Illness forces owner to sell �3m rectory

A STUNNING Georgian rectory in one of Suffolk’s prettiest villages is to be sold as its owner faces a battle with cancer.

Susie Darvell-Wright bought the Old Rectory with her husband, Jonathan, six years ago in the idyllic Suffolk village of Lavenham.

The pair lovingly restored the Grade II-listed building, transforming it into a luxury bed and breakfast hotel.

But the couple have since decided to sell the eight-bedroom property as Mrs Darvell-Wright is being treated for cancer, having been diagnosed in January this year.

She said: “It was a very difficult decision to leave. We have worked so hard. I have put my life and soul into this place.”

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Having transformed the handsome building into a five-star hotel with three luxury suites, Mrs Darvell-Wright said she now felt very at home in Suffolk. The couple moved to Lavenham from Surrey.

“Suffolk is just such a beautiful county,” she said. “You have so many things right on your doorstep.

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“We have created something here that is so dear to me and the village.

“It is a beautiful house. I have created my dream.”

Despite undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Mrs Darvell-Wright has carried on running the hotel, winning the prestigious AA Accommodation of the Year award for England 2010/11.

But Mrs Darvell-Wright said she realised the challenge of running it was now just too much.

“It is a very nerve-wracking thing, having cancer,” she said.

“You can get very low. At one of those low moments, I thought perhaps I had better be sensible for once in my life and sell it.”

As well as a morning room, reception rooms and breakfast room, the property also comes with a thatched summer house and walled vegetable garden.

The luxury bed and breakfast hotel has a guide price of �3million with Savills estate agents and is thought to be one of the most expensive properties to be marketed in Lavenham. “I have put my whole life into this place,” Mrs Darvell-Wright said.

“It has literally been blood, sweat and tears. It will be a huge wrench to leave.”

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