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Why do former rectories have so much curb appeal?

The Old Rectory - in blog image.jpgFormer clergy houses have continued to be the most sought after properties our clients wish to own, particularly families wishing to move from London to the country. Why? Because they typify the quintessence of living in the British countryside outside of a hectic city lifestyle.

Whether it is called The Old Parsonage, The Old Rectory, The Old Vicarage or, if you live in Scotland, possibly the "Old Manse", former church residences are a popular favourite to own and acquire. 

These houses are often rather grand, commonly found and situated in villages and are normally positioned within a stone’s throw of the parish church. In recent decades, the clergy have sold them off, exchanging them for more modest properties. Built between the 17th and early 20th Centuries, the classic ‘rectory’ was often the largest house in the village, boasting grand, well-proportioned rooms with high ceilings and many period features including doors, staircases, stripped floors, ceilings and fireplaces.

These classic imposing houses always had special grounds and idyllic gardens that were, in the old days, tendered by the local parishioners. Not only were these houses the most prominent and largest houses in the village, they frequently had the best views, outlook and location. 

There are many fine examples of former clergy owned properties in villages up and down the country; they are normally handsome and substantial in size, some arranged over two or three floors of accommodation and all with immense charm and character. Due to their historical importance and interest they tend to be Grade ll Listed.

Of course the challenge for some buyers who wish to acquire this style and size of house is how to adapt them to accommodate today’s way of living. As just one example, the kitchen and scullery were traditionally located away from the principle formal rooms of the house often with a secondary back staircase which was generally used by staff. Nowadays however, the kitchen is ‘the hub of the house’, not only where one cooks, but now where families informally dine, sit, play and watch TV together so the challenge is how to marry these 2 separate ideals. Not every former rectory house is that versatile and adaptable, but there are some wonderful examples of properties where people have created some phenomenal homes that do work for family living.

For nearly 25 years the property brief by clients who wish to move from the city particularly London to the countryside is for a former Rectory. At Premier Property Search we feel confident that clients will continue to demand and aspire for the same style of properties in the next 25 years. 

For more information on finding and buying your ideal home call Premier Property Search 01962 79310, email or for further information visit our website  at