What goes around . . .
PUBLISHED: 11:41 29 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:53 29 October 2013
David Vincent visits the restored Highfield Mill at Sudbury
James and Rebecca Stott took on a big project when they bought Highfield Mill, on the edge of Sudbury, in late 2010.
As a former windmill it is set in an elevated position and would once have been isolated away from the town boundary.
In fact the town has expanded outwards over the years and the outskirts are now nearby. Inside though, with views from all of the main windows downhill, towards the water meadows and across to Essex, it still gives the impression of being in the middle of the countryside.
James and Rebecca bought the mill cottage and the remains of the working mill and have modernised and adapted the two to create a single, stunning home.
During a long, cold winter they saw their home at its most challenging time. It is reached by a long, steep lane from the road, which is difficult to drive in wet weather. At times there were heavy snows which created an illusion of being far into the countryside.
There has been a mill on this site since the 1600s reputedly. It was in 1928 that Basil Oliver converted it into living accommodation.
When the Stott’s bought it they moved into the cottage next door, which had been a rented home. James, who runs Abbeygate Wealth Management, of Bury St Edmunds, said it hadn’t been lived in for many years except by massive country spiders.
The mill was previously three storeys higher. It still offers fine panoramic views from the upper floors, across water meadows and towards Essex.
This six-bedroom home includes a central, single storey, kitchen/dining/family room – now the heart of the house, where the family spends most of their time together. The original circular well, from the pump room, was discovered and has been covered with glass – with lighting – as a feature in the kitchen floor. There is now a well-fitted luxury kitchen while the original Aga has found a new life, as a feature in a cloakroom.
The mill building, now fully restored and converted, provides a comfortable sitting room, a children’s room and the master bedroom.
James and Rebecca now have plans for improvements to the cottage including creating a study/library.