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Thank you for your interest in the purchase of Bridge House. We hope the following information will be useful to you in considering your next steps.
Bridge House is an early 18th century Grade II listed house with approximately 4 acres of land.
The main entrance from the large front garden is through a conservatory with a sink unit, currently used as a small shop and tea room. The ground floor has two reception rooms with wood burning stoves, a kitchen with an Aga in an inglenook and Belfast sink and a walk-in storeroom. There is also a large covered utility space with Belfast sink, toilet and wash basin. This gives access to an outside wet room with shower, toilet and wash-basin, mostly used by campers and visitors and then back to the front garden. There is also a cellar.
The house has the potential for 7 bedrooms:
Three rooms on the first floor, two of which are en suite at present and used for Retreat and B&B guests. The third is a large main bedroom. There is also a family bathroom on this floor.
There are four rooms on the second floor, which are fairly rudimentary at present. There is also a toilet on this floor and lots of storage cupboards.
There is boarded attic space above with access through 2 ceiling trapdoors.
Adjacent to the house is a modern timber framed barn which houses a separate office, workshop and garage space and a second floor storage area. The office has hard-wired telephone and internet connections and there is 24hr and off-peak electricity. There is potential to develop this building for other uses.
The land has about 1.5 acres set aside for camping (20 plots permitted, no electric hook-up) and a willow labyrinth of about 0.5 acres. We have about 0.5 acres set over to free range chickens, and also a soft fruit garden, an orchard and some undeveloped land.
The campsite consists of three paddocks of about equal size. Two paddocks are open field layout, but the third is set up with Glades, which are small individual plots surrounded by shrubs, accessed by foot only, and of a size to fit either a small tent or a large tent. There are four mains water taps in the meadow along with an open air heated shower and a washing-up sink with hot water. The campsite is serviced with composting toilets and straw bale urinal along with the wet room at the house, mentioned above.
The Labyrinth is planted up with three varieties of willow in the shape of a Celtic Cross. Walking distance is about 1.5km, with one route to the centre and another route out. The path is broken by eleven “zones”, each with an invitation to contemplate different aspects of one’s journey with God. Leaflets are available to offer help with walking. The Labyrinth is registered with the Quiet Garden Trust.
Our chapel (a converted shed) is adjacent to the camping field and there is also an old barn which we have renovated to some extent. This is now an open space for campers to relax. There are also several sheds for garden and estate machinery.
There is more information and our story in other parts of this website. In essence, Phil is an accredited Baptist Minister (about to retire), a trained spiritual director and a general oddjobber and handyman. Rosie is an accomplished home builder, well practiced listener, a perfect partner for Phil, and accomplished artist in several disciplines and a keen gardener. We began the retreat work when Phil completed his probationary period after training for the Baptist ministry at Regents Park College, Oxford. Because no church was financing this ministry we opened the campsite and started B&B when rooms were available. We have hosted small group away days and individual retreat days along with having retreat guests staying for a few days. The house is an open house of prayer and hospitality recognised by The Northumbria Community as a Community House, following the ethos of The Community.
We have been running the campsite for about 15yrs initially under the auspices of the Camping and Caravanning Club Certificated Site scheme. However, we have recently acquired full planning permission to run the site independently. The B&B side of the business is listed with AirBnB and our website also has on-line booking for both camping and B&B. These constitute a major source of income for us, but also bring us into contact with many people who are on holiday or away from home, often with time to chat, and enter into deeper conversations about God, Life, the Universe and Everything (GLUE). It is on account of this that we consider this to be a “Missional Business”.
Bridge House is situated adjacent to Shillingford Bridge, a few metres from the River Thames, on the A329. The Thames Path passes between the house and the camping field. This means we are ideally situated for Thames Path walkers and River Thames travellers. Although we do not have river frontage, there is adequate river access by the bridge. Due to passed infringements of our riparian rights we have tacit approval from the Environment Agency to apply for access from our land to the river to be recovered, which will be looked upon favourably.
We are a 10 minute walk away from the A4074, along which buses for Oxford, Reading and Henley-on-Thames travel. These buses stop at our nearest town, Wallingford. At present there are buses in each direction ever 20 mins. Mainline trains stop at Oxford and Reading making access by public transport very easy. A slow train also stops at Cholsey, from where there is a bus to Wallingford. The M40 motorway is a 20 minutes car drive away.
We are very concerned about the environment and this little piece of the world which we believe God has given us to tend and live with. We feel very connected to this environment and seek to life in harmony with it as much as we are able. We do this with the conviction that as followers of Jesus, His Gospel invites us to participate with Him in the salvation and redemption of the whole of creation, not just the human beings who also happen to inhabit this world.
In no way do we intend to say that we are looking for someone to continue the work and ministry of Bridge House in an identical way. Our wish is that there may be someone who would be interested in continuing the fundamentally christian ethos of the house and grounds and may be able to develop the space in line with this ethos. There is much scope for development. Obtaining the Planning Permission for the camping site was a hard battle and it would be sad if that were all laid aside, but again we would never insist that the land had to continue to be used in this way.
Do please, take a look at the rest of our website, but be aware that to return to this page you will have to use the “back a page” button on your browser as there is no direct access to this page from the site.
Enjoy your visit, and we hope that some of you will contact us for more information and that one of you may be the next custodian of this piece of Gods wonderful world.