An exceptionally rare opportunity to purchase a secluded cottage sitting in an open glade within 75 acres of pristine ancient woodland. Offering unrivalled peace and quietude and an incredible haven for wildlife and nature.
Colwell Wood Cottage, which today is a picturesque wooded retreat, stands in a small clearing in the heart of Colwell Wood, just west of the village of Offwell. Today it forms part of a woodland estate that includes Colwell Wood, Scrub Wood and part of Offwell Woods. The estate has had a fascinating history throughout the ages and was a practical asset for many years with its valuable timber and wooded cover for breeding pheasants and game birds. However, during the twentieth century, new appeal began to emerge for Colwell as a romantic and rural retreat and the current owner, since purchasing the estate in 1985, has had deep affection and a strong desire to preserve this ancient and pristine woodland for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
A brief history.....
The history of Colwell can be traced through nine and a half centuries since it was first mentioned in the Domesday Book and through the Middle Ages it was a fragment within much larger estates owned by great aristocratic families. During the War of the Roses, and the Yorkist rule between 1461 and 1485, it was held by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who finally became King Richard III.
From the 16th century onwards the land passed through several local gentry families and was purchased for the princely sum of £1,210 in 1793 by Admiral Thomas Graves. The Admiral won national fame as Lord Nelson's second in command, achieving a great naval victory at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, with The Times saluting him as 'a very gallant fellow'.
Shortly after this, the cottage was built, possibly (and poetically) as a sylvan retreat for his daughter Mary, or a home for their woodman. It remained as a gamekeeper's or woodman's cottage through to the mid-20th century, before going into decline and dereliction and being acquired by the present owner in the mid-1980s.
Colwell Wood Cottage.
Colwell Wood Cottage comprises an attractive detached property which has been lovingly restored, extended and maintained over the past 30 years. It retains several character features such as the inglenook fireplace in the sitting room and this is supported by a Beerstone jamb and has a woodburner.
Although basic and modest in proportions, the cottage offers three bedrooms; one with an en-suite bathroom on the ground floor and two first floor double bedrooms. The accommodation, as one would imagine, takes advantage of its superb position, having views to the woodland over the wild flower meadow to the front.
The woodland is classified as amenity land and ancient semi-natural woodland comprising mostly Oak, with some Ash and Sycamore among other species. It is currently managed (and has been for many years) by Tilhill Forestry who can be made available for further information to any seriously interested parties, by arrangement through Humberts Honiton.
Offwell is a charming village which has an active community, a primary school and ancient Church of St Mary's. It is conveniently positioned, being about a mile and a half from the market town of Honiton, which is particularly well-known as an antique and book centre, as well as having most of the usual multiples such as Smiths, Boots, Tesco and a variety of independent shops, restaurants, schools, sports centre/swimming pool, golf club and main line rail link to London (Waterloo).
Honiton has excellent communication facilities with a dual carriageway to the Cathedral City of Exeter, some 20 miles to the west. Exeter has excellent shopping and sporting facilities, theatres, art centre, main line rail link to London (Paddington) and an international airport together with M5 access. The Regency coastal resort of Sidmouth lies some 9 miles to the south with its pebble beach (sand at low tide), long esplanade and range of independent shops. The renowned Colyton Grammar School, one of England's top mixed state schools, is situated about 7 miles away.
From Honiton take the A35 Axminster Road at the eastern end of the town and proceed for approximately 2.5 miles. Take the first turning on the right to Offwell after passing the cross roads at Bishops Tower at the top of the hill. Proceed for about 50 yards then turn right in front of a pink cottage. Follow this lane to its end and park by the gate. We would suggest that the first time you visit Colwell you walk down to the cottage and a member of our team will meet you at the first gate.