Twelve-bedroom Georgian manor house in Somerset where author Eveyln Waugh lived and died of heart failure in 1966 goes on market for £5.5m

  • Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited, lived in the £5.5m Combe Florey House in Somerset until 1966 
  • The 12-bedroom Georgian manor house comes complete with a party barn, swimming pool and 34 acres 
  • Waugh bought house for £7,500, three-quarters of his annual income at the time, and lived there for ten years

A grand Georgian manor where writer Evelyn Waugh lived and died has gone on the market for £5.5m.

The author of Vile Bodies, Brideshead Revisited and Sword of Honour bought Combe Florey House in Somerset in 1956 and his family lived there until 2008.

In the Waughs’ time there, the house was often filled with glamorous and clever guests like poet John Betjeman, actors Peter Cook and Alec Guinness and writers Salman Rushdie and Muriel Spark.

The 12-bedroom house has had a makeover since and is now a light-filled spacious family home with a party barn, swimming pool and 34 acres of land.

Despite this there are still nods to the Waugh family’s time there – a hidden safe in the morning room, his daughter Margaret’s name and the date 1964 scratched into a window pane in the drawing room and the stone steps and porch he added to the front entrance.

Combe Florey House,  a grand Georgian manor where writer Evelyn Waugh lived and died. Now on the market for £5.5m

he 12-bedroom house has had a makeover since Waugh’s day and quirky style and is now a light-filled spacious family home with a party barn, swimming pool and 34 acres

Waugh bought the house for £7,500, three-quarters of his annual income at the time, and lived there for ten years before he died of heart failure aged 62.

His son Auberon, a writer and journalist, then bought the house off his mother.

It is thought there was an Elizabethan house on the land which was pulled down after the Civil War and this property was built to replace it.

The house was extensively remodelled by William Frauncies in 1730 and has lots of 18th century features like the newel staircase in the entrance hall.

There are also fine ceiling mouldings, panelled doors, chimney-pieces and original stone and wooden floors throughout.  

It has more than 16,000 sq ft of living space arranged over four floors with wine cellars and storage in the basement, kitchen/breakfast room, family room, library, study, drawing room, dining room, sitting room, orangery, 12 bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

There is also a three-bedroom cottage, workshops and a coachhouse, as well as the party barn and pool house.

The grounds include a pond and fountain, a courtyard, three interconnecting walled gardens and some parkland and pasture.

Oliver Custance Baker, from estate agents Strutt & Parker, said: ‘It’s rare to find a house of such good stature, standard and significance as Combe Florey House, and one with such a fascinating and rich history.

An airy room in the manor house. In Waugh’s day the house was often filled with his glamorous and clever guests like poet John Betjeman, actors Peter Cook and Alec Guinness and writers Salman Rushdie and Muriel Spark

An elegantly wallpapered dining room which has stood the test of time and offers the perfect space for entertaining

An unusual curved stainless steel kitchen unit now dominates the very spacious kitchen at the manor

A very modernised kitchen with large curved utility islands and spotlights

The library of the home where a grand piano takes centre stage along with cabinets of literary greats

A bedroom with a copper bath and heated towel rail by the window

The author of Vile Bodies, Brideshead Revisited and Sword of Honour bought Combe Florey House in Somerset in 1956 and his family lived there until 2008 when they sold it to the current owners 

‘There’s a lot to offer here for potential buyers, it has everything when it comes to the perfect family home with a tennis court, swimming pool, party barn and land.

‘As with many Georgian country homes, their proportions and elegance stand the test of time making them well suited to modern family life.

‘The house today follows the traditional floorplan but has been adapted to 21st century living with an impressive orangery added to create a communal heart of the home.

The red brick Georgian home is the ‘perfect family home with a tennis court, swimming pool, party barn and land’

Stone steps and a porch that were added to the building by Waugh remain at the main entrance of the house

A spectacular view out across the Quantock Hills in Somerset, with a beautiful pool and pool house set up for the summer

The floorplan has remained virtually the same but the space been adapted to 21st century living with an impressive orangery added to create a communal heart of the home

A large fountain accents the stunning views of the rolling Somerset hills

A side view of the 12-bedroom home, which has only had one owner since Waugh’s family left in 2008

‘The Keepers Cottage, garages, workshops and fuel stores replicate the appearance of a traditional range of ancillary country house buildings to include a coach house, stores and kennels around a central courtyard’, estate agent Strutt & Parker said

‘This part of the world has been somewhat of a well-kept secret, but we’re seeing more people looking to this part of Somerset as families seek more space.

‘From here you are able to get to Exeter, Bristol and London from Taunton station, while the numerous excellent schools in the town and surrounding are popular with relocating families.

‘Nestled in the foothills of the Quantocks and views extending down to the West Somerset Railway, Combe Florey House is a hidden gem that’s been well looked after over the years.

‘The length of time it’s spent in the ownership of the Waugh family is testament to how treasured it has been as a family home.’

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