The picturesque eight-bedroom Somerset house that housed Jacob Rees-Mogg in his teenage years is up for sale.
The grade II listed Georgian home, which is in the small village of Hinton Blewet, still features security fittings from the Rees-Moggs’ tenure, to protect his journalist father, William Rees-Mogg, from IRA threats.
The current occupants of the house say that in 2015 when they moved in, wiring for security cameras was still in all the rooms.
The Old Rectory has been extended and refurbished and is described as an ‘elegant, impressive, warm and welcoming family home,’ despite the solid steel doors and cellar panic room.
An indoor swimming pool was added in £750,000 renovations that included building an additional two-bedroom apartment, bringing the price of the historically significant house to an intimidating £2.75million.
The Grade II listed home in the Somerset village of Hinton Blewet is on the market for £2.75million
The current owners installed a 7-metre L-shaped pool during renovations in 2015. The indoor heated pool boasts wifi speakers
Dr Jacqui Leaman-Grey, who moved into the house with her husband Rear Admiral Richard Leaman in 2015, told The Times they’d asked the Ministry of Defence to take out security camera wiring.
The Old Rectory was Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s home during his childhood
‘William Rees-Mogg was an IRA target and several of the doors in the house are solid steel,’ she explained.
‘When we moved in, in 2015, wiring was still in all the rooms for security because there had been cameras in each room. My husband knows people in the Ministry of Defence and he called them in and got them to take it all out.’
Dr Leaman-Grey explained that she and her husband, both in their sixties, no longer need a house as big as the Old Rectory.
‘We wanted to buy something that would be our home and we’ve got lots of children and grandchildren, and we thought we’d need this massive house,’ she said.
‘We need a big house – but not quite this big.’
The couple bought the house from Tom Alexander, Chief Executive of Orange and T-Mobile and founder of Virgin Mobile, who owned the house for 20 years.
The Georgian property has six bath and shower rooms alongside its eight bedrooms, including a number with enviable free-standing baths
The wood-panelled dining room features flagstone flooring. Some of the property is said to have been a medieval priest’s house
Irish band the Corrs stayed in the impressive home for a year after their career slowed down, renting the house from mobile giant Tom Alexander (the band, pictured in 1999 at the Brit Awards)
The mobile tycoon kept his car collection in the ‘absolutely massive’ garage attached to the house, complete with underfloor heating and spotlights.
Mr Alexander had rented the house to Irish band the Corrs for a year – and Dr Leaman-Grey said she still receives their post.
Mr Rees-Mogg, former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has positively described his upbringing in the quaint English village.
The property features formal and informal reception rooms for guests and can seat up to 12 for dinner
The renovations undertaken by the current owners saw some of the security features – including wiring from security cameras – removed and covered over
There is a six door Aga in the Inglenook fireplace in the beautifully traditional Smallbone kitchen, which provides heat for much of the house
To the rear of the main kitchen is a pastry kitchen with granite work surfaces and an electric oven, alongside a central island unit and oak flooring
The house’s eight main bedrooms include high-ceilings and four-poster beds, alongside original working fireplaces in some
All of the bathrooms have been freshly refurbished and feature a range of impressive appliances and modern showers
The library is fully lined with bookshelves and has an original sash window with working shutters and a charming fireplace
In a 2013 interview with The Independent, he pointed to a red phone box nearby and explained his father once found cannabis there.
‘My father used to say that it was easier to get cannabis in Hinton Blewett than a copy of The Spectator,’ he told reporters.
William Rees-Mogg’s own correspondence suggests that parts of the house are medieval, including the dining room, which is said to have been a priest’s house.
Much of the rest of the house was constructed in the 18th century.
Many of the original sash windows remain in place and include a number of 16 and 28-pane windows
Another of the property’s stunning bathrooms. Many of the doors in the property are solid steel as William Rees-Mogg was an IRA target
The Carriage House, an old coach house, has been converted into a self-contained apartment, including a sleek kitchen
The reception area of The Carriage House apartment, which has two bedrooms and a private access to the pool
The property has had a number of famous residents, including the Rees-Mogg family, who moved in in 1978
Another bedroom, with a fireplace and a skylight, could be made into a dressing room or nursery, the listing says
Just a 20-minute drive from Wells, the house, situated in the outstanding area of natural beauty in the Mendip Hills, is surrounded by almost an acre of gardens, adding to the sweeping driveway.
The grounds also feature magnolias and an ancient ‘sacred’ yew tree.
Nearby attractions and outdoor pursuits include walking in the Mendip Hills and at Cheddar Gorge and sailing and fishing at Blagdon and Chew Valley Lake.
Tucked away on the third floor of the Grade II listed mansion is another apartment, complete with a new navy galley kitchen
A home gym, which can be accessed from the main kitchen and is in addition to the indoor heated swimming pool
The bedrooms offer impressive views of the nearby village and Mendip Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty
A snug in the property for informal evenings. It could also be used as a private office, if the buyers worked from home
The listing on Fine & Country reads: ‘This gracious wisteria-clad Grade II Listed Georgian building occupies a private and peaceful elevated spot, with fantastic views of the Mendip Hills.
‘It has been extended and upgraded over the years, including a complete renovation project by the current owners to improve both the things you don’t see (plumbing, alarm systems, cellars, gutters, tree works, rebuilding of perimeter wall and rewiring) as well as the things you do (Farrow & Ball paintwork inside and out, new bathrooms throughout, an indoor pool and 2 new apartments).
Just a 20-minute drive from Wells, the house is situated in the outstanding area of natural beauty in the Mendip Hills
The outside area offers a private and peaceful dining option for nicer weather with a table that could seat 12 people
The acre of gardens offers a number of options for outside eating and other leisure activities and features mature magnolias and an ancient yew tree
Nearby attractions and outdoor pursuits include walking in the Mendip Hills and at Cheddar Gorge and sailing and fishing at Blagdon and Chew Valley Lake
The house is set on an acre of its own grounds and has a sweeping driveway that can fit up to 12 cars but is also close to the centre of the village
The impressive house has room for a large family and several guests, as it boasts accommodation for at least 12 people
‘The house is now an elegant, impressive, warm and welcoming family home, combining classic Georgian period features. with modern design and convenience.
‘The property includes a stunning indoor heated swimming pool, a walled courtyard filled with sweet smelling shrubs perfect for summer entertaining, and is set in pretty, mature walled gardens surrounding the house, giving a high degree of privacy.
‘The Georgian features, which are evident throughout, have been preserved and enhanced and include beautiful, tall, rare 28 and 16-paned sash windows with working shutters, high ceilings, flagstone floors and attractive working fireplaces in the three rooms on the ground floor and two of the bedrooms and a bathroom on the first and second floors.’