City Life Can Leave You Inspired; the Rich Culture and History of England's Thriving Cathedral Cities Make the Man Attractive Option . .

By Midgley, Simon | The Mail on Sunday (London, England), July 14, 2002 | Go to article overview

City Life Can Leave You Inspired; the Rich Culture and History of England's Thriving Cathedral Cities Make the Man Attractive Option . .


Midgley, Simon, The Mail on Sunday (London, England)


Byline: SIMON MIDGLEY

Town houses in England's cathedral cities are much sought after, offering flourishing musical and cultural communities with rich historical pasts. Places such as Canterbury, Winchester, St Albans and Norwich are also large enough to support decent shopping centres, a wide choice of public and private schools, good sports facilities, art galleries, museums and plenty of restaurants - yet still allow quick access to the countryside.

And they are often within commuting distance of London, with good rail and motorway links.

Cathedral cities often possess a distinct sense of identity and nearby villages and towns tend to look to them as cultural and commercial centres.

Magnificent ancient cathedrals such as Canterbury and Ely dominate their surroundings.

Houses on cathedral closes are especially desirable because of their beautiful settings and views. Cathedral Close in Salisbury, where Sir Edward Heath has a freehold house, dates from the 14th Century and is said to be the best in England.

Homes here rarely come on the market and cost more than pound sterling1 million. The most desirable overlook the water meadows famously painted by Constable.

Linda Reeve, of Myddelton & Major, says Salisbury has that much more to offer, with 'lots of musical activities related to the cathedral'.

St Albans estate agent Martin Treasure says people pay about 15 per cent more for the older houses near the cathedral precincts. 'We are within the commuter belt, and a lot of people want the character and history of a cathedral city.'

property ST ALBANS, pound sterling425,000 If you seek a fast commute into London, how about this five-bedroom Edwardian semidetached house near the 11th Century cathedral in St Albans.

On a good day, the journey by Thameslink into King's Cross takes just 19 minutes. The downside is that during the rush hour you may well have to stand for the entire trip.

With rooms on three floors, the house in Britton Avenue has a large loungecumdining room, a breakfast room and a small, south-facing rear garden.

The property is near the city centre which has a wide range of shops, a very large market and good state and private schools. The city, which dates from Roman times, is surrounded by some of Hertfordshire's finest countryside. It is just five miles north of the M25.

Martin Treasure (01727 844330).

CANTERBURY, pound sterling379,500 Broad Street House is a fine Grade II listed townhouse close to the cathedral and city centre. The property dates from the 15th Century but is principally 18th Century.

Period features include panelling, ceiling timbers and an inglenook fireplace.

The two-bathroom house has six bedrooms, two in the attic. There is a conservatory, drawing room, breakfast room, cloakroom and cellar with built-in wine bins.

Outside is a beautiful walled garden with lawn, gravel pathways, rose beds and various trees including mulberry, fig and pear.

Its shrubs include camellia, hydrangea, magnolia, eleagnus and flowering cherry. There is also a garage and a log store.

Canterbury is near Dover and the Channel Tunnel. It has two mainline rail stations and the journey to London takes about 90 minutes. …

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