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Ralph Reviews

Ralph reviews a detached period cottage in Whixall near Whitchurch

Last week Spring seemed to tentatively peak her head round the corner but, its fair to say that on my walks this week she has been nowhere to be seen!  I have to confess to being rather concerned about the daffodils that have started to come to life, I fear they may have been a little hasty.  I have tried to explain this to them through the medium of “sniff” but they stubbornly keep growing, as if they just can’t wait any longer for those soothing days of early Spring… I know the feeling…

As we all eagerly await warmer and brighter days, I hope that my latest Ralph’s Review will be a suitable distraction.  I was informed by the team that this week I would be heading off to Whixall near Whitchurch to cast my eye over a period cottage.  My ears pricked up at those two words – I do love a cottage and any period property is always going to tickle my taste buds.  And so it was, with a great deal of enthusiasm and as much straining on the lead as I could get away with, that I boarded the car with dad in tow as my chauffeur!

As we set off, I gazed out at the Cheshire scenery and imagined what type of property we might find at the end of our journey.  When I am visiting a new area I always like to do my research and I have to say that Whixall sounded like it would offer everything you could hope for from village life with the odd extra or two thrown in for good measure.  I had learnt that the parish had been in existence since 1086 and was documented in the Doomsday Book.  I also learnt that it has its own primary school and church.  Now to the facts that make it really unique – in 2021 a Bronze Age stone was discovered which became known as the “Whixall Monolith” or Whixall Stone. This Permio-Triassic (don’t ask me what that means!) red sandstone block is apparently the first of its kind to be found in Shropshire.  

If taking life at a slow pace is your thing then Whixall could be right up your street as both the Llangollen Canal and the Prees Branch of the Ellesmere Canal run through the parish.  Personally, I can vouch for the fact that there is something deeply satisfying about going for a walk along the banks of a canal and actually overtaking the barges!  Also (and do please pass this word of advice on to your canine friends) make an extra special effort to look cute as you walk along the canal – people on barges appear to be of a very generous disposition and I have happily squaffled many bits of sandwich, sausages and slices of bacon proffered by my adoring public!  It is also worth mentioning that  Whixall Moss, part of Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve, is right on the doorstep.  I am led to believe that you can see a number of rare species there – how wonderful, I wonder if I am classed as a rare species?  After all mum always says that I am one of a kind….

Just as I was pondering this particular question, dad swung the car onto a gravel driveway and I gazed out the window at a thoroughly charming black and white property which simply oozed character. 

Black and white cottage for sale in Whixall near Whitchurch

I hopped out of the car and trotted enthusiastically over to an already open door.  Stepping over the threshold I found myself in an entrance hall which, I was delighted to see, appeared full of handy storage options – I am a pug who likes to tidy things away! 

entrance hall with storage in a cottage for sale near Whitchurch

The entrance hall led into a bright and contemporary kitchen which was beautifully styled with shaker style units.  The kitchen was open to a dining or family area which, even on a rather dull February day, was flooded with light from a large skylight and double French doors.  Turning my head away from the view into the garden, I saw that one wall of the dining area was an original wall, complete with beams! 

kitchen in a cottage for sale with Rickitt Partnership estate agency

open plan dining area in a house for sale near Whitchurch

I turned to dad with a love struck look on my face – arh yes, he confirmed, Holly Cottage is a real period gem – believed to date from around 1675, it is a veritable treasure trove of period features.  I nodded sagely and set forth to continue my quest through this historical delight.

My next stop was the sitting room  – now if there was ever a room to make you stop in your tracks, find a comfy spot (of which there were many) and snuggle down for a good snooze, then this was it!  It was a room full of character, from the beamed ceiling to the picture bay window to the magnificent stone and brickwork inglenook fireplace.  I wandered over to said fireplace and to my delight saw cheerfully glowing embers in the woodburner which sat at its centre.  Well, I thought to myself, that slate hearth would be the perfect spot for my super-cozy donut bed.

beamed sitting room in a cottage for sale near Whitchurch

On the far side of the room I spied a set of stairs leading to the first floor but before I trotted up them I spotted a very useful study area tucked just beneath them – I rather like the idea of being able to work whilst still in close proximity to my family.  Not that I’m needy, you understand, but I do have to follow my dad everywhere, even to the bathroom…

Dad had already headed up the stairs and suffice to say I was not going to let him out my sight for too long so I bounded hastily after him and was relieved to find him waiting for me on the landing at the top of the stairs!  The first floor of Holly Cottage was as charming as the ground floor.  I found two double bedrooms, one of which opened into a lovely dressing room.  Both bedrooms bewitched me with their sloping ceilings and exposed timber walls – it was all I could do to restrain myself from curling up on one of the beds to dream of a little pug called Ralph who lived in a beautiful cottage called Holly Cottage…

bedroom and en suite dressing room in a period cottage for sale in Whixall     

Feeling proud of my sense of self-control, I made my way back downstairs and set off to explore the outside space.  At the front of the cottage I found a small lawned garden next to the driveway, whilst at the back I discovered a large terraced area which led to a delightful split level lawned garden.  I galloped down the garden, up the two steps to the raised level, about-turned and launched myself from the top step – whee, I flew through the air, my ears billowing in the breeze and landed (with more enthusiasm than grace) on the lower level!  Now if I just had my frisbee with me I could task dad with throwing duties and I could practice launching myself from the top step and catching it – what a fabulous game that would be!

the garden at a cottage for sale with Rickitt Partnership estate agent

As I turned expectantly to dad, it was almost as if he had read my mind, he gave a shrug, shook his head and beckoned me over to the car.  With a wry glance back at Holly Cottage, I hopped aboard.  As we headed back to the office I cast my mind back over every detail of Holly Cottage, thinking what a perfect home it will be for someone who loves character and charm as much as I do.  If you would like to book a viewing of Holly Cottage please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of my team on 01244 322322 or

Until next time

Love Ralph X


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