Go for grand and do it yourself

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The Independent Online
If your idea of a bit of "R and R" means refurbishment and renovation, some choice properties have come up for sale just waiting for your enthusiastic touch.

Two of the prettiest and cheapest are in Somerset on the Orchardleigh Park estate near Frome. Nightingale and Castle Lodge are both Grade II listed, slate-roofed stone cottages set just inside the estate. Their stone-mullioned windows and arched porches give them a slightly ecclesiastical atmosphere.

Castle Lodge is the larger. It has one large living room, a large kitchen and downstairs bathroom and three bedrooms. Its walled garden leads on to mature woodland.

Nightingale Lodge has a similar amount of space downstairs, but only two bedrooms upstairs. Both cottages come with around half an acre of land and are being sold by Savills' Bath office (0225 444622). Castle Lodge is on at an asking price of £85,000 and Nightingale Lodge at £70,000 - though these prices may well be exceeded.

For those who want something more substantial to tackle, Cluttons' Canterbury office is selling a farmhouse and a manor house in need of R and R. The more desperate case is Parsonage Farm outside the Stansted in west Kent.

Sitting on the North Downs in two and a half acres of land, Parsonage Farm has been unoccupied for some years. The part-Queen Anne, part-Edwardian house includes three reception rooms, six bedrooms and two bathrooms and does have central heating. Apart from that, and a bit of re-roofing carried out after the 1987 hurricane, it has been untouched for years. A two-storey coach house and granary are included in the sale.

Cluttons is also selling a neighbouring piece of land as a 4.6-acre building plot with planning permission, as well as a further 34 acres which can be bought with either lot or sold separately. The farm is priced at £250,000 and the building plot at £135,000 from Cluttons (0227 457441).

Eswall Manor at Nonington near Canterbury is a grander proposition, having once been home to the founders of the Lloyd's banking empire. The manor house dates back to 1556. It has three reception rooms, five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a number of outbuildings sitting within three sections of partly walled gardens. The house needs updating and is priced at £200,000.

Cluttons is selling the large courtyard buildings, topped by a bell tower, as a separate lot for conversion into two or more homes. The company is looking for offers of around £100,000. Thirdly, Granary Cottage, separated from the courtyard buildings by an archway, is being sold as a single lot. It requires £68,000 and a little refurbishment.

For the truly ambitious, there is Rodborough Fort in Stroud. This spectacular castellated property with turreted walls sits surrounded by trees atop a common with views across the River Severn. It was bought by the National Trust to establish rights of way. Now the trust is looking for a buyer with the commitment, cash and imagination to turn it into a private home. Brave souls should present themselves on 5 April, when it will be sold at auction by Knight Frank & Rutley in Cirencester (0285 659771).

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