Derbyshire is another county much underrated by country house buyers, says Edward Caudwell of Caudwell & Co in Bakewell (01629 810018), who has, nonetheless, sold 12 Derbyshire country houses for more than £1m this year alone. Eleven of them were bought by local purchasers, it must be said, as according to Mr Caudwell, ?a lot of country houses in Derbyshire are sold around the dinner-party circuit?.

Caudwells and Knight Frank quote a guide price of £1.65m for one of the county?s most perfectly sited houses, Weston Lodge at Kedleston, 10 miles from Ashbourne. Built in about 1770, with a late Georgian style extension added by Alfred Curzon in about 1840, Weston Lodge is surrounded by the lands of the Kedleston Hall estate, once the seat of the Curzon family and now run by the National Trust.

Weston Lodge stands in 19 acres of its own, and has 7,000sq ft of accommodation including three reception rooms, a breakfast room, seven bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a staff flat. Outbuildings include a traditional coach house, and two courtyards with extensive stabling and garaging.

According to Mr Caudwell, Ashover is one of four traditional North Derbyshire villages the others being Baslow, Great Longstone and Ashford in the Water where good country properties with a few acres of land can fetch anything from £950,000 to £1.65m.

This article was originally published in Country Life magazine, October 13, 2005. To subscribe click here.