Converted former church homes offering historic connections and spacious accommodation

PUBLISHED: 15:25 22 May 2014

The Old Vicarage Highmoor

The Old Vicarage Highmoor


The quintessential English country village is idealised by many. Surrounded by rolling luscious green countryside, the most popular will have a public house, a village green, a school, a shop and a church. Such villages are, as a result, likely to have either an ‘Old Vicarage’ or an ‘Old Rectory’, but what is the difference?

Henley HouseHenley House

Before the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII during the 1530s, parochial benefices consisted of a rectory, vicarage or a perpetual curacy. The distinction was primarily to do with the payment to the Church of a tithe by parishioners, which ecclesiastical office would receive the payment and what was done with the payment thereafter.

In the case of a rectory, the office was held by a rector who lived there, received the tithe payment but did not then transfer the money from the Church back into the local community.

Old Rectory CheckendonOld Rectory Checkendon

This is in contrast to when the ecclesiastical office was held by a monastery, which, although entitled to receive the tithe, was also responsible for using it to oversee the spiritual care of the parish, so part of the money had to be reinvested into the local community. As monastic property and lands could be extensive, often covering several parishes, the monastery would often use part of the tithe to employ someone to act on their behalf (or vicariously), hence from where the word cicar derives with the vicar’s place of residence becoming known as a vicarage.

The Henley office of international real estate adviser, Savills, is currently marketing a selection of former rectories and vicarages for sale.

Amongst them is The Old Rectory in Checkendon. Grade II listed, this substantial 17th century property has recently been completely renovated to offer an extremely high standard of accommodation in one of the prettiest and sought after of Oxfordshire villages. Price on application.

Henley House in Rotherfield Peppard is a wonderful former rectory with paddocks and views to the south east across wooded countryside. The property has impressive proportions and versatile accommodation to include six bedrooms, four reception rooms, study, kitchen/breakfast room, cellars comprising playroom, wine store, boiler room and three cellars/stores. Grounds of about 6.6 acres include a pool, four garages, six stables, hay store, tack room, feed room, kennels, outdoor manege, paddocks and field shelter. Guide price £3.395 million

The Old Vicarage in Highmoor, is an impressive family home. Dating to the Victorian era, this vicarage has mature gardens extending to about 1.6 acres and offers spacious, versatile accommodation. The property features master bedroom suite, six to seven further bedrooms, two further bathrooms, four reception rooms, study, kitchen/breakfast room, larder, utility room, cellar, and workshop. There is a range of outbuildings, coach house with planning permission to restore, convert and extend to provide ancillary accommodation, mature gardens and pool. The price range is in excess of £3 million.

Nick Warner, a Director at Savills in Henley, comments: “Originally built to accommodate one of the foremost and highly respected members of a community, and their often large families, both rectories and vicarages offer versatile accommodation with impressive proportions. This, in conjunction with their period charm, makes them highly sought after.”

For more information on these instructions, contact Savills on 01491 843000

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