A country house steeped in history and the former home of one of the Isle’s great characters, is for sale and carries lapsed planning permission for conversion to a hotel.
The six-bedroomed Old Rectory, off High Street at Wroot, stands within six-and-a-half acres of gardens and has a detached studio with commercial kitchen as an added facility.
The grand residence that still has features from the original 1767 Rectory that was home to the Wesley family, became the home of Joe and Patricia Kingham and their family in 1976, after being deconsecrated in the 1960s.
Its generous grounds were often used for community and charity events by the couple. The late Mr Kingham was a local businessman who became known for his unique humour. One one April Fools’ day he once declared the village of Sandtoft to be an ‘independent state’.
He had passports printed along with car stickers, stating ‘Republic of Sandtoft’ , and the jape attracted widespread media attention.
Then the practical joker contacted the Times newspaper explaining that he had received a letter of congratulations on the plan from Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
With its wooden panelled snooker room, three stables and generally luxurious facilities throughout, the Old Rectory commands a guide price of £825,000.
Its Wesley connections relate to the time when John’s father Samuel was Rector of Wroot, and features that have survived the years since then include ornate fireplaces, frieze works and decorative coving.
There are three main reception rooms, all with period features and a study with French doors that open out to the landscaped gardens.
But its homely big breakfasting kitchen with four-oven gas fired aga and wall mounted double oven has also been a hub of the house, that has always been warm and welcoming despite its size and grandeur, claims Mrs Kingham.
There are three double bedrooms and a plush bathroom along with the master bedroom suite on the first floor. Attic bedrooms are doubles too with beams, fireplace, and views right over the gardens.
Mrs Kingham once ran her own business from her home and was interested in the property’s potential as a hotel. Planning permission for such a use was granted but has since lapsed.
“It’s been a fabulous home for entertaining. We were able to host many events here. Someone once said that being here made them feel they were within a set of Midsomer Murders,” laughed Mrs Kingham. “She meant the general charm of the place. it is not the slightest bit spooky. Wroot is such a happy village and children have always loved to come here.”
Interest has been strong in the property. Its grounds with pergola and pergoda, along with patios, afford plenty of room for several vehicles and it also has a double garage.
Viewing of The Old Rectory is by appointment with Retford estate agents Fisher German.