‘Lovely views’

Nine Wells House, Great Shelford, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Chris Carey, Bidwells

Sold last year for more than £2 million, this Victorian house has eight acres and a tennis court. ‘It has lovely views from one of the few hills in the area and is only four miles from the city. The rooms are beautifully proportioned, with scope for modernisation, and the gardens would keep my professional-gardener partner happy’

 

Nine Wells House
 
 
 

‘Incredibly good value’

 

Piers Court, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire

James Mackenzie, Savills

‘At £2.5 million, this house (Evelyn Waugh’s former home) is incredibly good value. We sold it this year for the second time since I’ve been here. It has wonderful main reception rooms and a medieval, more informal part at the back. But there are two downsides: it’s too far west of Cirencester and “Royal Gloucestershire” and the M5 hums away just the other side of the road. If you could pick it up and put it somewhere else, the price would be £6.5 million’

 

Piers Court


‘I’d like to live in a grand house’

 

Thornhill Park, Milborne Port, Dorset, and Ven House, Somerset

Michael de Pelet, Knight Frank

After 32 years of selling country houses, Michael de Pelet isn’t content to restrain himself to just one house. ‘Absolutely not,’ he cries. ‘I’d have two: Ven House in Somerset-I’ve had the tantalising experience of being involved with its sale four times-and Thornhill Park. Both were restored by Tommy Kyle. I’d like to live in a grand house’

 

Thornhill Park

 

‘Ideal west-facing position’

Little Falmouth House, Flushing, Cornwall

Jonathan Cunliffe, Savills  

‘This house is in a very pretty village on the Fal Estuary. With an ideal west-facing position for evening sun, a guest cottage, and private jetty, what more could you want? The interior needed some upgrading, but is quite comfortable enough in the meantime. We sold it in the spring of last year with a guide of £2.25 million’

 

Little Falmouth House

 

‘A very pretty house’

Holywell Hall, Stamford, Lincolnshire

Crispin Holborow, Savills  

Holywell Hall, a small estate of 67 acres, has slipped through Crispin Holborow’s fingers a number of times. ‘It’s a very pretty house of yellow Clipsham stone with a private chapel, beautiful gardens and parkland and a lovely drive. Plus, it’s an easy commute to work in London’

 

Holywell Hall

‘Ripe for doing up’

 

West Mill House, Shipton-on-Stour, Warwickshire

Simon Merton, Strutt & Parker

Simon Merton at Strutt & Parker’s Moreton-in-Marsh office sold this house last year with a guide price of £895,000. ‘It’s not listed and it’s outside the conservation area in a lovely rural setting with a level garden-just ripe for doing up and extending’

 

Weston Mill House

‘Typically, when the budget allowed, it wasn’t for sale’

 

Park Lodge, Birstwith, Yorkshire

Tim Waring, Knight Frank

This house, which has recently been on the market with a guide price of £675,000, is on the edge of the village, some seven miles from Harrogate. ‘It has a great view over Nidderdale, which is an AONB, but still remains within commuting distance of Leeds and isn’t isolated. I used to live in the village, and even sold the house as a young agent, when I couldn’t afford to put an offer in-typically, when the budget did allow, it wasn’t for sale’

 

Park Lodge

 

 

‘Like having an estate without the hassle’

Rignell Farm, Barford St Michael, Banbury, Oxfordshire

Rupert Sweeting, Knight Frank

Knight Frank sold this house in Oxfordshire in 2003. ‘It’s really an overgrown farmhouse that sits in 100 acres. It was only built 25 years ago and is in tip-top shape in an increasingly fashionable area. It has a nice long drive, a swimming pool and tennis court, and you’re surrounded by your own land, so it’s like having an estate without the hassle’

 

Rignell Farm

‘A pretty Georgian farmhouse’

 

West Soley Farmhouse, Chilton Foliat, Hungerford, Berkshire

William Marsden-Smedley, Prime Purchase

‘In all my years of being a buying agent, the brochure of this Georgian farmhouse was the only one that I took home to my wife. It has a swimming pool, tennis court and a lovely courtyard of barns that would have been perfect for her, as she runs a small fudge-making business. If I hadn’t had clients who wanted to (and eventually did) buy it, I would have seriously considered it’

 

West Soley Farmhouse

‘A classic-looking Cotswolds house’

 

Fosse Hill, Coates, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Jamie Dalrymple Hamilton, Jackson-Stops & Staff

Had I asked Jamie Dalrymple Hamilton what his dream house was 25 years ago when he was working in Edinburgh, he would have had a ‘whole host of romantic west coast properties’ from which to choose. ‘Now, older, wiser and certainly more pragmatic, my choice would be Fosse Hill at Coates, just outside Cirencester, which we sold in October 2003. It was a classic-looking Cotswold house with just the right amount of land, a cottage for staff or home help and an excellent location’

 

Fosse Hill

‘One of the best settings’

 

Cutt Mill House, Puttenham, Surrey

Tim Harriss, Knight Frank

‘It was in one of the best settings that I’ve been to during my 18 years as an agent. The previous owner had allowed the occasional wedding to take place in the magical grounds. I first saw it in May 2009 as the garden was coming into full glory. The house sits beside a five-acre lake with all imaginable wildlife, both tame and wild. But the key thing about Cutt Mill House was its seclusion and utter peace, which is so rare in this day and age, particularly in the South-East’

 

Cutt Mill House

 

 

‘It’s got everything’

Alleron, Loddiswell, Kingsbridge, Devon

Martin Lamb, Savills

‘Devon is short of small manor houses, and I’ve always hankered after this Georgian family house. It’s just got everything: seven bedrooms, a lovely round walled garden with a little door going into it and a stream running through, 40 acres, a cottage and camellias. I sold it once before in the early 1990s and put it back on the market at the end of January in Country Life for £2.5 million’

 

Allerton

‘The whole package’

 

Pinbury Park, Sapperton, Gloucestershire

Edward Sugden, Property Vision  

‘This is a hidden gem, set at the end of a beautiful long drive in some spectacular countryside. With eight bedrooms and lovely light rooms, it’s not a statement house, but, nevertheless, it sits in a mature setting overlooking its own valley. Plus it’s got the whole package: 90 acres, three cottages, outbuildings and a lovely avenue of yew trees. It’s really special’

 

Pinbury Park

‘Perfect combination of interior and exterior space’

Deanery Garden, Sonning, Berkshire

Richard Page, John D. Wood

Richard Page sold the Lutyens-designed Deanery Garden back in 1988, when it took a record-breaking six-page gatefold advertisement in Country Life. ‘It introduced me to the work of the great architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, sparking an interest that’s since taken me around the world. The house was built in 1901 (for Edward Hudson, the founder of Country Life) and represents Lutyens at both the height of his “Surrey Vernacular” style and his partnership with Gertrude Jekyll, who designed the garden. The interior enjoys incredible attention to detail, finely crafted oak timbering and, remarkably, walls of clunch (the lower seam of chalk). The house has the perfect combination of interior and exterior space through the use of courtyards and loggias, and is ideal for large-scale entertaining. On a sunny English summer’s day, I can’t imagine a more idyllic spot’

 

Deanery

 

‘I immediately imagined living here’

The Barn, Grimston, Yorkshire

Ben Pridden, Savills

‘I remember well the first time I saw this house and immediately imagined myself living there. That doesn’t happen all that often, oddly. In 15 years, I’ve come across some lovely houses, but not very many ones that suit me. We sold this barn conversation in June 2007 when it had a guide of £1.4 million. It has 8½ acres, a glorious garden, stables for my wife’s horses and a great, slightly edgy mixture of modern and traditional, which I like. Plus, it’s in my old stomping ground, as Ampleforth, where I went to school, is just down the road’

 

The Barn