Penny Churchill shares details of this pristine country estate in Hampshire.
House hunting in the country can be a tiring and time-consuming process. For many London-based families who are struggling to cope with lockdown restrictions, home-schooling and the demands of a full-time job, the hassle of a move to the country is simply a challenge too far.
However, with the roll out of the vaccine raising hopes of a return to some kind of normality in the coming months, the arrival onto the market of several interesting family houses in Hampshire may be the catalyst that sends buyers scurrying down the A3 for an early viewing.
Julia Robotham of Knight Frank’s country department, who is handling the sale of charming, Grade II-listed Tulls in the village of Standford, three miles from Liphook on the Hampshire/West Sussex border, certainly hopes so.
She quotes a guide price of £3.25 million for the pristine small country estate, comprising a beautifully renovated, 15th-century traditional farmhouse; a magnificent 16th-century Tudor barn; a newly built home-office building; substantial outbuildings and a neat stable block with planning consent for a sand arena — the whole set in some 12¼ acres of formal gardens, grounds and post-and-railed paddocks, with further land and equestrian facilities available by separate negotiation.
It’s not only home-buyers who have changed their long-term thinking in the course of the pandemic. Vendors, too, have been driven by the need to move closer to parents, siblings or grandchildren, whom they may not have seen in more than a year.
In fact, the owners of Tulls, who, in 2014, bought the property in a run-down state and have sensitively modernised it throughout, are reputedly moving to Devon for exactly such family reasons. For the next owners of Tulls, on the other hand, their move to the country will be a stroll in the park, given the proximity of Standford to the national motorway network, international airports at Heathrow, Gatwick and Southampton and London Waterloo, less than an hour by train from the nearby stations of Haslemere or Liphook on a good rail day.
In terms of living space, new arrivals will have little to do except unpack their bags and let children, dogs or other animals loose. Originally two cottages on a landholding known as Castle Farm, the main farmhouse was refaced in the local Bargate stone in 1767, as confirmed by the date stone set into the front of the house.
Approached off an ancient sunken lane that runs down the hill to the centuries-old ford from which Standford takes its name, the 3,931sq ft main house has some wonderful period features, including massive oak beams and rustic fireplaces. The recent installation of conservation double glazing ensures effective insulation of the entire building, as well as respecting its age and character.
The ground floor accommodation is cleverly arranged as a reception hall, three main reception rooms, a playroom and a boot room, with a large kitchen/breakfast room opening onto the formal dining area to create a wonderful heart to the house.
The first floor currently houses six bedrooms, two bathrooms and a laundry room, with planning permission in place to add a small extension to the first floor that would include a large oak balcony leading from the master suite out onto the gardens. In addition, the carefully restored 2,047sq ft, 16th-century barn provides a splendid entertaining space for large parties.
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