The Lodge at Broke Hal Park in Nacton is a lovely home in riverside parkland and it could be yours for £750,000
- Credit: Archant
Broke Hall Park, the country seat of British naval war hero Sir Philip Broke and his family, today is a community of individually designed homes, and apartments within the mansion, all in a deer park setting.
Only a few minutes drive from eastern Ipswich, Waitrose and John Lewis, and with great A12/A14 links it is a beautiful, tree-lined setting on the banks of the River Orwell - opposite Pin Mill on the other bank.
The homes here have access to the communal parkland and on to riverside paths, great for walking dogs, running or cycling.
Among the properties is The Lodge, a Victorian home in a woodland clearing, with landscaped gardens which has gone on the market for £750,000.
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The Lodge dates from about 1850, and it replaced an earlier lodge that had to be demolished.
The current owners, Gary Picken and Carol Culshaw, have spent the past 18 months on a major refurbishment, updating this quirky home.
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Wooden floor have been taken up and re-laid, insulation improved and re-decoration taken place throughout.
Planning permission exists for further improvements.
There are lots of original features too, including decorative woodcarving around the front door and below the eaves.
There is what appears to be a fox carved above the front door. Or could it be a badger - and a link to the Broke family name, which is pronounced brook?
Brock is a traditional name for a badger, of course.
The Lodge, (later extended in the 1980s), is a grand building for its purpose, possibly due to the rivalry of the families who owned the neighbouring estates - Broke Hall and Orwell Park.
Mrs Culshaw said: “We have spent 18 months refreshing it and developing its potential.
“We have re-configured the rooms upstairs and there is a Juliet balcony with doors and views over the woodland garden.
“This 1980s sun room was added then - we spend so much time out here,” she added. “The building is so sheltered from the wind, and we get the sunshine all the day.”
Outside they have cleared overgrown areas and trees, and landscaped the garden.
Mrs Culshaw said: “We are passionate about gardening.
“This really is a little piece of heaven; it is amazing.
“It is an incredible place for wildlife.
“The dawn chorus’ are amazing in spring. They will soon be here again.”
Fencing is needed to prevent deer coming right up to the house, and eating the plants.
Mr Culshaw added: “It is delightful here, whatever the weather.
“Wherever we have gone, to live, Carol has created an incredible garden for us.”
The couple met in North Borneo, and lived in New Zealand for a time, before returning to Suffolk.
There are links to New Zealand in their home and the garden.
Their dining table is a glass top on a a slice of a trunk from a New Zealand Totara tree.
And in their woodland garden there is a yellow-flowered Kowhai tree, a New Zealand native (though it grows a lot taller there.)
Several other plants from New Zealand thrive here.
The Lodge is set in about and acre of gardens and trees include oak, sycamore, ash, lime and silver birch.
It adjoins the 45 acre deer park, on the banks of the Orwell, communal grounds to be enjoyed by the owners of homes here.
The Lodge is accessed from the main, tree-lined drive.
The driveway continues on to the original mansion. Beyond is a 16 acre meadow between the park and the foreshore, and shared by the homeowners.
The Lodge has a sitting room and fully fitted kitchen, dining room, conservatory, and a loggia, an inner hallway, snug and cloakroom.
There is a master bedroom suite, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Planning permission exists to enclose the loggia, on the side of the house, and also to convert the cart lodge/garage block into additional guest or living accommodation.
It currently includes a studio apartment.