This delightful lock keeper's cottage was built in 1810 to serve the Crofton flight on the Kennet and Avon Canal in a Wiltshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It stands on the towpath side in a wonderful rural location. The cottage offers a tranquil retreat, remote, but not isolated. It is ideal for those interested in a pursuing a low impact and sustainable life style. A tall hedge gives privacy from passing boats, but this could be opened out to provide views of the canal and nearby lock if you prefer.
For many years the sellers have moored a small pontoon craft with an outboard engine (about 12 feet long) beside the property on the towpath side of the canal. This craft holds a current CRT licence and is included in the sale.
The cottage is built from Bath stone, with sympathetic extensions added in 2005. The present owners have retained many period features, to retain a sense of its history and original purpose. The roof of the original building was completely re-slated about 10 years ago and there is 250mm roof insulation. The rooms are all on the ground floor, but on different levels with three to five steps between them.
The cottage has its own bore hole water supply and a rainwater harvesting system for watering the garden. There is no mains electricity. All the electricity (12v and 48v) inverted to a 240 volt supply in the house, comes from a bank of solar panels, with the very occasional use of a back-up generator. A 48v wind generator, and a roof mounted solar water heater panel complement the existing supply. Drainage is a via septic tank for sewage, and a soakaway for grey water. The cottage has a telephone landline and broadband supplied by BT Infinity, and the owners confirm that there is excellent and reliable mobile reception. TV is available via BT or Sky FreeSat.
There is no regular vehicular access to the cottage. The surrounding farmland is owned by Ramsbury Estates, and farmed by a tenant farmer. Occasional vehicular access can be arranged with this tenant, for example for emergency access, transporting large items, or to empty the septic tank. The cottage is not at risk of flooding, as the canal level outside the house is several feet below floor level, and a weir diverts surplus water via a stream across the canal, to the level below the lock.
The cottage is an eight minute walk down the towpath from the closest road, where there is plenty of low risk parking. The nearest facilities are at Great Bedwyn, a well regarded village just 2km walk away, which has a primary school, doctors’ surgery, pub, village stores and Post Office, and a mainline station with direct line to Paddington. The Crofton Beam Engines museum and cafe are within easy walking distance down the towpath in the opposite direction.
The useful porch or boot room leads into the kitchen from the rear courtyard garden.
The cosy sitting room looks towards the lock. The main part of the sitting room is carpeted, with seating arranged around a Hunter Oakwood wood burning stove. Near the kitchen, there is a brick floored area which includes a large walk-in pantry, perfect to stock up on supplies, or to keep your home made jams and wines.
From the sitting room, double doors and two steps lead down to the dining room, a charming room with a vaulted ceiling with exposed woodwork. The owners call this the 'garden room'. Patio doors lead out to the garden, and with large windows on the two other sides, this is a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the view.
The kitchen is a lovely bright room with high vaulted ceilings fitted with four velux windows, a tiled floor, and a Belfast sink with a window above it looking out to the garden. Most of the furniture is freestanding and can be arranged to suit your needs, and there is plenty of space for a breakfast table. There is a gas cooker running on LPG gas, and a traditional Rayburn with oven and hotplate, which is fitted with a wood adaptor. The Rayburn also heats the water and runs and the radiators in the sitting room, dining room, bedrooms, and bathroom. A control panel in the kitchen monitors the levels of the solar powered battery banks, which are housed in an outbuilding.
Between the kitchen and the bedrooms is an inner lobby, currently arranged as a study. It has a wooden floor with a trapdoor giving access to storage space under the floorboards. There is an airing cupboard with an immersion tank in this room.
The main bedroom is a fabulous bright room with wooden floorboards. The bed faces two large picture windows overlooking the garden. There is a walk-in wardrobe, which could be rearranged to create an en-suite shower room if preferred.
The second bedroom is a characterful double bedroom looking towards the canal and lock. It has a working fireplace, part panelled walls, and a small wash basin. There are two trapdoors in this room to acecess the storage space beneath the floorboards.
The bathroom is a characterful room, with a brick floor, a traditional pedestal bath, a wash hand basin, a walk in shower with tiled walls, and a toilet. A ceiling hatch in this room gives access to the boarded loft.
One of the timber outbuidings is arranged as an artist's studio. It is a lovely bright space with a vinyl tiled floor, a vaulted roof, and a woodburning stove to keep you cosy in the winter.
The house sits in the centre of a wide garden of about 0.46 acres. It is a haven for wildlife and until recently participated annually in the National Garden Scheme open days. At one end there are numerous flower beds providing riotous colour in the summer. At the other there are several raised vegetable beds, and beyond these there is a small orchard of apple and soft fruit trees, and a large fenced chicken run. The outbuildings include an artists' studio, a fuel store which houses the solar equipment, three wooden storage sheds, a greenhouse, and a wood store. The owners are proud of the original privy which they have restored to its Victorian glory.