Some properties are so special that they only come onto the market once in a lifetime. And that once in a lifetime is now for one of Monmouthshire’s most beautiful and unique homes.
Called New Court Farmhouse, arguably everything about this property combines to make it a mouth-watering property proposition. Its location is the first feature to floor you. The character home sits in a prime position within the Monmouthshire countryside – Wales’ most expensive (and some might say beautiful) county.
The 2.26-acre site is surrounded by fields that stretch out like a patchwork quilt with hedgerows and woodland peppering the scene. The house also has views of the Sugar Loaf, Skirrid, and Blorenge mountains on the blue-sky-drenched horizon that encircles it.
On the edge of the land the view down the valley towards the rooftops of Abergavenny and the hilltops of the Black Mountains is a mesmerising composition. Up for sale on this farm site is a characterful former farmhouse that inside combines elegant contemporary style with past classic features to produce an interior design scheme to impress and ignite the imagination with tips you can pinch to incorporate into your own home.
As well as the seven-bed, five-bathroom dream home the sale includes a craft centre that is a detached barn which is currently run as a successful studio exhibiting works by local artists. The ground floor in this bonus building houses the split-level gallery plus a kitchenette and cloakroom.
Outside there is a pretty walled courtyard that has a splendid view out over the lawns of the garden to the rural mountainous vista waiting on the other side of the fence. The third building of this property package is a substantial barn that has the end section converted into a workshop, office, and first-floor gallery with vaulted ceiling.
According to Cadw’s website the barn at New Court Farm is Grade II-listed and has been since 1998 due to it being a “good example of a probably early 18th-century threshing barn”. The listing includes a special mention of its roughly-coursed red sandstone rubble walls and Welsh slate roof, five-bay interior with four principal rafter trusses with ties, three tiers of purlins, and arch ridge piece. In other words – it’s special.
The estate agent selling this unique bundle of buildings states that the craft centre and detached barn have the potential to convert into holiday lets, home office, or ancillary accommodation subject to any necessary planning consents including listed building consent and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. This trio of charming buildings – the house, the craft centre, and the listed barn – are huddled around a central courtyard that’s perfect for privacy and parking.
The majority of the garden to enjoy is away from this courtyard area and around the back of the farmhouse. It’s a garden that stretches to about two acres, filled with views, lawns, trees and shrubs and potential, as the agent suggests it is big enough to separate off a portion to be a dedicated paddock. There are numerous and delightful spots to sit and eat, socialise and relax, including the courtyard at the back of the craft centre and a substantial sun-drenched terrace at the rear of the main house.
It is from this angle in the garden, looking back, that the substantial size of the farmhouse can be fully appreciated too with four gables at the rear at least doubling the footprint of the building. From the front the house looks sizeable – from the back it looks a bit of a beast. But before diving into the gorgeous interiors waiting for you inside there is a special area of garden at the front worth exploring.
It’s an elevated stone terrace with fancy stone balustrades that runs along the side of, and overlooks, the central courtyard. Access to this long charming stone terrace is either from the rear garden or from the characterful half-glass double doors from the kitchen onto a patio area before the walkway begins.
Imagine promenading along this flagstone terrace on a sunny day, overlooking your new and unique home flanked by the hills of the Brecon Beacons National Park. And on a more changeable weather day, or for more atmosphere when dusk arrives, there is a loggia to find at the end of the terrace – a structure with walls and a roof and usually some decoration and at least one wall open to the elements.
The loggia at New Court Farm has all the character you might expect from this unique period property with exposed beams, a fireplace and a picture window framing the view beyond for the diners below. It’s is reminiscent of an Italian villa’s garden but without the guarantee of sunshine.
The main house is said to date back to around 1643 and has been in the same ownership since 1921. According to the agent the present generation acquired the property in 1985 and have since redesigned and modernised the interior, carefully retaining period features including dado rails, ceiling cornices, fireplaces, traditional staircases, and exposed timber beams.
Once through the columned porch entrance a spacious hall greets you with a white and soft cream décor. The neutral and fresh backdrop is perfect to showcase the antique furniture and stunning gold gilt mirror.
The hall sets the interior design scene for the majority of the house, an elegant design that brilliantly blends period features and classic furniture pieces and designs with contemporary tones and touches, especially via the colour tones chosen. To the right is a sitting room that continues the uplifting, light décor but it is finessed it with beautiful nature-inspired wallpaper, fancy gold and damask sofas and armchair, and a sparkling central chandelier.
The period fireplace is, of course, a centrepiece with its dark blue tiles picked up as an accent around the room via cushions and accessories to ensure it is embedded within the room’s interior design. The unique bespoke carpentry that flanks the fireplace gives the room symmetry and cleverly hides the modern radiators. The picture rail, cornicing, and ceiling rose are more period features to enjoy as you sit in this very pleasant room that’s further enhanced by French doors out to the front terrace that overlooks the courtyard.
Back into the hall and the dining room is the next door to explore. It takes you into a surprisingly large double space that is oozing character as well as surely multiple memories of amazing meals enjoyed at the huge table next to the robust stone fireplace. The wall panels and ceiling beams give the room extra visual warmth to complement the actual warmth from the roaring open fire.
The second section of the linked space is so large it can easily accommodate a grand piano in the corner so eating at the dining table with music accompaniment is definitely a delightful option – Mozart with your muesli maybe?
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The double-space dining room then flows into a beast of a space proving that this house is so much bigger inside than the outside suggests. In a section of the property that is rendered outside and not exposed stone, so it looks like a later but not new addition to the older house, is an amazing triple-linked space. The space begins with a stunning kitchen that looks like the cover of a glossy interiors magazine at the front of this wing with double doors out to the front terrace and access to the utility room and cloakroom.
The contemporary colour combination of crisp white with a pale pink accent on the substantial kitchen island, plus a black accent via accessories, furniture, and the modern radiator creates a kitchen that feels of the present. But it is also elegantly timeless in its Shaker-style design and classic choices for light fittings and with two windows as well as the French doors the views bring nature’s timeless design into the space too. The kitchen, designed by Neptune, can offer a range of appliances including an Aga, two ovens, two hobs, plate warmer, dishwasher, and separate fridge and freezer.
Once the kitchen has rendered you speechless with its beauty an open double doorway flows into a lounge that continues the sophisticated style with the ceiling beams painted white and the chimney breast a dark and moody grey – again paint does a lot of the hard work. There’s the continuation of period-style furniture and accessories to bring the classic into this space cloaked in contemporary colours. Light is no issue within this central section of the trio of linked rooms with a window next to the fireplace plus the use of light floor tiles. As well as bringing a touch of nature to the room these limestone floor tiles are working hard to create optimum flow between the three linked spaces; used throughout they unify the spaces and are visually pleasing, allowing the floor to gently guide your eyes into the next space waiting for you.
Accessed through an archway from the lounge this final room is special,. Flanked on three sides by a collection of windows and doors out to the garden it offers a delightful socialising space at the end, plus open access into the conservatory.
It’s the kind of open and generous space, not crowded with furniture or stuffed with accessories, that people gravitate towards during parties – further enhanced with seamless access to the spill out into the garden. The ground floor of this dream home is a collection of amazing spaces but the two floors above can easily compete. And when you think that all the reception space is done and dusted there’s the most surprising addition to stumble across on the first floor.
In the later additional wing that’s above the kitchen is an additional lounge that has decided ceilings are ‘so last season’ and decided not to have one – and the space is all the better for it.
The result of no constricting ceiling is a double-height room raised to the roof rafters with pine cladding adding to the visual spectacle above. It’s almost easy to miss the fact that this room has French doors out to a first-floor balcony and stunning views as you gawp upwards. It’s a bonus reception room that is surely a peaceful spot away from the busier rooms below it.
Of course a new owner could easily turn this first-floor lounge into the most amazing master bedroom, with a feature roof above and feature views from the bed, but there are another seven to choose from, four of which have an en suite. Maybe the principal bedroom at this wonderful abode is at the front of the house, overlooking the courtyard, as it can boast a large en suite. But there’s also a delightful room at the rear, also with an en suite, that has mesmerising views of the Monmouthshire countryside.
Then there’s a bedroom on the top floor that has a dressing room next door and another room coming off it that could make a perfect nursery or lounge space for this bedroom. Choices, choices, but it’s a fantastic situation to be in – so many attractive bedrooms to choose from as your special sanctuary that complement so many spaces to entertain and enjoy in this most special of homes.
New Court Farmhouse, its bonus buildings, land, and a prime location is on the market with a guide price of £1.625m with estate agent Knight Frank. Call their Bristol branch on 0117 911 6813 to find out more. And to make sure you never miss the best dream homes in Wales, renovation stories and interiors, join the Amazing Welsh Homes newsletter, which is sent out to your inbox twice a week.