the master bedroom.
Here's your master.
Loads of storage.
More storage for books, if you're avid readers!
Your own en-suite, done in tongue-and-groove style.
Uh-huh. And here's your bedroom.
That's cool. Big enough. That's nice. Perfect size. Good head height still.
Nice and light still as well. Yeah.
The two other double bedrooms have a great aspect,
and there's also a shower room for the girls.
But we haven't finished with the accommodation.
We have a rather impressive outbuilding, perfect for guests.
We have the old granary.
Wow! I wasn't expecting this! You kept this one quiet, didn't you?
It's just under 100 years old.
It was converted about five years ago.
You've got the kitchen, a downstairs bathroom, and above us, the mezzanine,
there's another bedroom. OK.
So another option is to put your mother in here when she comes to stay. Yeah.
This is bigger than most people's flats.
Right. Let's show you the land.
So you've got this huge pond
and an acre and a half of land in total.
It doesn't have a pool, Nicky.
No, but there's a really good space over there, if we could get planning permission,
if we need planning permission, we could put there.
So, it's guess the price time.
You go first!
I was going to say 645,000 cos I think it's near the top end of the budget.
I'm going to have to go above that.
Slightly over our budget.
I'm going to go probably...660.
It's just gone on the market. Hasn't been on very long at all.
Current asking price ?625,000. Wow.
I'm shocked at that!
In a good way? Yeah!
Yep. Speechless. It's a lot of house for 625. It's a beautiful house. It is beautiful.
Well, we've set the bar high.
At ?625,000, we're well under budget.
Wow, you've really set the benchmark now!
Now you've got to clear your minds cos we've got other properties to see.
Every era of English history has seen its share of decorative trends and fashions.
In medieval Suffolk, it was the timber-framed wattle and daub house that ruled the roost.
In the 16th century, homeowners began to decorate these houses
with ornamental plasterwork. The richer you were, the more elaborate the decoration.
The craft became known as parjety
and, along with North Essex, south-west Suffolk was the heartland of this art.
Today, a handful of craftsmen are keeping the skill alive.
Earlier in the week, I met up with freehand parjeter Bill Sargent
at one of his most recent projects.
Now, you're a parjeter. What does the word mean? I've never heard it.
It's a French term, and it means to throw.
How far does it go back in England?
As far as we know, to the reign of Henry VIII.
Can I have a go? Have a go! See what you're like.
Bill and I set to work on creating a cockerel,
using just a plasterer's small tool with a mixture of sand, lime and pigs' hair.
Because it's fibrous, it allows some give, as timber houses move over time.
Feel how soft and pliable it is. Lovely. Yeah.
It's got to flow and you have to remember that everything has to be done
so it won't trap water. Think of that all the time.
OK, you have a go now.
Thank you. Here's some material. And the trowel.
Like that? That's it.
Hold the trowel on its side.
Push it in. Push the material. That's it, Nicki.
What's amazing is this has taken you a couple of minutes
and already the cockerel is emerging.
You can just see it now.
I'm loving this. Thank you so much.
You've been quite a good assistant!
We'll put a twist in him.
That bit fell off!
Bill may say parjeting is easy,
but then he's a master craftsman.
I'll leave it to the professionals!
For now, it's back to the house-hunt.
Our second property is also a period build
that's been added to over the years.
So we're heading just over the border into Norfolk
to the town of Diss.
Boasting one of the deepest inland lakes in England,
this six-acre mere makes for a peaceful centre-piece to the town.
Our next property is ideally located five miles from town.
So they'll have plenty of peace and quiet.
So here is your second property.
Graham, you like Georgian houses. I do.
This has Georgian features. Built around the end of the Georgian period.
What do you think? Yeah, it's OK. Have a look inside.
Not the wow factor straightaway. Not the wow factor, no.
What about you, Nicky? I like it.
It's an attractive-looking house. A period house. It's Grade II listed.
Shall we start? Sure! Come on. Lovely.
You've got this first room. It could be a small sitting room.
OK, yeah. Nice big space for an office. Yeah. A snug or anything.
This gets the thumbs up? Yeah.
Let's keep going.
A very large kitchen.
Wow, yes, that's very nice. Yeah. Good size.
I think I'd like to work some magic in here as well. Yeah.
Next to the kitchen is another reception room.
But we're going to explore an unlikely addition to this listed building.
So, the house is Grade II listed. However, they were granted approval for this massive extension
which practically doubles the footprint of the downstairs of the house. It's quite stunning.
I love all the glass. Yeah.
As well as this, there's a small study next door.
There's a wet room on the ground floor.
On the next level, light streams into the two dual-aspect double bedrooms
which would be perfect for the girls.
There's also a cosy single.
But we're heading to the master bedroom.
Come into just one of the bedrooms.
All the rooms are about this size. OK.
One's a bit smaller.
I like the windows and the views out. It's a bit small.
Yeah. A bit small, but you know...
This floor also has a family bathroom,
a shower room and a large dressing room.
So reconfiguring it is definitely an option.
Outside, there's plenty of room for Nicky's scuba gear.
Now, I know you both need plenty of storage space.
You've got a double garage there.
And additional storage on this side.
You've also got a massive barn-type shed.
Let's check out the garden, cos I know that's close to your heart.
The landscaped garden frames the property beautifully
and there's even space at the rear for a pool.
But all this does come at a cost. I just hope they're ready for the price.
So you've got about 1.8 acres with this property. Yeah.
So, it's time to guess the price. That's a hard one.
Who wants to go first?
I think ?595,000.
I'm going to go with, again, slightly higher.
I'm going for 625.
You're both out.
It's on the market for ?675,000!
The garden can easily fit a swimming pool,
but the combination of price and upstairs space may be the issue.
As the sun settles over the Suffolk wetlands,
Graham and Nicky will be considering all they've seen
on their first day of house-hunting.
I thought yesterday's house hunt went really well.
Despite their long list of requirements,
what Nicky and Graham crave is a characterful and spacious family home
in a decent plot of land.
Today, we're going to show them just that.
But hey, it's the mystery house, so there's got to be a twist!
Our mystery property is located outside the historic village of Laxfield.
Officially laid out around the 14th-century church with its imposing tower,
the post office and store is on one side, the pub is on the other,
and an impressive timber-framed 16th-century guild hall is opposite.
Nicky and Graham wanted character
and this property delivers just that.
But it is a new build, and then there's the thatched roof!
So, mystery house time.
Now, this property does have a thatch.
Which I know you weren't keen on.
But it's a traditional house built in a contemporary style.
Perhaps it's something you might not have looked at before,
but it's certainly worth looking around this property. OK.
What are your first impressions?
Actually, very nice. Yes.
The thatch is beautifully done. Yeah. Love it. Quite impressed.
Originally, there was a 200-year-old cottage here.
They got permission to take it down and build this house. So the footprint is what the cottage was.
Ready to get started? Yes! Yes, please.
Being a water reed thatch, the roof should last between 50 to 70 years
which will appeal to Graham's practical side!
And like the exterior, the inside has plenty of character
with a modern twist.
So, step inside. Wow!
I love it! Do you?
Yeah! A very good strong first impression.
How do you feel as you step inside?
Lovely. Stunning. I love it.
All three of us are like Cheshire cats!
So, loads of space here.
You've got a nice study next door.
Good size, so that would easily make a family room.
Let's keep going.
So off the hallway you've got a very large kitchen.
Very nice, yeah!
It doesn't need replacing. No, I won't have to do much to this!
A very nice space.
Beautiful kitchen. It's even got its own larder.
Goodness. Right, follow me!
Clearly both Graham and Nicky love the chic country styling
and the dimensions are also winning them over.
Here is your second reception room downstairs.
Very nice. Excellent. Cosy. It's nice. I like the fireplace.
Nice and bright. Very.
The beam above the fireplace is from the original cottage.
So that's 200 years old, at least!
OK. The house is a little bit younger!
Let's have a look at those bedrooms. Excellent.
There's also a utility room and a downstairs cloakroom on the ground floor.
Upstairs is a spacious room for Graham and Nicky,
and I think Graham will enjoy the triple aspect.
As a master, is this big enough for you?
They're lovely sized rooms. It's got a really good feel.
It really feels absolutely beautiful in here.
Triple aspect again. Yeah.
The other two bedrooms on this floor are spacious and light.
There's also a family bathroom.
One more level up, and it's the bedrooms for the girls.
Here we are at the very top of the house.
Ha, ha! Very sweet!
A bit of mischief going on up here?
You know priest holes?
Hundreds of years ago, they'd hide priests in doors like that.
That one actually leads through to the other bedroom!
So the girls could have tremendous fun up here
back and forward! And you wouldn't even know!
The second bedroom is another double.
The girls would also have their own bathroom.
And to the rear, I have a few surprises for Nicky and Graham.
So your outside space is quite substantial.
You've got four stable blocks there, and a tack room.
A double car port here and lockable storage. Fantastic. Perfect.
And the last thing to tell you is land.
Wow! 11 acres! A little bit of land!
Surrounding us are fields all the way back. That's a lot to think about.
So that is the mystery property.
Has it worked its magic? Let's find out on the price.
Who wants to go first?
You can on this! 700!
Maybe just under.
OK. I'm going to take a cheeky one and go 650,
just on the cheek!
He is a bit cheeky, isn't he?
Too cheeky for my liking, cos you're very close! OK?
Yeah. And it's perfect in every way. Yeah, it is.
See you later!
Well, it doesn't get much better than that for a house tour.
Time to reflect on all three properties.
Let's go somewhere quite to gather your thoughts.
Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Those grins!
Well, our house hunt is now complete.
Even though Nicky and Graham started off with a comprehensive wish list,
we thought our work was done after that very first property.
However, the mystery house has worked its magic once again.
It's certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons!
Which one will they go for? Let's find out.
That first property that we saw. Late 16th, early 17th century with the Victorian extension.
You got off on a very good start.
We didn't think you'd be able to top that one!
We liked it that much. It was a very nice house.
It ticked all the boxes. A couple of areas needed some work, but other than that, it was great.
Then we moved on. The second property was very different.
It was Georgian style. I liked the front of the house.
I wasn't so keen. You weren't so keen.
Something wasn't quite right.
Inside, beautiful kitchen. Then through to that extension.
Fantastic living room space.
And the gardens were fantastic. Fantastic, weren't they?
But there was a small stumbling block for you, that was the upstairs. Yes.
I don't think I could do what we need to do to that house to create what we need.
Then lastly we saw the mystery property.
I thought it was amazing.
And then once we went inside, it was even better.
Looking at the thatch now, it set that place off.
We've converted you! I think you have! Mystery house converted you to a thatch. Then there's the land.
11 acres! How often can you say 11 acres!
And a stable block and room to build your pool!
Yes. Yes, it was perfect.
It had everything and more.
And of course it was under budget, which is always a nice surprise.
A massive surprise! I can't wait to hear what you're going to do!
We have spoken already.
We do think we may put an offer in on the mystery house, actually.
I think that's the house for us!
All the very best. It's been an absolute pleasure. No, thank you very much. Thank you.
It was our mystery home that completely bowled them over.
The 11 acres and that ample stable block might just have been the icing on the cake!
I truly hope that Nicky, Graham and their girls
make Suffolk their new home very soon.
See you next time!
If you'd like to escape to the country in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland or England
and need our help, please apply online:
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
TENOR SINGS ROUSING ITALIAN SONG