Rectories have a certain romance. Some of our best-known authors – Jane Austen, John Betjeman, Alfred Lord Tennyson, A.A. Milne, and the Bronte Sisters lived together for a while.
Although not always in great comfort. For example, the Old Rectory in Farnborough, Berkshire, where Betjeman lived, had no electricity, sewers or running water until he sold it in the 1950s.
His wife, Penelope, was known to bring her horse to the living room and his friend, Evelyn Waugh described the circumstances there as "light, stuffy; cold & # 39 ;. Since then it has improved.
Classic design: rectories are often located centrally in their communities close to facilities. This listed former presbytery in Blandford, Dorset, built around 1780, is available for £ 1.6 million with knightfrank.com
Buyers recognize their benefits, says Luke Morgan, director of Strutt & Parker's Country House Department.
They usually have a central village position, next to the church and not far from the pub. They have a well-balanced garden, beautiful views of the church and interesting architecture. & # 39;
The presbytery (and to a lesser extent the presbytery, which is often smaller) was traditionally an important house, built for an important figure in the community.
Typically, a presbytery has four large, high-ceilinged reception rooms, ideal for a party and six or seven bedrooms. It is usually located in large gardens and often has a few paddocks.
Rectories are so appreciated that they even have their own rating rectorysociety.org.uk. Members enjoy visits to former and current clergy and the churches they serve and there is a network to exchange practical advice on conservation.
There is something special about a house that was built for a pastor and his family. & # 39; When we moved here, we discovered that the architect PD Hepworth and the builder, Pratt & Sons, had scraped their names on the windows above & # 39 ;, says Robert Groom, 72, who The Old Vicarage, Bittaford, Ivybridge, Devon sells. for £ 720,000 with marchandpetit.co.uk.
& # 39; There were many functions in the field of art and craft and the previous owner told us that it had been the Daily Mail House of the Year in 1925. & # 39;
According to research conducted by brokers Jackson-Stops, rectories are also valuable. Although they cost an average of £ 1,342,318, they are cheaper, £ 261 per square foot, than other desirable English village properties: country houses, farms, or cottages.
Rectories for sale
Four bedrooms and 1.3 acres in Norfolk – £ 700,000
The Old Rectory, on the edge of Tuttington, has views of the open countryside and 1.33 hectares of land. Features of the 18th-century four-bedroom house include oak beams and open fireplaces. Jackson-stops.co.uk
Five bedrooms in North Yorkshire – £ 765,000
In the village of Middleton, 3.2 km from Pickering, lies this Georgian rectory with five bedrooms and three reception rooms. A church road runs along the back of the property, for use by worshipers.Savills.com, 01904 617820
Rectories also offer a lot of space to lovers of Grand Designs.
Jessica Taylor and her husband Terry, 50, bought The Old Rectory in Drewsteignton, Dartmoor, for £ 1,150,000 in April 2017. The house offers the potential for dramatic improvements.
Work starts in March, says Jessica, who worked abroad for eight years with Terry's work in IT software.
We keep the Georgian façade exactly as it is, but the back part of the house, which is Victorian, is already tinkering, so we go through a laundry and an old staircase knocking around an open kitchen and breakfast to make room, leading to an orangery. We also build a cinema / study room for our three boys. & # 39;
There are more realistic priced options, although these are more difficult to find.
The Laurels in Wistanstow, Shropshire, has three reception rooms, five bedrooms and three bathrooms and is on sale for £ 495,000 with struttand parker.com.
There are disadvantages to owning a presbytery. Such large houses can be expensive to heat. They are also often mentioned, which means that there are limitations to the types of improvements that can be made. But that does not help to discourage fans.
"An old building like this feels solid", says Raili Fraser, who is already in his 70s and lived in her Leicestershire presbytery for 36 years. & # 39; We are also in the heart of village life. The locals still hold the summer festival here, just as they have done for centuries. & # 39;
Unfortunately Raili now finds the house too big for her needs and sells it.
The Old Rectory, Churchgate, Hallaton, Leicestershire, with four reception rooms and six bedrooms, is on sale for £ 1.65 million with fishergerman.co.uk.