Westonbury Mill is available to the open market for the first time in 50 years.

The current owner, Richard Pim, bought the property in 1969 when the building had fallen into disrepair and the land which is now the garden was covered in brambles.

But he saw an unspoilt location, huge potential and, of particular interest to a hydrogeologist, an attractive stream.

After some initial improvements the old mill was used as a holiday cottage for 30 years and some work was done to clear the land, build bridges and create a large pond.

This delightful property occupies a private position in an unspoilt part of north west Herefordshire and is initially approached by a shared road and then its own long private driveway.

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The historic black-and-white village of Pembridge lies within one mile and provides a range of amenities including a village school, church and shop.

Further afield are the market towns of Kington, Presteigne, Leominster and Hay-on-Wye.

More extensive facilities are available in Hereford (15 miles) with a main line train station and road links to other parts of the country.

Following his retirement in 1997, Richard decided to develop the garden mainly for his own benefit but also with an eye to creating something that might prove attractive to others and provide a commercial return.

With no experience of gardening but with plenty of imagination, he set about restoring the original mill leat and making new waterways.

As the project expanded, he decided to build ‘structures’ throughout the garden to create points of interest including making use of an original mill wheel, now incorporated in the stone water tower which greets visitors on arrival.

By now Richard had been joined by Sally whose enthusiasm and gardening knowledge became a huge support.

Adjoining the leat and overlooking the gardens, the Mill is now a very comfortable house full of character and charm.

On arrival a door leads into an enclosed entrance porch with double doors opening into a central hallway and dining room.

The sitting room, the Mill Room, where exposed timbers retaing something of the character of the original late 18th-century mill.

The kitchen/breakfast room is an excellent size with an oil-fired Rayburn.

A door leads through to the garden room or conservatory. In addition, there is a useful cloakroom, boiler room and a study.

On the first floor there are four bedrooms: the master bedroom enjoys a dual aspect and en suite bathroom with a further family bathroom supporting the remaining bedrooms.

The gardens are an absolute delight, with the planting including a huge collection of trees, shrubs and perennials, the latter mainly moisture loving varieties with primulas and irises predominant in spring.

In summer large and unusual plants and grasses complement willow, alder, birches and other more exotic trees to screen the background.

Several of the focal points in the garden are decorated with remarkable follies.

The centrepiece of these is a delightful ‘bottle dome’ made from about 5,000 coloured wine bottles that create ever changing light inside. In another part of the gardens there is there is a unique seven-metre half-timbered water-powered cuckoo clock nestling among tall conifers.

There is also an ‘African’ summer-house, and throughout the gardens there are many areas to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and admire the views of the Herefordshire countryside and the adjacent hills.

Buyers' brief

Westonbury Mill and Water Gardens
Price: £1,250,000
Agent: Brightwells
Call: 01432 343800