About The Old Rectory
A very fine Grade II* Georgian Rectory. It is set in grounds of about one and a half acres with large lawns and flower gardens to the east and south which are suitable for croquet and knockabout tennis games. Beyond the gardens is a beautiful valley with views to the sea cliffs and downlands. The house overlooks the very pretty village of Symondsbury, quaintly rustic, with its parish church, village school and thatched pub and cottages. The entire area is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty with the local Chesil bank now classed as a World Heritage site - the Jurassic Coast. It is ideal for long walks or a relaxed seaside holiday. It is about a mile and a half from the sea and there are a variety of beaches to choose from ranging from sandy beaches at Weymouth and Lyme Regis to small coves at Eype, Seatown and Burton Bradstock. Bridport, the nearest town is a mile and a half away and has large street markets twice a week of fruit and vegetables, antiques and bric-a-brac. Bridport Leisure Centre is well equipped for indoor swimming, squash, badminton, weight training etc. and there are golf, horseriding, sailing and diving facilities within easy reach. There is a wide choice of restaurants and good pubs including one in Symondsbury only one hundred metres from the house.
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Stuffed with original features including flagstones, delicate plaster mouldings, oak floors, open fireplaces and a fine central staircase ascending through three floors the Old Rectory has full central heating and fire alarm system. The accommodation comprises a tiny Georgian kitchen, with large range-type gas cooker, large fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washing machine; a very large drawing-room with various comfy sofas, a 42" tv/dvd and grand piano; very large dining room with long refectory-type table and chandeliers; 60'long verandah with sunchairs and tables; library with quarter-size billiard table; breakfast-room; eleven double bedrooms - four with super kingsize 6' wide 'boatbeds', one kingsize 4-poster (with an extra single and stowaway single underneath} three antique standard doubles, three twins (one with a futon); three shower rooms and two large bathrooms with central standing roll-top baths. Four of the larger doubles have en-suite facilites, giving you a total of 9 bathrooms. The accommodation sleeps up to 29 but can be booked for parties of twelve and above. Catering for house parties can be arranged if required with an exceptionally good local catering organisation. The decor of the house is eclectic and occasionally eccentric but is in keeping with its period. We have tried to marry comfort with the atmosphere of a traditional country rectory. The building lends itself to weekend houseparties in a genuine and unspoilt Dorset village. Both Thomas Hardy and William Barnes were regular visitors here - and more recently, Mick Jagger - and we like to feel that they would be pleased to see how familiar the house has remained.
Symondsbury is a quiet little village away from the main A35 road that runs from Honiton in Devon to Dorchester, so that tourists pass it by without realizing its attraction. The l6th century cottages and pub are made of cob, a kind of yellow clay that keeps the houses warm, is plastered on the outside and has lasted over the centuries. The roofs are of thatch.A stream wanders through the village coming from a spring that is believed still to have healing properties and people from miles around came to bathe their eyes and usually were healed. An old road leads from the sea through the village, that used to take pilgrims to the shrine af St. Whit at Whitchurch Conanicorum and this ancient track as well as several ather walks reveal the ancient face of the Dorset countryside.The principal house in the village is the Old Rectory, one of the largest rectories in England and provided a very prosperous living for the original rector, who had a fine cellar, many servants and carriages. Thomas Hardy and William Barnes were regular visitors to Symondsbury.Symondsbury is close to the fine beaches of Lyme Bay and within easy reach of many towns and villages. Lyme Regis lies about 6 miles to the west, the town of Bridport just a couple of miles away, Dorchester, Weymouth, Yeovil, Chard, and Crewkerne are all withing a 20 mile radius.
Recommended Places to Visit: Chesil Beach for fossil hunting. Countless others
Recommended Places to Eat Out: The Riverside, West Bay The Bull Hotel, Bridport The Ilchester Arms, Symondsbury
Local Sports: Horse-riding, golf, fishing, shooting, walking,
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