Worminster Farm, North Wootton
A large country house with outbuildings in the middle of a rural idyll but very close to Wells and Glastonbury? Sounds perfect, but what do the current owners really think about living there? Let's ask them.
The current owners of Worminster Farm found it when they were out cycling one dayHow many years have you lived here and how did you come to find it?We have lived at Worminster Farm for 8 years. We found it whilst cycling around the area, after a year of renting locally. I had to stop for breath at the top of the hill and saw it basking in the sun, rather neglected and on seeing the outbuildings, the house, its position and the incredible views we fell in love immediately. From living in Spain and Cape Town for the previous 15 years this was the little piece of home we had been looking for our family own our return home to the UK. Our daughter went to school locally, our son was at Uni and my mother -in -law needed to be housed.We had quite a mission to purchase the house as the water that supplied the property was on a neighbouring farm. We decided the only way forward was to drill a bore hole, the trouble was that we didn’t know if the quality of the water was going to be any good and the bigger issue was that we didn’t own the house, we needed water to comply with the mortgage so it was very important that we found water and that it was drinkable. We took a punt and went for it, found the water, had it tested, and finally completed on the house, we were delighted and the first thing we did was to have a glass of our own mineral water!!!Describe your favourite roomI love the one that we created at the front of the property, this was two rooms with a corridor in between (kitchen and original sitting room) I told the builders to knock the whole thing through and they told me in no uncertain terms that I was mad. However, 2 RSJ’s later and a new floor and they had to eat their words as the room became a light filled oasis with spectacular views down the valley. It is South and West facing so every last drop of sunshine falls across the dining room table each evening.Knocking two rooms through created a light filled space where sunshine falls across the dining tableWe noticed the swimming pond...We decided to put that in last year, after much planning. We have been keen wild swimmers and often swim in the rivers around somerset, so this seemed a natural way forward. The build was very easy as the structure is simple, the plants grew very rapidly and within 4 weeks of starting the pond we were swimming. In the autumn we cut the plants down quite hard and switched off the bubble pump and during last years cold winter it froze over completely and we walked from one end to the other. It attracts all sorts of pond life, from dragon flies to frogs and newts, we love it and use it daily come rain, snow or sun.The natural swimming pondWhat's the commute to work like?We are very lucky as our commute to work is about 30 seconds. The old barn on the property was the first project we set to once we moved in as we needed a home to launch our online stationery business HoneyTreePublishing.
com. The barn was in very poor repair so needed a new roof, insulation and more windows. It is a divine place to work for our team with the same uninterrupted views down the valley as the house. It is very easy to travel to Bath, Bristol and beyond from Worminster. The road links are fantastic and direct. I often have to travel to London and find the train service excellent from Castle Cary.There is a purpose built office/studio in the grounds of Worminster FarmWhat are some of your favourite memories about living here?Worminster farm has been filled with children and laughter from the moment we moved in, the house lends itself to a family as there are plenty of rooms to escape to if you want some solitude and the big kitchen diner is the epicentre of our home where many Christmasses, birthdays and anniversaries have been celebrated. The cottage housed my mother-in-law for seven years and her carers resided in the upstairs. This has a separate entrance and was designed to ensure no disruption to ourselves, it’s an ideal granny annex or for guests - especially during the Glastonbury festival we are always full up!Worminster Farm has a separate cottage and studio in its grounds in addition to the swimming pond.Did you change the garden at all?Yes as it was very neglected when were arrived. The grass was at chest hight and all the shrubs and trees completely out of control. We set to work to clear up and control it and then put in a planting programme. We created the par terre using plants that are not necessarily associated with formal planting areas as I wanted the garden to have a natural almost permacultural feel about it.We cleared and planted the vegetable patch and created a flower garden that attracts the bees, we also planted lavender up the main path way which I am delighted by every summer and once the plants have gone over, we give them a good haircut and dry the massive bunches of lavender that keep the house smelling of summer through the winter months. Last year we planted 950 trees in the back fields, this was an incentive by Sainsburys and The Woodland Trust to commemorate the fallen soldiers in the first world war. The wood will be here long after we have, left for generations to come.There are lavender-lined walkways in the gardenAny insights into the area?Worminster is a small hamlet of about 8 houses on the outskirts of North Wootton, Somerset. I was recently told that it used to be much bigger but in the Middle Ages the plague depleted the population. Some metal detector enthusiast came to the property last autumn and found a number of Roman coins so maybe there was a large Roman settlement here as well. For all things vegan and pagan head to Glastonbury where you can find anything from hemp oils and creams to shamans and druids to help you along your path. Wells has the beautiful cathedral as well as a delightful market square, the christmas service at the cathedral is not to be missed and will encourage even the biggest of Screwdges to enjoy the festive season.Finally what will you miss most about living here and what do you hope for the next owners?The flow of this house has worked very well, I will never get bored of the view down the valley and will miss that incredibly. I love the Victorian achitechture, they seemed to be very generous in their proportions and their attention to detail is astounding, the house feels so solid and spacious yet still maintains a cosyness that we enjoy. A full south facing house is wonderful, and always warm and since we have had all the cavity walls and attic insulated we are as snug as bugs in the colder months. This house deserves to be loved by the next custodians and I am confident they will enjoy it as much as we have.This house is under offer April 2019