A Handsome Georgian Villa In A Quiet And Sought-After Dorset Village

Penny Churchill February 15, 2024

Grade II-listed Church Villa sits in the heart of a tranquil village, five miles from the mainline railway at Wareham, and 12 miles from the beach at Poole.

Described in its Historic England listing as an early-19th-century, Regency-style house of ‘interesting design’, Church Villa, known locally as ‘Five Chimneys’ for its unusual cluster in the centre of the gable, stands just above the green of tranquil and traffic free East Morden village.

Church Villa, AKA ‘Five Chimneys’ because of the, err, five chimneys, was built by the same architect as the village church.

It’s reputed to have been built in about 1830 by Joseph Sellars, who also built the village church, and the property sits halfway between the busy A35 and the A31 (but out of earshot of both) and with Poole Harbour about 12 miles away. The symmetrical front façade also features a lead-capped porch and timber windows with decorative glazing bars; inside, the villa retains many original elements, including window shutters, fireplaces and plank-and-muntin panelling in the hall.

A light and airy kitchen, which could probably use a little bit of modernising.

Church Villa, listed Grade II, is being sold (with Savills at a guide price of £1.1 million) on behalf of the family of its late owners, who acquired it in 1986 and refurbished and extended it in the late 1980s and early 1990s, adding the garden room and the kitchen wings. It offers 2,378sq ft of quiet living space on two floors, including a reception hall, four reception rooms, four double bedrooms, a bathroom and shower room. Pretty gardens of more than half an acre, also arranged as ‘rooms’, are well stocked with herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees.

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The very wholesome garden room.

An entry in Harry and Hugh Ashley’s The Dorset Village Book (Countryside Books) says of East Morden: ‘When you think you’ve seen all it has to offer, while you look for a convenient spot to turn the car round, you find the main part which drifts detached up the hill. It’s a pattern of scattered dwellings and narrow lanes, and has five separate entries in the Domesday Book.

Gardens of about 1/2 an acre are easy enough to manage.

‘The smiling houses and cottages are totally dominated by the church, which glowers powerfully from a natural plinth… If you long for peace and solitude and yet need to be within easy reach of the 21st century, then here is where to be.’

Church Villa is for sale with Savills for £1.1 million. For more information and to see more photos, click here.

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