I don’t know about you guys, but I love love love a period property. I don’t know whether it’s the Downton effect, but my fantasy interior designs these days are all about great big fireplaces, Chesterfield armchairs and tiled entrance halls, and if you’re going through the same phase then we’ve got some properties that’ll have your heart racing.
Kingston Manor on the Isle of Wight is an actual manor house. With a Grade II listing, open fire and roll top baths, it’s the perfect pad for those of you who feel like living like Lady Mary (or Edith, depending which of the sisters is your favourite) for a few days. Step into the Great Hall and warm up by the fire while you take in the oak panelling, and imagine the visitors who have walked the same flagstones before you over the centuries.
Over in historic Dartmouth, Merchants Rest combines all the comforts of a contemporary apartment with the character of a Grade I listed building. The original mullion windows are one of our favourite features, and if you take a moment to glance upwards you’ll be rewarded with the sight of a beautiful Charles I plaster ceiling complete with cherubs and rather impressive mouldings.
If Stowford Manor in Devon’s Ivybridge looks familiar it may because it was the runner up on The Great Interior Design Challenge, and it’s little wonder. With six bedrooms and a rural setting close to Dartmoor, this opulent manor house has a Grade II listing and every room’s designed to make you say “wow”.
This is one of those properties where contemporary furnishings compliment traditional features, and highlights include the stained glass window that floods the staircase with colour-tinted light, the pictures of Sir Francis Drake being knighted and the character fireplaces that sit poised ready to heat the room. Well, what better way to warm up the winter evenings than to sit in front of your own open fire?