Country houses can go for a song, reports Eleanor Doughty.

There is a county—the second biggest—that almost no one ever thinks of: Lincolnshire, where you can buy a manor house for a million.

It’s no joke, says Rupert Fisher, head of Savills’ Lincoln office. ‘The average price per square foot is £140— it’s crazy.’ Mr Fisher puts the county’s secret status down to its successful farming.

Value for money here is staggering. Thurlby Hall, located just off the A46 between Lincoln and Newark, a seven-bedroom Grade II-listed hall with 23 acres, two cottages and a tennis court, recently sold for £995,000— an absolute steal by the standards of the Home Counties.

The average price of houses sold by Savills in Lincolnshire this year is £556,000; half a million ‘gets you so much more here’. Eight-bedroom Careby Manor, in the sought-after town of Stamford, is on the market for £995,000 and comes with 10 acres and stabling.

There’s much more to Lincolnshire’s appeal than lower-than-low prices. As well as exceptional hunting with the Brocklesby, there’s at least one grammar school in every town except Lincoln and a smattering of good preps feed the public schools that encircle the county at Uppingham, Oundle, Oakham and Repton.

The county’s house prices are slow to move, with 3% or 4% movement a year. A soon-to-arrive improved train link to Lincoln from London will help with the commute.

But residents, reluctant to give away their closely-guarded secret, are forced to admit that, as it is, travel to town isn’t bad—just 80 minutes to King’s Cross from Newark North Gate. What are you waiting for?

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