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CPBigwood lines up character Castle Bromwich property for auction

CPBig The Rectory 10

A Grade II Listed Castle Bromwich landmark with past links to nobility and the church is to come up for auction through property agents CPBigwood.

The Rectory, 2 Rectory Lane, has a guide price of £575,000-£595,000 and the current owner, a boxing enthusiast, is looking for a “knock-out” result.

The property was built for the Earl of Bradford by distinguished architect, C.E. Bateman. The Earl then gifted the property to the Church and it became the rectory for St Mary’s and St Margaret’s.

Now in private hands it goes under the hammer on Thursday, February 28, at CPBigwood’s first auction of the new year – at the Holte Suite at Aston Villa Football Club, with an 11am start.

Jonathan Hackett, partner and head of auctions for CPBigwood, said: “This is an outstanding and impressive property with an interesting history.

“It is a stand-out building in Castle Bromwich in particular for the style of its architecture.

“It is full of character and would make a fantastic family home or alternatively could be suitable for conversion into apartments.”

The substantial three storey freehold residence, standing in landscaped grounds off Rectory Lane, a private road, is double fronted and situated in the old established part of Castle Bromwich, near to Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens and to Castle Bromwich Parish Church.

Owner, Mr Naji Al Harbi, said he, his wife and four children had fallen in love with the house as soon as they saw it.

“It is a beautiful property and highly distinctive – we’ve loved living here,” noted Mr Al Harbi. “It can be particularly appreciated in the summer because the grounds are so nice.

“The story behind it and the history are fascinating. It has two entrances because the top floor used to be the servants quarters. So they used one entrance and the family used the other. We have still got the downstairs bell which was used to summon the servants when required.
“It is in a very desirable setting – like living in a little village. There are good schools nearby and Castle Bromwich Gardens are an easy walk away.”
The Al Harbi family have lived there for six years and have spent a six figure sum modernising the house.
“You name it and I have done it,” said Mr Al Harbi.
That included installing an extra bathroom where there used to be a small prayer room during the Church’s time.
A mortgage broker, Mr Al Harbi is also a martial arts teacher and professional boxing trainer.
The house is going to auction after six months on the general market as Mr Al Harbi is looking to clinch a deal so as to take up opportunities abroad, in particular interest in setting up boxing academies.

On the ground floor there is a porch, reception hall, reception room, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility room, rear lobby and two pantries. The first floor, accessed via two staircases, comprises four bedrooms, two bathrooms, one with a Jacuzzi, and separate shower cubicle. The second floor takes in a landing, three more bedrooms, and a bathroom/WC on which some work is still required.

Set in mature grounds, there is a detached garage with remote control electric door and substantial driveway parking.

Outbuildings include a store and gardener’s toilet.

The Earls of Bradford are more normally associated with the family seat at Weston Park in Staffordshire.

However, they also owned Castle Bromwich Hall and Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens.

Charles Edward Bateman (1863-1947) was an English architect, known for his Arts and Crafts and Queen Anne-style houses and commercial buildings in the Birmingham area. He also did considerable work in the Cotswolds.

Bateman was born in Castle Bromwich, the son of architect John Bateman, and was an early pioneer of the Arts and Crafts style in Birmingham, building a series of large suburban properties, with particular concentrations in King’s Heath, Four Oaks and Castle Bromwich, along with more urban offices, factories and townhouses in Birmingham city centre.

Other surviving examples include 89 & 91 Cornwall Street, Birmingham, and The Red Lion, Vicarage Road, King’s Heath.

His love of the Cotswolds also led to a reputation for the sensitive design of country houses and a series of projects conserving significant historic Cotswold structures such as the Lygon Arms in Broadway.

Bateman became a pillar of Birmingham’s architectural establishment. Elected a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1898 he went on to serve three terms as president of the Birmingham Architectural Association (which had been founded by his father) and become a senior lecturer in architecture at Birmingham School of Art.