Do you ever dream of owning your own historic country pile? Imagine living in an outstanding property whose walls could give up many a secret? And wandering around magnificent grounds in which you could lose yourself (probably literally)?
Jayne Howarth has chosen her four favourite country homes and manor houses on the market that are all within easy driving distance of Birmingham.
Peplow Hall, Market Drayton, Shropshire
People living in London and the South-East will undoubtedly be rubbing their eyes in disbelief at the guide price of this grade II* listed country house, which is set in more than 62 acres.
It’s hard to believe that an elegant country pile as this – reached via wrought iron gates that themselves are listed – could be bought for under £3 million.
Dating from 1725, Peplow Hall was built by Hugh Pigot and is the current seat of Lord Newborough.
It is epic in its stature. The Hall itself has 11,635 sq ft of living accommodation, which includes eight bedrooms and six receptions rooms, all of which have carved Georgian fireplaces and some of which are panelled.
There is a large breakfast kitchen, study, gun room as well as stores, while the cellars provide a further 1,415 sq ft of space. That’s not including outbuildings and stabling, and coach house with two-bedroom apartment and garaging.
The ten acres of gardens are magnificent and provide all-year colour, planted with azaleas, rhododendrons, roses, herbaceous borders and its own fully enclosed walled garden that leads to a seven-acre lake.
Swimming pool, tennis court, lake, parkland and pasture complete the picture-perfect English country residence.
If you want to dig deeper into your finances, an additional 29.5 acres and Orchard Croft and Garden House could be available separately.
Agent: Savills, 01952 239500
Guide price: £2,750,000
Yeaton Pevery Hall, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
More proof, if it were needed, that you get more bang for your buck in Shropshire. Yeaton Pevery Hall is a grade II* listed country house “of exceptional significance”, say the agents.
It’s just six miles from Shrewsbury and its countryside location provides exquisite views of the Welsh Borders and is itself set in six acres of gorgeous parkland, landscaped gardens and grounds.
The substantial Yeaton Peverey
Hall, with 24,341 sq ft of accommodation space, has an outstanding pedigree. It was designed by Sir Aston
Webb, architect of Buckingham
Palace’s iconic façade, between 1889 and 1892 for local politician Sir Offley Wakeman.
The Elizabethan-style property was used as a girls’ school until 1971, but since then has been used as a residence. It’s worth noting that the former servants’ wing at the east end has been converted to five apartments, which provides a substantial income.
The Hall is imposing in style and stature, and some rooms retain the original William Morris wallpaper and original light fittings. The principal reception room – the former ballroom – is now called the cedar room, and has carved and intricate plasterwork. Double doors open into a further sitting room, a small unconsecrated chapel and a vestibule that leads to the Orangery.
The drawing room is panelled and has a large open fireplace. It leads on to the billiard room with an inglenook under a semi-circular arch and direct access into the orangery. A series of south-facing rooms end with the morning room and Sir Offley’s study.
A large dining room is ideal for large gatherings and this elegant room leads onto the summer kitchen/scullery, and the modern living kitchen.
Agent: Savill’s, 01952 239500
Guide price: £2,250,000
Bretforton Manor, near Chipping Campden, Worcestershire
Parts of this fine listed manor house date back to 1602. Constructed from honey-coloured lias limestone, it has a typical Cotswolds look with stone mullions, dormers and gables.
The main house, apartments, cider house and villa provide a whopping 18,410 sq ft of accommodation.
It’s not just the eight-bedroom, five reception-room house that will attract buyers, however. The five acres of beautiful landscaped gardens with ponds, patios, pergola, lake with waterfall, and brook are also utter gems.
And there are 14th century village stocks, a 17th century timber and cider mill with cider press and gallery over, restored 18th century dovecote, plus 18th century bee house, aviary and summer house. Orchards and vegetable gardens complete this bucolic idyll.
Lot one is the main home and gardens with 6.99 acres of parkland and it’s a home created for elegant entertaining.
The dining room can accommodate a table to seat 18 and there’s plenty of room to keep those fine wines, thanks to the two cellars (one in the house, the other in an outbuilding). Other reception rooms include a formal drawing room, billiard/ball room, morning room and sitting room.
The kitchen has handmade solid oak units, granite worktops, limestone floor and four-oven Aga, plus pantry, while the breakfast room incorporates a former Elizabethan inglenook.
As well as the main house, there is a self-contained first floor apartment with sitting room, kitchen and bedroom, plus stores, indoor heated swimming pool with a non-chlorine filtration system, gymnasium and tennis court.
A second lot has 14.69 acres of grounds and, at the rear of the garden, 2 Brook Villas, a restored semi-detached cottage with open views and garden.
Agent: Knight Frank, 01789 297735
Guide price: £3,500,000
Wappenbury Hall, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Once home of Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar, Wappenbury Hall is an imposing Victorian mansion.
The estate is available as five lots – or it can be purchased as a whole.
Lot one is the Hall and 36.40 acres of grounds. It boasts 12 bedrooms (nine principal rooms), six bathrooms and six reception rooms.
The oak-panelled reception hall leads to the music room, drawing room, dining room which has gilded plasterwork, and games room.
There is also a spacious office and large sitting room, next door to which is the kitchen / breakfast room. The master bedroom suite in particular is described as “exceptional” and has views over the gardens.
The gardens are also stunning and feature formal flower beds, lawns, shrubberies, and mature trees. At the rear of the garden is a swimming pool, recently refurbished, with pool house. Next to that there is a walled garden with glass houses, and a mature orchard. A fenced astroturf area is being used as two tennis courts, but is big enough to be used as a five-a-side football pitch.
Lot two is about 289.67 acres of farmland, farmed by a mixture of contract farming and a farm business tenancy. Lot three is for a range of traditional farm buildings with planning permission for conversion to residential property with 1.55 acres of grounds.
Lot four is farm buildings, including Dutch barn, cattle barns, and a grain store, with about 1.73 acres of grounds, while the final lot is for Chivalry Cottage, a three-bedroom cottage with 0.22 acres, which is sold subject to a protected tenancy.
Agent: Knight Frank, 01789 297735
Guide price: £7,500,000