Historical Provenance, Sought After Location, Prestigious, Elizabethan, 5 / 7 Bedrooms including Master Bedroom En Suite with Dressing Room, Landscaped Gardens, Swimming Pool, Orchard, River Frontage, Fishing Rights
Situation: The Old Bell House is situated in the village of Ludford on the south bank of the River Teme, considered to be one of Ludlow's finest residential areas. The property is within walking distance of Ludlow town centre which is a thriving market town and an architectural gem with a lively community feel, busy with events and festivals throughout the year. It has an international reputation for food and drink with many excellent restaurants and cafes, enhanced by the area's abundance of good quality producers. Ludlow is located just off the A49; the county town of Shrewsbury lies to the north and Hereford is to the south. Birmingham and the West Midlands are an approximate one hour commute with many convenient rail links. There are excellent state and independent schools in the area including Moor Park, Bedstone and Shrewsbury School. Ludlow Golf Club and Ludlow National Hunt racecourse are within a fifteen minute drive. Ludlow has a train station on the main Manchester to Cardiff line with trains running at regular intervals to Shrewsbury and Hereford. By changing just once, London is accessible in a little over three hours.
The Old Bell House dates back to the early 1600s and is a Grade II* Listed, timber framed, five bedroom house. The house has been meticulously maintained to keep its original features with all the added luxury of 21st century living. The ground floor boasts an entrance hall / drawing room, sitting room, kitchen / breakfast room, dining room, two studies and a downstairs WC. An impressive oak staircase leads to the first floor landing giving access to a large drawing room, the master bedroom with en suite bathroom and a dressing room. There is also a second bedroom, a WC and a family bathroom. The second floor benefits from three further bedrooms, two bathrooms and a studio. The lower ground floor is utilised as a traditional cellar. All the rooms benefit from beautiful views of either the gardens or across the river towards Ludlow and surrounding countryside. The well maintained garden, which is principally lawned, is located around the house with a traditional stone walled courtyard to the west, accessed through a wooden gate. There is ample parking at the front of the property within the courtyard. Various intimate seating areas and a paved terrace to the front of the house complete the gardens making The Old Bell House a truly charming property.
The Old Bell House featured in a short series named 'The Lesser Country Houses of Yesterday' by Country Life in 1914 which described the house as a 'small, old house, of peculiar merit'. The interior had been redesigned in the 1910 by Basil Stallybrass, a member of the Arts & Crafts movement.
As the freeholders of the weir the current owners have an Agreement with The Hydro Co-operative and the property benefits considerably from the Hydro which was built on the weir in 2016 to harness the power of the River Teme. The Teme Weir Trust is the leaseholder and, with the Hydro Co-operative, is responsible for maintaining the weir and keeping it free. The house is connected directly to the Hydro and to conventional Grid suppliers. It enjoys the right to receive its electricity supply direct from underground pipes connected to the Hydro at the same price as the electricity is sold to the Grid, a much lower price than residential tariffs, at about half the "ordinary" national price. There are conditions attached to this contractual arrangement which are not onerous (i.e. no right to a supply when the Hydro is not turning). The under-ground supply line from the Hydro direct to the property (front cellar) was put in by the current owners and requires no maintenance. The annual rent from the Hydro is c. £400 and is geared to the volume of electricity produced and the average wholesale price.
A brick grotto of Victorian origin is built into the rock adjacent to the river, which was restored by the current owners in 2011 and accessed via steps from the garden.
The flagstones in the entrance hall were replaced in 1926 by old oak blocks in a herringbone pattern from Sir Alfred Chester Beatty's home in Kent. He was an American-born copper magnate, often referred to as the 'King of Copper'.
The River Teme is designated as a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest' (SSSI). The Ludlow Postcode is perceived as a flood risk area, to note we have been advised that The Old Bell House is some 10 m (30 ft) above the normal river level.
The drawing room contains an unusual and impressive fireplace decorated with Delft tiles of Chinese design believed to be up to 17th century origin.
In Bedroom 2 there is a hand painted wall decoration, described in a definitive book on 'Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire' as a 'guilloche work of 17th century origin'.
Directions: Approaching Ludlow from the south on the B4361 / Overton Road just before Ludford Bridge, turn right opposite the Charlton Arms into Park Road. The Old Bell House is situated approximately 50m up on the left-hand side.