The Copingers have been at Copinger Hall for half a millennium, in an incredible — though not unbroken — line of succession. Now, though, the house is looking for new owners.
There’s something quite intriguing and extraordinary about houses which have spent hundreds of years in the same family. The example which springs quickly to mind is Broughton Hall, family home of Country Life’s cartoonist, Annie Tempest; the Tempests have lived in the house for 1,000 years.
And while not quite in that league, Copinger Hall — in the Suffolk village of Buxhall, three miles from the busy market town of Stowmarket — has spent an astonishing 500 years in the Copinger family. Unlike the Tempests., that tenure hasn’t been unbroken, since Copinger Hall was owned by others between 1940 and 1980, only to be brought back into the family. Today, it’s leaving the family’s hands once more, and Tim Dansie of Jackson-Stops in Ipswich is handling the sale of the major part of the Grade II-listed home at £1.5 million.
The hall stands in magnificent formal gardens and grounds of 4.7 acres next to Buxhall’s parish church of which many Copingers were rectors over the years.
Recommended videos for you
Copinger Hall offers more than 5,000sq ft of accommodation including three fine reception rooms, six bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Of particular note, says Mr Dansie, is ‘the striking, light-filled drawing room with its open fireplace and large bay window overlooking the garden, and upstairs, the master bedroom with its matching bay overlooking the church, garden and grounds’.
Outside, the restored timber-framed barn, where Mr Minoprio stored his racing cars and trophies, provides a wonderful space for both work and entertaining.
With the exception of a brief period between 1940 and 1980, the Hall has been the home of the Copinger family for more than 500 years. One family member, William Copinger, who owned it in 1902, wrote the definitive history of the village and this part of mid Suffolk where, in the early 17th century, a local historian extolled ‘the wholesome sweetness of the aire (which) attracted and kept here many gentry’.
The present vendor, Mrs Lisa Minoprio, and her late husband — the retired racing driver Stephen Minoprio — bought back Copinger Hall in 1980 and spent two and a half years renovating the house, restoring the grounds and working with garden designers on the driveway. In 1990, the former domestic offices were divided off to create an independent garden wing with its own entrance which was occupied by Mrs Minoprio’s sister until she sold it eight years ago.
When Stephen Minoprio died in February last year, his obituary in Autosport magazine summed up his life as one ‘filled with adventure. Between flying planes in Africa, sailing the Atlantic on his yacht, and racing fast cars, there was rarely a dull moment’. During their tenure, the Minoprios have been very much part of Buxhall village life and Copinger Hall, which has hosted the annual church fête since 1949, won’t be the same without them.
Exquisite homes in Devon, Yorkshire and Oxfordshire are among the wonders in our round-up of the best homes for sale