Home of Local War Veteran, Schoolmaster And Village Campaigner Up For Sale

The former home of Lt Col Michael Mann, Dunkirk veteran, retired Felsted Schoolmaster and local campaigner, is up for sale.

Leading local estate agents, Mullucks Wells, are selling The Chantry, a 500 year old timber framed house next door to the church in Stebbing near Dunmow, which is on the market for the first time in more than 60 years.

The house was bought by Lt Col Mann just after World War II when he joined the staff at Felsted School. During the war he was awarded the Military Cross in 1940 for commandeering a locomotive just outside Dunkirk to retrieve a wagon-load of ammunition behind enemy lines.

After the war and married to Diana, a member of the aircraft pioneering De Havilland family, Mann started work at Felsted School teaching Spanish and Classics and was heavily involved in the school’s Cadet Force. The couple moved to Stebbing in 1947 and Lt Col Mann lived in The Chantry for more than 60 years until his death earlier this year.

His good friends and now executors of his will, Michael and Jackie Kingdom, are overseeing the sale of the house. Jackie Kingdom said: “Over the years he became very well-known in Stebbing for everything he did to protect and preserve the village. In the 1960s he worked on the project to restore and redecorate St Mary’s Church and in the 70s he actually laid in front of the digger that had come to demolish the old Red Lion pub. The digger turned back and it gave the village enough time to preserve and protect the building from demolition!

“Most recently he spearheaded the campaign to stop gravel extraction in Stebbing. His work and presentations at the four-day public enquiry prevented the plans from going ahead. The beauty of the village we take for granted owes much to Michael and his dedication.”

Mark Wagstaff of estate agents, Mullucks Wells, said: “This is truly a landmark village house with a style and history that excites even the most experienced estate agent! The period architecture and the history of such a notable previous owner gives the property a real buzz. It’s Grade II listed and has a range of period features that have barely been touched since the 1950s, so it’s a rare opportunity for someone to restore such an important building and create a very special home.

“The Chantry is one of the finest mid-sized timber framed houses in this area of Essex. Built as a Hall House in about 1480, just before the reign of Henry VII, the house had links to the church next door. There are high ceilings with impressive timbers and the jettied upper storey along the front and left hand side is a delightful feature.”

The three bedroom house is on the market for £499,950. First viewings will be taking place at an “Open House” event on Saturday 8 September. For more information, please contact Mullucks Wells on 01371 872117.