3, High Street
Packed full of historical features, the current owners of this 7-bed property explain how it gives you the option to work from home, raise a family
and enjoy a garden sanctuary in the middle of a vibrant, fashionable Somerset town
The garden at 3 High Street, Bruton, a large family home with plenty of business potential too
Can you describe how you felt when you first viewed this house?
Absolutely! It was a bright and very cold day in January 1999. We were looking to buy the pharmacy business that was run here up to recently, but we also wanted a home for us and our two teenage sons. What we found was quite amazing! We came in through the hall and remember being excited by all the different features of the house as we were shown round, for example, the courtyard and its Tudor building which were totally unexpected. When we discovered the walled garden and the large building at the bottom of the garden (described as garaging for two cars) we wondered who they belonged to and couldn't believe it when we were told it was all included! It was an exciting venture for us, buying and taking over an existing business, moving to Bruton with two boys 14 and 16 and it didn't disappoint. Living here has provided us with a livelihood and a fantastic family home in a vibrant community.
Which are your favourite rooms?
Andy’s study is light, warm and sunny and overlooks the garden - it's a quiet retreat from the rest of the house. We also like the first floor, open-plan area in the coach house which has a very interesting design, with a feature window overlooking the garden. There is lovely lighting in there, especially in the evening.
The Coach House is light and airy and overlooks the garden
The outside space is one of the hidden gems about this property - being able to find peace and calm right on the high street..
That's right. We actually built the summerhouse about four years ago and it's become a real escape. We also redesigned the courtyard to include the fish pond and create a really private open air socialising area that's beautifully cool on very hot summer evenings. The garden is a private sheltered area, good for children to run around in and is well planted and managed to provide year-round colour. It's truly an oasis of calm, especially appreciated in the middle of a town.
The courtyard at 3, High Street, Bruton makes for a great entertaining space
You mentioned that the house has an amazing historical background - can you explain more?
Yes and we've found mentions of the house's archaeological details in books like “Traditional Houses of Somerset” by Jane Penoyre, and “Bruton, an intimate urban ideal – a survey past and present.”
Here are just a few of them...
- As far as we can tell, the earliest archaeological features date the building to the mid 15thcentury and we have copies of ownership records dated from the mid 17thcentury which are almost complete to date.
- There is a 11/12thcentury archway into the garden which likely came from Bruton Abbey.
- Two of the great families of Bruton ( Dampiers and Ludwells) have lived here – if you find Dampiers treasure you can keep it and in fact you can still see Henry Dampier's centuries-old 'graffiti' - his name - written on a piece of glass.
- The property was known as “formerly Roper’s tenement” in the 17thcentury, and since then there have been silk workers, apothecaries, tea merchants, a Dentist, and the premises were registered as a Pharmacy in 1820.
- The small shed in the garden was used as a pigsty in the war, and Army Engineers used the Coach House.
- There is also an old Victorian range hidden behind a wall in the dining room and an old bread oven in the kitchen.
- 200 years ago it was a Gentleman’s residence, but since 1799 it has also been a business location.
- You can still see carpenters' marks on the Tudor building.
The house dates back centuries
So interesting! Of course living here isn't just about looking after a museum piece though, what does 21st Century Bruton have to offer?
Such a lot. For a start, the central location of the property on the High Street is very convenient. It's possible to walk to most social events in Bruton, and there are currently five restaurants, three takeaways and two pubs serving food. The town has excellent services, including a doctor's surgery, an excellent pharmacy (relocated down the high street) a dental practice and a physiotherapist, a Post Office (with banking facilities) a community-run library, four convenience food stores, and a host of other various shops. Bruton has some of the best schools in the county including Kings Bruton and All Hallows both of our boys did well at Sexey’s school, which is state-run. The town is a mixture of people from different backgrounds - there are longstanding local families and people who have moved to Bruton bringing a wealth of experience and different skills. It is an outstanding vibrant local community, which holds pride in the town. I love when you walk down the High Street someone will always hello or good morning! And when you want some country life, there are lots of walks that head out from Bruton and a series of 20 local walks have been published. Stourhead, a leading National Trust House and Garden is also a go to favourite place.
The front of 3, High Street Bruton which has two front rooms that can be used as a business if required - it used to be a pharmacy
Somerset is renowned for delicious local produce - is Bruton for foodie-lovers too?
Yes - there are plenty of great places to eat and drink like At The Chapel and the newly-opened Bruton Table and we would recommend all of them, including the Shepton Montague Inn, and The Bull, Hardway. There is a wealth of good local produce available in the local shops and a number of internationally acclaimed cheesemakers in and around Bruton like Godminster Cheese. There is a fish seller on Fridays and farm shops nearby.
How easy is it to get to London, Bath or Frome from here?
No trouble at all, Bruton has easy access to Bath and Bristol, Wells, and two coasts (West or South). The railway station has trains to Bristol, Bath, Weymouth and London, and the Berry’s bus goes to London from Wincanton.
Back to the house...what's your favourite memory of living here?
We've loved hosting significant family events and some memorable parties here too. There are locally organized 'Safari' suppers and we have anjoyed entertaining at dinner parties, and staff Christmas parties. We have just generally enjoyed living in this place, enjoying family times in the house and coach house. It is lovely sometimes when we are sitting in the summerhouse in the evening to watch the swallows and bats in the garden.
The summerhouse is the perfect place to spend Summer evenings
What do you hope for the next owners of this house?
That they understand the continuity and responsibility of owning a historic building in a historic town, and that they enjoy the rich social and cultural life of Bruton. It is an amazing place to live!
To book a viewing at 3, The High Street, please call our Bruton office on 01749 605099 or click here for more info and other houses for sale in Bruton, Wells and Somerset.