Albury Park Danny Park

The Country Houses Association (CHA) has rescued a number of beautiful country homes threatened with demolition. They have been converted to apartments and let on a lifetime basis to carefully vetted tenants.

Now, due to rising costs and falling income, the CHA is selling the houses en bloc to clear accumulated liabilities. All, apart from Flete, are offered freehold.

The disposal is being handled by HLL Humberts Leisure (020-7629 6700) and Knight Frank (020-7598 4000), who are exploring the possibility of selling the houses as going concerns (with the residents remaining in situ) prior to the open- market launch in early February.

The portfolio is provisionally valued at about £20 million, with estimates for individual houses ranging from £1.5m to £4.5m. The most likely outcome is that the houses will be sold either as one lot to retirement property developers, hoteliers, residential conference centres or other leisure use, or individually to private purchasers for single-family occupation. For any buyer, the selection is mouthwatering.

Albury Park (pictured above) near Guildford, Surrey, stands in six acres of grounds. The 50,000-sq ft, listed Grade II* house (originally Tudor, altered by both Soane and later Pugin) has 37 apartments, two guest rooms and eight staff apartments.

Danny Park (pictured above) at Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, is said to be the jewel in the CHA?s crown, Grade I-listed, it is a fascinating mix of Elizabethan and Queen Anne architecture. In 1918, Lloyd George?s war cabinet met in the great hall to draw up the terms of the Armistice. The 36,000-sq ft house stands in 7.7 acres of grounds, and has 19 lettable apartments, two guest rooms and four staff apartments.

22 January 2004