Penny Churchill takes a look at Conford Park House, a beautiful Arts-and-Crafts home in Hampshire that's been extensively modernised.
Conford Park House, a classic Arts-and- Crafts house in East Hampshire, sits in 50 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, grounds, paddocks and woodland on the edge of the charming hamlet of Conford, 1½ miles from the village of Liphook. This beautiful property is up for sale at a guide price of £8,500,000.
Conford Park House has has followed a fascinating trajectory. Built in 1906 for Sir Archibald MacDonald, 4th and last Baronet MacDonald and Lord of the Manor of Ludshott, the house was constructed of whitewashed walls with flared gables under a tiled roof.
Following the failure of his marriage, the heavily mortgaged estate was sold and Sir Archibald was declared bankrupt. He died, aged 48, in 1919.
Conford Park House rode out the storm and had already been upgraded and modernised by dedicated previous owners when the present incumbents bought the property in 2005. They, too, embarked on a complete refurbishment programme that included extending the house and adapting the internal layout to its present, ultra-modern configuration.
The house was re-plumbed, re-wired, fitted with new bathrooms and a striking open-plan kitchen, now the centrepiece of the house Underfloor heating was installed throughout the ground-floor rooms and in the master- and guest-bedroom suites. A spectacular new indoor swimming-pool complex was added to the north and linked to the house. All that’s missing now is its own spacecraft.
Light streams through the house, which boasts a gross internal area of more than 12,300sq ft, including entrance and reception halls, four free-flowing main reception rooms, the open-plan kitchen/breakfast room, a boot room and wine room, a large master suite with his-and-hers dressing rooms, two en-suite bathrooms and a balcony and four further bedroom suites.
Further accommodation is available in the gate lodge, plus another estate cottage, and an excellent garage building by the house has space for three cars, with a private office and boardroom on the first floor.
Over the past 15 years, the gardens of Conford Park House have been designed and configured to embellish the estate’s already idyllic parkland. Deer-fenced and irrigated from the lake, they include a kitchen garden and greenhouse, an enchanting secret garden with gravelled paths and neat flower borders, a purpose-built chicken coop and a children’s playground.
On the south-east side of the house, terraces, clipped borders and a belt of mature trees stretch down to the lake and its boathouse, beyond which are fields, paddocks and a large area of mature woodland.
Liphook: What you need to know
Location: Just off the main A3 between Guildford and Petersfield, and also on the mainline railway that passes through both, Liphook is a couple of miles south of Haslemere, and right on the Hampshire-West Sussex border.
Atmosphere: A pleasant and bustling large village, with a number of independent shops, pubs, schools and even a local library.
Things to do: Liphook is surrounded by green space and commons for endless country walks, while the golf club is renowned and ranked within the top 60 in Britain & Ireland by Golf Monthly. Excitingly for the village, a new cinema is scheduled to open in the coming months.
Schools: There is a good primary school in the village and several private schools in the area, though an excellent state school, Bohunt, is in the village as well and draws in pupils from a huge catchment area. It’s Ofsted-outstanding rated, and was named TES School of the Year in 2014.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.