The Old Rectory at Church Eaton is not only an exquisitely pretty Grade II Listed country house but it has also undergone a full refurbishment to combine a wonderful mix of the best modern building technologies and home entertainment with a traditional country house of good stature.
Originally a Queen Anne rectory the house has evolved with later Victorian and modern additions which provide the modern family living spaces to complement the gracious reception rooms in the original part of the house. All works have been carried out to the highest possible standards and have been carefully thought out to maintain the balance between the classic architecture and state of the art technologies woven through the fabric of the building.
Standing centrally in its own grounds, The Old Rectory is approached through an impressive entrance along a long sweeping driveway which as one turns left-handed opens up to a full front on view of the main facade of the house. In the immediate surroundings of the house are various formal hard landscaped areas which blend seamlessly into the more open and informal grounds beyond. There is a wealth of mature trees throughout the grounds, providing both privacy and shade, including horse chestnut, copper beech and an imposing cedar of Lebanon.
The house is complimented by a range of outbuildings which includes the coach house which provides extensive garaging, gardening store and storage on the first floor, a further double garage with utility room, and gym with music room and study. Subject to the necessary planning permission, this has potential for further development into extra accommodation or leisure space.
Extensively refurbished by the previous owner, The Old Rectory, Church Eaton has undergone a further complete renovation, over the last few years by the current owner. Two main principles run through the whole of the project. Firstly, respect for the traditional period features of the house, and secondly, great attention to detail, culminating in the use of very high specification building materials throughout and to incorporate some of the latest information technology. Our client has been unerringly single-minded in his pursuit of the perfect country house and has made certain at every stage of the project that everything is done to the highest possible standard. The house has been rewired, a new heating and plumbing system installed (which is so well thought out that every tap in the house can deliver hot water within 2 seconds) and a bespoke home entertainment system throughout with integrated ceiling speakers that will allow music to be streamed wirelessly into any room in the house and can be controlled by either the wall panels or by smartphone or tablet
The award-winning cinema room is the jewel in the crown which brings a taste of Hollywood to this charming rural part of Staffordshire. This state of the art facility reflects the high levels of technology throughout the house and the current owner has made sure that this is an exceptional and advanced room.
The Old Rectory, Church Eaton incorporates a traditional range of formal entertaining rooms with a contemporary wing that caters for modern family living. The original and more formal part of the house is approached from the front through a formally planted walled garden. The front door opens into a hallway which gives access, on the left, to a drawing room enjoying views to three aspects, featuring sash and casement windows with working shutters; to the right a door leads into the reading room and study which has been sympathetically restored with oak flooring and bespoke built-in book shelves also made of oak, with a secret door leading through the book shelves back into the modern part of the house. The elegant morning room is also accessed from the library, which enjoys light throughout the first part of the day through bay windows.
Also accessed through the main hall is the dining room which leads through double glazed doors to a recently added orangery. French doors lead from the orangery to a paved terrace in the rear garden. Beside the staircase in the hall is a butler's pantry which is fully fitted to a high standard and is well situated for entertaining. In addition there is also a wine cellar. A door on the far side of the dining room leads through into the modern wing of the house.
The modern wing is best approached by entering the courtyard and going through the separate front door to this part of the house. A porch area provides useful storage space and also houses the air conditioning plant for the cinema. This secondary front door leads into the impressive staircase hall, which has an elegant sweeping staircase leading to a circular landing above. There is a great sense of light in this space, both from the tall atrium window running the height of it which is glazed with Polish glass and has a charming oak leaf stained glass vignette running around the outside of it, and also an additional dormer window at the top of the landing which lights the area from two aspects.
From the staircase hall, an archway leads into the kitchen/living room. The new bespoke kitchen with granite worktops made by Kenton Jones features many conveniences including a 3-bay electric Aga with gas hobs in the third bay. This family living space is very flexible and at present is configured
with a sitting area adjoining the kitchen, while steps lead down to an informal dining room with French windows leading out onto the terrace. This modern part of the house enjoys under-floor heating throughout and offers comfortable informal family space.
A passageway joins this part of the house to the body of the original house through either the library or the dining room, also off this passageway is a fully fitted boot room with extensive built-in wall storage, leading through into the utility room offering further storage, bespoke dog shower, and back door access to the garden.
All of the first floor bedrooms enjoy beautifully specified en suite bathrooms with great attention to detail using top quality hardware and sanitary ware all tiled in a sympathetic yet contemporary fashion.
The access to first floor accommodation is both from the impressive modern staircase hall into a galleried landing, and also from the staircase in the original part of the house. The sweeping staircase leads up into a galleried landing giving access to the cinema, a guest bedroom and a secondary landing leading to the master bedroom suite which enjoys a fully fitted dressing room with a large en suite bathroom / shower room / wet room. At the end of this secondary landing is another bedroom which links through into the original part of the house by a door on the opposite side of the room. Here there is a very large landing and sitting area with original oak floorboards enjoying much light from tall sash windows. This leads into an impressive guest bedroom suite which enjoys views to three aspects. The bathroom of this suite is built with great luxury in mind, with both a large bath and a corner power shower.
From this landing there is an additional staircase leading up to the second floor, which has a further 4 bedrooms, storage space and a family bathroom, as well as a family shower room. This top landing is lit from above by a dormer window high up, and the original oak floorboards give a suggestion of the provenance and history of this house.
The Old Rectory, benefits from a very flexible range of outbuildings, some of which have been converted to the high standard one would expect from the rest of the house, while others offer the potential for further development.
An open double garage creates a courtyard parking area outside the modern wing of the house. The double garage boasts a utility room, and behind the house is the old smoke-house, which has been used as garden storage and also has an attached outside WC. The coach house provides further extensive garaging alongside the drive, leading down to another courtyard area where doors open into a garden store. This building has a first floor loft running the length of it, providing further storage space. There is planning consent to convert part of this range of buildings into two dwellings although, subject to the necessary planning permission, the space would lend itself very well to conversion to offices.
Behind this a former cowshed has been developed to house a gym, study and music room. All of this space could be converted, with the appropriate planning permission, for a number of purposes and provides great flexibility.
The Old Rectory is approached from a country lane through an impressive gateway. The driveway sweeps through the informal, park like grounds, turning towards the house and allowing that first glimpse of it to open up into a view of the full facade. Immediately surrounding the house are more formal landscaped gardens with many different seating areas for outside entertaining.
These are surrounded by open parkland and an orchard, which are well planted with yew, horse chestnut, copper beech and a cedar of Lebanon. To the rear of the house is a large pond, while a gravelled path crosses the garden to the old rectors gate. At this point there is another gravelled path going through a woodland walk.
To the front of the house is a delightful walled garden laid out in its original format. This beautiful traditional English garden is planted with symmetrical borders and well stocked with cottage garden and herbaceous plants, roses and lavender.
The surrounding land is mostly meadows grazed by sheep. To the east of the house, what must have originally been the kitchen garden is surrounded by a local sandstone wall which leads on to the orchard, which is planted with damsons, apples and pears. Beyond the gardens at The Old Rectory there are about 17 acres of pasture and views over open countryside, providing protection and further amenity to the house.