A little bit of English history goes up for sale
A rose by any other name, Rose Bank, set in picturesque Hereford, forms part of the Penkelly site, is a beautiful Victorian home which has been converted into a self-catering holiday let. The site also has three small cottages and a studio flat, which are currently rented out by tenants, and a bungalow, which is the home of the present owners.
Margaret and Paul Grafham, who have owned Penkelly for more than 20 years, and over the course of their tenure, have renovated the majority of the properties from an almost derelict state to a popular letting with a ‘Very Good’ rating on TripAdviser.
Rose Bank was built in 1864 as a home for famed tile maker William Godwin and his family. Godwin was a prolific part of art and culture in Hereford during the 19th Century, and his tiles were used in Bow Church in Spitalfields and the Charterhouse in Smithfield.
Margaret Grafham said: “Rose Bank was our family home, and for more than 15 years, we lived there with our children and foster children, and it was a noisy, much loved home. Gradually they all moved on, and we were left with an empty house.
“We moved into the bungalow and decided to rent out the main house, expecting maybe one rental per month. This exploded into around 90% occupancy. Let, for our convenience, Friday to Monday. We have almost all family groups, many of whom are multi-generational, and who return or recommend us to others.”
The Grafhams updated the site with the addition of a leisure area set within the original Victorian walled gardens. A large heated swimming pool, a second hot tub under a slated roof, a bar with optics and a kitchen area. For a real summer party, there’s a gas BBQ on the patio area, with tables and chairs for 24 people and lawns with palm trees.
Paul Grafham said: “We present it as a comfortable, relaxing, unpretentious base from which to explore the Welsh boarders, Malvern Hills, Wye Valley. There are books galore in Hay on Wye, antiques in Leominster and Monmouth, shopping in Cheltenham & Gloucester, microbreweries, and the Cider Route.
“We also provide everything from fresh flowers to bathroom necessities and towels, and a cake to enjoy with your tea or coffee on arrival.”
Margaret and Paul are now looking to sell Penkelly to pursue a well-earned retirement.
Margaret said: “There is so much that could be done to grow the business, for example longer lets, offering catering, or letting the cottages and bungalow as holiday lets, rather than the current short hold tenancies, however we are not the ones to take it forward.
“We want to spend more time with our grandchildren whilst they still want to spend time with us. We also have a passion for 1930 -1950 saloons, which we restore with the idea of selling, but invariable end up keeping! We would dearly like to give up work and spend more time pursuing this whilst we still are able to.We need to hand over the keys to someone with more energy.”
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