Always dreamed of island living?
Nestled between Chelmsford and Maldon, lies Little Baddow – a quintessentially charming Essex village and one with its very own Treasure Island.
Fenn Wright has been in Essex & Suffolk for 250 years so we have certainly seen our fair share of characterful properties, uniquely eccentric homes, grand period buildings and contemporary design-led wonders. In our quest to unite buyers with their dream homes, it was a joyful surprise to uncover this unusual hidden gem on the waters of Little Baddow.
You will not find Captain Silver or Benjamin Gunn here but you will find a romantic tale of life on a very special and individual piece of land on the banks of Papermill Lock. This area can be traced back to Roman times, through the Iron Age, Bronze Age and Stone Age, and even as far back as the Mesolithic period; so buried gold and maps where X marks the spot may well have a historic connection here after all!
Complete with 4 private moorings and private fishing rights for up to 10 rods, Treasure Island is around 0.75 of an acre surrounded by water serving the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation and Papermill Lock. The detached property sits centrally within its grounds where established planting of trees and foliage offer seclusion and naturally attracts wildlife, making this house a nature lover’s paradise.
The question will be how you choose to arrive at your new home, as the island is accessible by either boat, or car via a private driveway. Meandering for 14 miles via 11 locks through the unexpectedly green and tranquil heart of Essex, the part river, part canal, starts from the centre of Chelmsford and continues to the sea at Heybridge Basin – a serene escape on the Essex Coastline.
The driveway leads to a substantial parking area to the front of the house and there are a collection of outbuildings and a detached timber framed former storage building, converted and offering studio accommodation. The generous doors bathe the studio in light and allow the outside to form part of the inside. A large decked area and terrace seating give the perfect viewing platform over the 4 weir pools making this a superb spot to watch the water voles, otters and large bream that are often seen by the current owners.
The two bedroom single storey house itself is equally unique and looks very much at home in its surrounding environment. It is obvious to see from the interior that this is a much loved home with a charming cottage style kitchen with AGA, bright and welcoming entrance, a big bay window in the master bedroom to frame the picturesque outdoor setting, spacious open plan living area and a luxurious family bathroom.
After 18 truly wonderful years of living the ‘good life’ and residing on their very own private island, owners Mr & Mrs Williams are now looking to retire to pastures new.
“We will both miss this special place very much”, said Mr Williams. “The lifestyle that we have appreciated all these years will hopefully be re-lived by the new owners. I’ve spent years catching bream, pike, roach and chub, not to mention walking my dogs along the towpath in all seasons and weathers. The beauty of living here is being able to get on the water, from your own doorstep, whenever you choose. I’ve loved either getting on my boat or going for a paddle in the canoe. I’ve spotted over 30 different birds and we keep our own chickens too, so having the opportunity to spend so much time outdoors in an area, much of which is protected by the Essex Wildlife Trust and National Trust has been a wonderful memory maker.”
The property also has planning permission to convert the loft to create two first floor bedrooms, a bathroom and to extend the ground floor living space in addition to the erection of a detached double bay cart lodge.
Karl Manning, Partner at Fenn Wright in Chelmsford added: “In summary, if you are in search of something a little bit different which offers privacy, tranquillity and a unique waterside setting, yet is only 6 miles from the city of Chelmsford, then Treasure Island may be the equivalent to finding your buried gold.”