Ralph reviews a unique Grade II listed windmill near Chester
Have you ever craved a home that is utterly unique? As individual as your own personality? I know I certainly have, a place that offers the perfect tableau for my own rather quirky character. On my travels this week it seems that I may have found just that. Not far from Chester, proudly standing head and shoulders above the local countryside sits Gibbet Mill – a magnificent and beautifully restored Grade II listed windmill – yes you heard correctly, a windmill!
Now it may have been made before my time but when I was a pup I used to love sitting curled up on my mum’s lap watching re-runs of that classic British animated series, Camberwick Green. I always used to picture myself as Windy Miller’s faithful sidekick, helping him brew his cider and fetching the bits of wood for him to whittle! So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that the subject of my latest Ralph’s Review was to be a windmill. The office was pretty hectic this week with market appraisals, viewings as well as exchange and completions taking place but my persistent mithering had the desired effect and so it was that dad and I set off to Saughall in search of Gibbet Mill.
The sat nav was a formality really as we simply kept our eyes peeled for the sails which, whilst no longer in use, still proudly adorned the building and the skyline.
Arriving at Gibbet Mill really was like landing in an episode of Camberwick Green – well, a more modern, uptodate version of it but it was all there – the charming countryside, the unmistakable architecture of the windmill, originally build in 1610, and yes, you guessed it, I had raided the dressing up box and arrived sporting a traditional miller’s smock and quaker hat. However, spoilsport that he is, dad insisted I take it all off before getting out of the car – he said that I could not possibly be seen in such a stylish home dressed like I was in an episode of Worzel Gumage, did I not know, he asked rather huffily, that we were about to enter a property that had recently been featured in the book “25 Unique Homes of Chester” – I tried to explain that that was very interesting but that he was confusing his children’s programmes. However, he was starting to look a little impatient so, to keep the peace, I dutifully disrobed and followed dad to the front door.
We stepped through into an entrance area and then into an immensely stylish, characterful and exquisitely unique kitchen. The exposed brickwork, stylish slate tile floor, contemporary units, kitchen island and spiral staircase leading up to the next floor all thoroughly charmed me but it was those magnificent curved walls that rendered me spellbound – I had an inescapable sense of the house enveloping me, I may be getting nostalgic in my old age but it felt rather nurturing and protective. I suspected that your run of the mill (pardon the pun) straight walls would never have quite the same appeal for me after experiencing Gibbet Mill. Circumnavigating the kitchen before venturing further up the windmill I also discovered a handy cloakroom and a utility room on the ground floor.
It hardly seemed possible but the first floor was even more spectacular than the ground floor. I had arrived at the top of the stairs to find myself in a sitting room and oh what a sitting room, multiple windows and a glazed door to a balcony let light flood into the room and the views over the Cheshire countryside were simply endless. I sat myself down on the sofa just to soak in the atmosphere for a few moments and to my amazement when I glanced down I saw that there is a section of glass flooring with a view straight into the kitchen below – what a fabulous feature – I bet we could have some fun with the humans once they had indulged in a glass or two of wine! I climbed down from the sofa and walked rather cautiously over the glass floor panel – gosh it did make me feel a bit squiffy!
Onwards and upwards I went – a wrought-iron staircase led me up to the second floor where I found two fabulous bedrooms, complete of course with their curved walls, and a family shower room.
The second floor was where I found the master bedroom and en suite shower area. Gazing up I saw the original cast iron mill shaft on a timber frame – I pondered to myself that this could well be the only bedroom in the whole of the country to claim to have it’s own millshaft – wow, now that is unique! Situated right at the top of the windmill, the views from the master bedroom were breath-taking. I wandered over to the French doors and saw that they opened onto a Juliet balcony.
At this point I started to run out of superlatives to describe this amazing home, I just looked at dad and he gave me a knowing smile. Without the need for words we turned tail and made our way back down through the windmill so that we could explore outside.
The outside space is dominated by the amazing views over the Cheshire plains, they are simply stunning.
I padded over the gravel area which surrounds the windmill, found a timber outbuilding with a double carport, as well as a loose box, tack room and haybarn (very handy for the horsy types) and I also found an additional separate carport – how perfect, one carport space per human family member! My explorations also led me to a gravelled seating area and a raised lawn – I spied a sun lounger on the lawn and hopped on board to soak up the rays and lap up the view – oh happy days, there is nothing like the Cheshire countryside on a balmy summer’s day. The grounds also encompass a separate paddock and dad informed me that the property sits in roughly 1.65 acres – I opened one eye and muttered that I would take his word for it, I was far too relaxed on my lounger to set off for a walk around the paddock.
As we sat there dad explained that Gibbet Mill is being sold with planning permission already approved for a two storey contemporary extension.
Jeepers, if someone is looking for an amazing, unique and utterly magnificent home to put their own mark on, you couldn’t get a more perfect match than Gibbet Mill. If you yearn for a home with oodles of personality then contact myself or one of my team on 01244 322 322 or email@example.com to arrange a viewing of Gibbet Mill – I promise you will not be disappointed.
Until next time
Love Ralph X