A glorious Georgian house has come up for sale in a wonderful, rural setting in Pembrokeshire. Penny Churchill takes a look.
In an idyllic rural setting three miles from the Pembrokeshire coast, Daniel Rees of Savills’s Cardiff office is handling the sale of imposing Grade II*-listed Orielton at £2.6 million.
At the heart of the property is a 23-bedroom house, but there are also three detached cottages and a Grade II-listed former stable courtyard, all of which have been well maintained in traditional collegiate style.
The land includes a large mature woodland with scenic trails, grassland, meadows, ponds, garden areas and, the pièce-de-résistance, an octagonal, 3¾-acre, Grade II-listed walled garden — complete with a Secret Garden-style gate.
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There is a huge amount of work to be done on almost all of it, both inside and out — but the rewards are there for the right buyer. ‘The possibilities are endless’, says Mr Rees.
The house is an impressive Georgian pile that, according to its CADW listing, dates from the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries, when it was the grand county seat of the Owen family.
In 1571, Hugh Owen, whose family hailed from Bodowen in Anglesey, married the heiress of the Wyrriots of Orielton. His grandson, the 1st Baronet, may have built the core of the present house, which was probably rebuilt by the 3rd Baronet.
Sir Hugh Owen, the 6th Baronet, died young in 1809, leaving the estate, but not the title, to his cousin, John Lord of Pembroke, later John Owen, who was made baronet in 1813.
In 1810, he rebuilt the house, described in 1802 as ‘neither ancient nor modern, being fronted with brick, and the frames of the windows and the cornerstones of freestone’, but, by 1820, he was heavily in debt, and spent vastly on the 1831 election. In 1842, he sold the furniture from Orielton, and the rest of the estate in 1856.
Occupied by the Australian Air Force in the Second World War, the 118-acre estate was acquired in 1950 by naturalist Ronald Lockley, who established the Orielton Field Studies Centre here.
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