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It is with great pleasure that Arnold & Phillips brings to the market for the first time in 47 years this unique and beautiful 17th Century four bedroomed residence, situated in a peaceful and desirable location in the attractive village of Rufford, West Lancashire. Facing South over large secluded gardens, this historic house has an extraordinary wealth of awe inspiring period features, including stone fireplaces, leaded windows, exposed ancient timbers and rafters, exquisite historic panelling, arched doorways, and a minstrels gallery. Built in 1675 of handmade brick, and formerly a farmhouse forming part of the Hesketh Estate, The Hermitage was extensively remodelled and extended in the 1940’s and 50’s with meticulous and devoted attention to design and detail, to create the enchanting family home.
Ideally tucked away in a delightful semi-rural conservation area, there are excellent primary and secondary schools nearby, good amenities, transport and commuter links. Rufford has a National Trust property, a railway station, and St Mary’s Marina on the canal, with two cafes. There is also a pub/restaurant, village shop and garage, a pharmacy, and a hairdresser. There are also extensive rural and canal-side walks and cycle routes.
The property is accessed from the lane through a gated driveway with parking space for a number of vehicles. On entering through the formal front door, there is a spacious vestibule with adjacent cloakroom/ WC featuring an interesting stained glass window. The vestibule opens out into a stunning hall with a high vaulted ceiling, leaded windows, ancient exposed English oak beams and an enclosed panelled staircase leading to the first floor, complete with a minstrels gallery- which gives an air of Shakespearian drama! A mellow oak parquet floor flows through the hall and most of the ground floor. To the right of the hall is the dining room, lined with exquisitely carved, Jacobean oak panelling. There is a large open fireplace, with stone hearth, surround and mantlepiece, and dual aspect windows overlooking the garden.
To the left of the hall one goes through an arched doorway into two spacious adjoining reception rooms. The first is a large sitting room full of charm and character, exposed beams, dual aspect windows, and a large open fireplace with a stone hearth. Another arched doorway leads to a further more formal sitting room, which is half panelled with bleached oak, featuring a charming carved frieze of fruits, seeds and leaves. This room has a large leaded window overlooking the flagged courtyard, and French windows overlooking the garden, giving this room a light and airy feel. To the back of the hall is the dining kitchen, with a door to the courtyard, dual aspect windows, an oil fired Aga, quarry tiled floor and a plentiful range of fitted cupboards.
On the first floor are four bedrooms. The master bedroom is spectacular with high rafters and exposed beams, extensive built in wardrobes, three leaded windows and stunning views over the garden. A second large double bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and exposed beams, large fitted wardrobes, with dual aspect windows overlooking the garden and the lane. This room also has a washstand basin. A further double bedroom overlooks the lane and features mirrored fitted wardrobes along one wall and a washstand basin. At the end of the minstrels gallery is a charming small room with a fitted cupboard, currently used as an office/sewing room, but which can accommodate a single bed. Also on this floor is the fully tiled, art deco style family bathroom with a large ceramic bathtub with overhead shower and glass screen, a WC and wash hand basin.
Externally, there is an exquisite detached, thatched former stable block, currently used for storage, but which would be ideal for conversion into ancillary accommodation or office space subject to the usual planning consents. The extensive garden extends to over an acre and is mainly laid to lawn, bordered with old stone walls, mature trees, hedges, flower beds and shrubs to include a range of spectacular rhododendrons. The South facing flagstoned terrace provides a secluded and peaceful sun trap, also perfect for entertaining. The terrace and courtyard areas have a number of old stone troughs for planting and the garden also features an ancient stone apple crusher, or cider press.
Now in need of some modernisation and refurbishment, this property offers 3,261 square foot of luxury living accommodation set in a plot extending to approximately one acre. Nestled in the heart of a pretty village community, the privilege of owning one of this area’s most special homes lies in wait for its next spellbound custodian.