Holwell Farmhouse | A Success Story with GTH
As estate agents, we’re lucky to play a part in so many property journeys. We’re granted a glimpse into the lives of the community around us; whether it’s a fresh start as first time buyers, a growing family, or relocation to set down roots, we see it all. Occasionally we’re fortunate to see beyond the property sale itself and discover what happened next. That’s exactly what happened with Holwell Farmhouse, and we’re so excited to share it with you too.
Holwell Farmhouse was sold by our Tiverton office in 2019. Originally being listed as ‘an exceptionally attractive traditional residential and mixed livestock holding with alternative potential, set in unspoiled countryside’, the property was rustic and in need of some TLC and modernisation throughout. Not a job for the faint of heart.
After a good level of interest and several hopeful buyers placing bids, it was Ollie Greenslade (no relation to us, however we definitely approve of the name!) who came out on top. Here’s what Ollie had to tell us about the process:
What drew you to the property to begin with?
“I used the old method of scoring a property out of 10. Price, access, development opportunity, location and phone signal! Holwell Farm scored the highest out of 56 properties. It had a very friendly feel and felt just like home.”
How was the purchasing process from start to finish?
“The sales process took five months – relatively quick for Devon! We had several obstacles with an existing right of way being changed whilst the purchase went through but it eventually did and it was a case of gearing up for a big renovation ahead.
We had to undertake multiple viewings due to contractor site visits but these were easy to arrange through GTH. Graeme Biffen was on speed dial if we had any questions and the handover was extremely quick. Even after the purchase, they were happy to assist with our BPS applications.
What did you learn along the way?
“It has been fascinating to discover the history of the farm and we were delighted to be given records dating back to the 12th Century. We also have the deeds which go back to 1805 – 65 acres, a farmhouse and buildings – which was sold for £1,000. There was a lot to learn, including seeking out a reputable contactor, Ryan at R.C.Construction, via the tender process, managing a project from start to finish and gaining so many different skills along the way.”
Did you know what you wanted to do with the property prior to purchasing?
“Yes, although I had an overall plan of the amount of diversification involved, regardless of the property purchased, the interior/exterior fixtures and fittings plan was developed when we eventually found the right property.”
Ollie, who was 25 at the time of purchasing, spent the next two years working hard with a team to overhaul Holwell. The property and some surrounding land saw complete refurbishment whilst remaining sympathetic to its history and character.
The farmhouse opened up its doors again in late 2021, and has since welcomed an array of guests who were eager to see the renovations for themselves.
We also caught up with Graeme Biffen, Partner, who headed up the sale of Holwell Farmhouse:
“Holwell was very much a hands-on process from the word go. My involvement started with the provision of formal RICS ‘Red Book’ valuation advice for inheritance tax (probate) purposes, which then led to receiving instructions to sell the property on behalf of the estate.
The property itself was very desirable, in a beautiful part of the countryside. I knew instantly that it would be popular, and it was an honour to deal with the sale.
GTH were heavily involved in the process, with various complexities to deal along the marketing journey, as is often the case with farms and rural property. As agents and advisors we were able to support the estate and executors every step of the way.
It makes it all the more wonderful to be able to catch up with Ollie now and see the work he and his team have put in to maximise on the potential of the property. It feels like a full circle looking back at how it all started!”
About Holwell Farmhouse
Surrounded by 80 acres of the cream of Devonshire countryside, in a place so rural that the squirrels make their own chutney, sits Holwell Farmhouse. This a nature haven, a winter respite for the wintering, wandering red deer, and the perfect intimate retreat for families, weddings and city dwellers of up to 16 ready to congregate and celebrate.
Holwell can trace its roots back 750 years, but there’s nothing Medieval about the standard of finish today. Lines are crisp and clean, with the Medieval hall and inglenook fireplace the survivors of a devastating fire. They meld sympathetically into the modern ambience of the farmhouse kitchen and the palette of muted natural colours.
Unpack, unwind, uncork and meet the neighbours: 200 ewes, six horses and a farm cat. Explore the ponds and meadows, fire up the barbie and eat out on the terrace, then wrap up with rounders or croquet. Finish the night around the firepit under Exmoor’s heavenly light show and cascade of shooting stars.
Inside, homely warmth abounds. Holwell is all open fires, comfy armchairs and big tables built to host the glug of wine and the tearing of sourdough. There’s table football in the games room, books and quiet spots for escapees, a piano for the soulful, and unlimited Wi-Fi for streamers and surfers. Not too wild, then.
Holwell Farmhouse offers exclusive hire weddings, group stays including stag and hen dos, and intimate country stays for families and flexible corporate hire.
You can check them out at their website – https://holwellfarmhouse.co.uk/
Or contact at Holwell Farm Bampton, Devon EX16 9AD | 07955 279779 | email@example.com