Should the tranquillity of Exmoor prove too great a contrast to the buzz of the Square Mile, then Strutt & Parker (020?7629 7282) recommend the 905-acre Eastbury Manor estate with its Grade II*-listed manor house, near the racehorse town of Lambourn, in the heart of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, at a guide price of £6m.
The manor was acquired in the 1360s by the ancestor and namesake of John D?Estbury, the Lambourn bene-factor who built the village almshouses. The present 16th-century manor house has three reception rooms, eight bedrooms, three bathrooms and gardens running down to the banks of the Lambourn.
In 1895, George Baylis, the inventor of the Baylis sytem of modern arable farm-ing, took on the tenancy of the farm at Eastbury Manor, eventually buying the freehold of 990 acres in 1918 for £11,900. By 1929, he was England?s largest ?plough-land farmer?, occupying 12,000 acres, employing 250 men and 300 working horses. On his death in 1936, his holdings were split between his four sons, with his eldest son George taking over Eastbury, Bockhampton and Leckhamsted Manor Farm.
His granddaughter is the beneficiary of the trust which now owns the farm, with its rich arable land and water-meadows, extensive range of modern and traditional farmbuildings, traditional broad-leaf woodland and eight-furlong all-weather gallop. For some years, the land has been successfully farmed under contract by T. & M. Cooper, who would be happy to continue the arrangement if required.