Mill Batch Cottage is an 18th century holiday cottage, situated on the edge of the village of Mark. This quiet, country parish lies on the edge of the West Country, roughly halfway between the Mendip and Polden Hills, on the misty, marshy land known as the Somerset Levels. The village at its centre is, according to local legend, the longest in England.
The cottage was originally built as a cattle barn, in the 1780s, but in 1819 it was converted into a cottage by William Counsell. The property still retains many of its original features: the low wooden beam over the front entrance, oak beamed ceilings, and the original fireplace, now with a wood burner to give the cottage a homely feel.
The garden of the cottage, though small, borders the owners much larger garden, 1.4 acres. Both are packed with wildlife, with more than 80 species of bird, 20 species of butterflies, as well as, badgers, foxes and the occasional deer all visit the garden from time to time. Swallows nest in the barn, in the farmyard next door, and the owner’s commemorate their return each spring with a wrought iron weathercock featuring swallows, on top of the cottage roof. The area is a haven for wildlife as roe deer are also found here, though they often go unnoticed because of their retiring habits. At dusk, a barn owl floats over waterlogged fields, on soft, silent wings.
The lane next to the property, Perry Road, leads into the hamlet of Perry – named after pear cider, which used to be made there. Cider apple trees still run alongside the property and in the orchard next door. The landscape here is steeped in history, of both the natural and human kind. This is where King Arthur is said to be buried, King Alfred burned the cakes, and the last pitched battle was fought on English soil, at Sedgemoor on July 6th 1685.
On a clear day, if you climb the 94 stone steps to the top of the church tower, you can see Cheddar Gorge to the north and Glastonbury Tor to the south. The cathedral city of Wells is just out of sight to the east, while towards the west, beyond the M5 motorway, lies Bridgwater Bay, with the Quantock Hills and Exmoor beyond. Shop ½ mile, pub ¼ mile.
Large beamed, double aspect living room with wood-burning stove in inglenook fireplace. Kitchen with tiled floor and sloping ceiling. Utility. Separate toilet. Fairly steep wooden stairs to first floor: Double bedroom with window shutter. Beamed twin bedroom with sloping ceiling. Single bedroom with floor level feature window. All bedrooms with exposed stone wall. Shower room with toilet.