White House Farm - farmhouse restored with loving care for The Good Life

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne - Credit: Archant

White House Farm is an historic, timbered farmhouse which has been lovingly restored and modernised by its owners, Roger Day and Grant Filshill.

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne - Credit: Archant

When they moved in, in 2004, it had changed little for many years.

They bought it from Peter Saunders and it had been tenanted by the same family for 50 years.

Before that it had belonged to the same estate for several hundred years.

Roger, an events promoter, said: “It was completely untouched with everything boarded/bricked over in the 60s. This was of course to our advantage as none of the original features had been lost and ruined.

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne - Credit: Archant


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“We painstakingly restored the house to what it should be, with few modern interferences as we could manage.”

Roger and Grant moved to Suffolk from London in 2001, buying the Forge, at Stradbroke.

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Having discovered the delights of living in Suffolk they set about finding something more rural.

That was White House Farm.

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne - Credit: Archant

Reading Green is a hamlet on the outskirts of the historic village of Hoxne, near Eye.

This home lies outside the hamlet, in a lovely position, on a no-through lane with just three other properties.

Amenities are in Hoxne itself and the small town of Eye, about six miles, including schooling to sixth form level.

Roger Day said: “In October 2004 we purchased White House Farm. “The house had been tenanted for over 50 years by the same family and had belonged to a larger estate for many generations before that.

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne

White House Farm, Reading Green, Hoxne - Credit: Archant

“Our research shows that indeed it had hardly ever been owned by its occupants from the time it was built, in - we understand the late 1400’s. “The house had been preserved for us, by the landlord boxing in every timber, fireplace, walls and ceiling in about the 1950’s. The interior and exterior had been well maintained, but although looking like a slightly neglected house on the outside, it had stood vacant for a year, the joys of discovering all its hidden heritage lay before us.

“A long and very dirty renovation ensued, with our fabulous local builder John Harrison (now retired).

“We now vow “never again” to live in a house whilst undertaking such a mammoth task, climbing ladders to bed, trying to fight off dirt, mice and maintaining a sense of order was a challenge.”

Next they set about planting a boundary of natural hedging to the 2.25 acre garden, and 100 trees. They had a visit from the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. Roger said:

“Our site is of historical interest as it appears to form part of the original Reading Green and as such they were very excited that we wanted to create a natural environment amidst the agricultural fields in which all number of wildlife could flourish.

“We now think we have achieved this, with hares, barn owls and red deer as visitors, to name but a few.

“The meadows have never been treated with pesticides so you could say we are organic.”

With Roger and Grant looking towards semi-retirement, in Norfolk they feel their time as guardians of this historic home has come to an end.

Roger added: “We now feel it is time for someone (Tom and Barbara maybe?) who want The Good Life, with room for pigs, goats, hens and geese and a completely self-sufficient vegetable garden, to take over this wonderful home and environment. and enjoy and love it as we have done so.”

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