PROPERTY / Houses in the Landscape: Houses for sale: Brick

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THE earliest example of herringbone brickwork in Dorset appears on the facade of Abbey House, on the edge of Witchampton village. The main house had a new front added in 1890 but the early Elizabethan brickwork remains intact and has been much admired by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. The house warrants a Grade II rating. Set in seven acres of grounds with river frontage between Bournemouth and Salisbury, Abbey House has nine bedrooms, gym and sauna, stabling and a coach house. Savills and Knight Frank & Rutley have priced it at pounds 700,000.

Much of the early brickwork is found in Norfolk and Suffolk where the Dutch weavers first introduced their swooping gables. Starston Hall at Starston in Norfolk dates from the Elizabethan period, and under its brick skin lies a timber-frame construction, though the roof, which was probably thatched, has long since been replaced with pantiles and jaunty crow-stepped gables. With five bedrooms and four acres, it is priced at pounds 278,000 through Savills.

A lovely grey-blue brickwork fronts a classic Georgian house at Dilham on the Norfolk Broads. This, too, is a facade added to an older house. The rear walls are built of red bricks made at the local Dilham brickworks. Strutt & Parker are selling Dilham House with its cottage, outbuildings, gardens and planning permission for six holiday cottages at pounds 245,000.

Tile-hung walls that give the impression of brick were a conceit particular to Kent and Sussex. Nickle House at Chartham near Canterbury is entirely tile-hung along one wall, giving the impression of terracotta fish scales. The house, with six bedrooms, garaging, stables, heated swimming pool, gardens, woodland and paddock is selling at pounds 395,000 through Calcutt Maclean in Wye. At the cheaper end of the market is a little listed Grade II terrace cottage in Wye, Kent, which is part tile-hung at the front, priced at pounds 69,950 by the same agents.

For bright, strong pink bricks, try Lancashire. A double-fronted Edwardian villa in the suburbs of Southport, with four bedrooms, front and back gardens and deep cellars, will cost pounds 134,500 through Ellis & Sons. The same agents have a range of three-bedroom semi-detached houses in strong red Accrington brick, with their front doors positioned in pairs along the street, at around pounds 50,000.

(Photographs omitted)