An historically important and exceptionally rare Grade I Listed Chantry set in grounds of approaching an acre within this much sought-after village.
The Chantry is situated in the heart of the tiny village of Combe Raleigh, which itself is located on the northern side of the wide Otter Valley. Combe Raleigh is set on the edge of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and delightful local country walks emanate from the gate of the property.
The Chantry is set well within its mature gardens and grounds which extend to approximately 0.86 acre and which create a most apt setting with areas of sweeping lawn, sunken terrace and many mature trees and shrubs such as Magnolia, Walnut and Mulberry and are bounded to the north east by a tiny stream. Combe Raleigh has, over the centuries, been part of many well known Devonshire family estates and is dominated by the Parish Church of St Nicholas to which The Chantry has had a long association.
The market town of Honiton lies approximately 1.5 miles to the south with a good range of shops, sport and leisure
facilities and main line rail link to London (Waterloo). The Cathedral city and county town of Exeter is about 25 miles away and has an excellent shopping centre, theatres, main line rail link to London (Paddington), M5 access and
The World Heritage coast at Lyme Bay colloquially known as The Jurassic Coast, is about 11 miles distance. There are
several schools in the locality comprising both state and
independent. Colyton Grammar School, one of England's top mixed state schools is approximately 13 miles to the south west.
The Chantry is a rare Grade I Listed property which was built probably circa 1400s (the property was extended and modernised in 1933) when Alice and John Bonville were
licensed to found a perpetual chantry at Combe Raleigh, and the National Archives show that a John Adams was the Chantry Priest at the house during the 1520s and 1530s. However, Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries changed the religious allegiances significantly, and in 1547 the first parliament called by Edward VI dissolved all the chantries and associated practices. Combe Raleigh and The Chantry then became a possession of the first Duke of
Somerset who was Lord Protector during Edward VI's
minority and the property then proceeded to have a number of owners such as the Pomeroys and the Marwoods, who owned the estate for many centuries until the 19th century.
The present owner has lived in the house for over forty years during which time it has been featured in Melanie Backle-Hansens book House Histories. Architecturally The Chantry has many fine and original period features, too
numerous to describe in any detail here however, they
include two staircases, one a very ancient newel staircase which was described by Richard Polwhele in his History of Devonshire, as a ''remarkable staircase of heart and oak''. This is contained in a stair turret which rises two storeys on the east of the house and of course the lofty 'Hall' with its
deeply moulded and painted cross beamed ceiling with carved bosses and original plank & muntin screen and truly splendid large fireplace. There is also a heavily beamed dining room with large inglenook fireplace with Beerstone dressings and old bread oven, and on the first floor there is thought to have been a ''Solar'', now known as the Priest's Room. The solar was a room for the family's benefit in which they could be private. There is also a former 'garderobe' in evidence in bedroom one. It was the priests private chapel.
The house is traditionally built of mellow local flintstone under a slated roof. It was formerly thatched until the 1930s when it was extended and modernised, and is an exceedingly rare piece of Devon's social and architectural history.
A Chantry was an established home for the priest who was employed to chant or sing the mass for the souls of the founders, or for the people specified by them (a form of get out of hell free card!)
GARDENS AND GROUNDS
The property is approached from the lane over a
tarmacadam drive to a large gravelled parking area with space for a number of vehicles. The gardens completely surround the property, are well enclosed and bordered to the north east by a tiny stream, a tributary of the River Otter. The gardens create a most attractive mature and colourful setting with many well established trees, shrubs and plants, and include areas of lawn bordered and
interspersed by many well established colourful trees shrubs and plants including Magnolia Walnut and Mulberry. To the south west there is also a sunken terrace and a thatched summerhouse, kitchen garden area, timber 'office' and glass house. In all the grounds extend to approximately 0.86 acre.