See inside: Own your very own part of history in the heart of Lovejoy country
PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:25 24 June 2019
A landmark 16th century cottage in the west Suffolk village of Brent Eleigh has gone on the market, giving potential buyers the opportunity to own a Tudor masterpiece.
The five-bedroom Corner Farmhouse is a work of art, with original character lovingly re-instated by the current owners.
It is set in the heart of what is colloquially known as Lovejoy Country following the success of the TV comedy drama featuring Ian McShane as an antique dealer.
Historic Lavenham, with its great collection of timbered buildings, is nearby.
Corner Farmhouse was cleverly created by combining two separate cottages, probably for a rich weaver, and it is full of character. There are nine star-capped chimneys, beautiful fireplaces and original timbers.
Owners John and Fiona Alton have been here almost 20 years.
John explained they fell in love with Suffolk timbered houses when he was stationed at RAF Wattisham, never expecting to get the opportunity to buy one.
Years later he spotted Corner Farmhouse in a magazine. He said: "We were the 69th people to view it and it went to highest bids."
Mr Alton, an antique dealer himself, has carefully researched the house and restored over time, replacing beams where they had been lost, and revealing the original brick fireplaces and removing modern ones. The couple also added the French-style Aga kitchen.
And he has discovered three priest holes - hiding places for priests during the time of Catholic persecution - and revealed them.
This is a Grade II* building, for its historical and architectural merit, so every change needed permission from planners.
He has restored the barn and workshop, where he restored antiques, and it is equally useful as a party barn, garage or perhaps an annexe.
At the end of the garden a former cattle byre has been converted into a guest or holiday cottage, taking its design pointers from the main house.
This special building has often been painted by artists and captured by photographers.
Watercolour artist AR Quinton painted it in 1907 and it was printed as souvenir postcards. His work often appeared on calenders as well.
For the Altons it has proved to be a great family home.
He said: "We have absolutely loved it here. It is a great community of lovely people."
It even featured as a backdrop for The Antiques Roadshow when it came to the area.
And that roguish antique dealer Lovejoy had his photograph taken here when his fictional workshop was just along the road.
This property is on the market with Sworders with a guide of £1.5m.
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