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Old Saint Michaels offers a choice of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, homes and boutique offices from a collection of Grade II Listed Victorian buildings set in eye-catching landscaped courtyard gardens, approached by a refined entrance. Nothing at Old Saint Michaels has been left to chance.
The homes at Old St Michaels enjoy the beauty of the historical features combined with the modern benefits of:
Old Saint Michaels was built as a Union workhouse in 1837-8 by Royston architects, William Nash. William was 38 when he designed Old Saint Michaels and throughout his career he worked on many other projects in East Anglia, including other public and institutional buildings, churches and houses. He based his design on an 1835 model plan produced by Samson Kempthorne. Old Saint Michaels is a rare example of a hexagon plan workhouse with a Y-shaped main building and is the last remaining of its kind in Essex.
The Kempthorne “Y” plan traditionally had a central “hub” from which radiated accommodation wings for the different classes of inmate defined by the Commissioners – infirm males, infirm females, able-bodied males, able-bodied females, boys, girls, and children under seven. Each complex also had an entrance or administrative block at the far end of one of the wings, infirmaries and chapels and other larger buildings were often added to the basic shape. Ancillary, single-storey perimeter buildings gave each workhouse its distinctive hexagonal outline. The grounds were used as exercise yards, segregated according to class.
At Old Saint Michaels a large infirmary using this plan was built c. 1849 and the buildings underwent constant modifications throughout the nineteenth century. In 1896-1897, new casual and receiving wards and a new boardroom were built to the south of the workhouse. At the same time, the flanking wings of the entrance block at the foot of the ‘Y’ were rebuilt as infirmary accommodation. A new kitchen and chapel were erected between the hub and infirmary in the late nineteenth century.
In 1948, the workhouse became part of the newly formed National Health Service. The ensuing changes and additions were often rather unsympathetic to the original buildings.
The buildings that exist today comprise the “Y” with its three, three-storey ranges and front entrance block flanked by the later infirmary wings. Many of the outbuildings and boundary walls arranged around the hexagonal perimeter also survive, as well as part of the original infirmary, casual and receiving wards and board room. Other workhouse original features St Michaels Workhouse, 1905 St Michaels Hospital, 2006 include its bakery and laundry, complete with weighing scales!
City & Country has reinvigorated the Old Saint Michaels entrance by restoring the original gates and adding planting appropriate to the formal entrance. It has also created rich and tranquil car-free landscaped courtyards replete with an array of established plants and trees. The group believes in landscaping to achieve immediate effect to enable homeowners to be able to enjoy the gardens as soon as they move in.
The existing mature trees are being carefully protected during the construction process, to allow them to become the focal points within the landscape. The existing trees include maple, birch, magnolia, crab apple and an Indian bean tree - the name ‘Indian’ is a reference to the North American native Indians, where the species originates from, and the ‘beans’ that appear in the late summer. The extensive installation of bird boxes and the planting of native species will encourage birds and other wildlife to the green heart of the development.
The courtyards have been carefully divided with new hedges and planting to create relaxed and intimate spaces. A number of the hedge lines subtly recreate the original subdivision of the courtyards. Solid stone paving slabs form the paths, grey block paving is used for the mews streets, and iron railings surround the small terraces to a number of the ground floor apartments. New areas of grass, flower beds and the planting of bulbs will combine with the existing trees and the new hedges and trees to create a soft backdrop and relaxed spaces to enjoy.
Old Saint Michaels is located close to the heart of the historic market town of Braintree and combines the benefits of a stylish home set in beautifully landscaped courtyards, with the convenience of being on the doorstep of a thriving town with its shops and restaurants.
Old Saint Michaels is also situated just 16 miles from Stansted making it ideal for purchasers who are looking for a stylish ‘Lock-up and Leave’ apartment. With Braintree Station providing a direct Line to Liverpool Street, homes at Old Saint Michaels are also ideal for commuters who are looking for the chance to escape city life and want a spectacular apartment to come home to.
There are several high quality golf clubs within a short drive – including Braintree Golf Club founded in 1891 on the outskirts of the town with a delightful parkland course. The gentle rolling countryside around Braintree offers excellent relaxation opportunities from walking to cycling to golf with a number of country parks and attractive rural villages such as Thaxted, Coggeshall and Finchingfield.
Braintree Town Centre has a generous selection of shops, hairdressers and cafes whilst a few miles north is Freeport Designer Village which offers a wider selection with over 85 stores and restaurants:
Significant investment opportunities are on offer at Old Saint Michaels, Essex, and The Manor, Suffolk – two outstanding developments from award winning heritage developer, City & Country.
1 St Jude Court (D01)
Old Saint Michaels, Braintree, Essex
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