Country houses for sale

A beautifully renovated Arts-and-Crafts house in the heart of the Dartmoor that once belonged to the Prince of Wales — and he still has the right to turn up and go fishing

Brimptsmead Estate is situated in a magical position on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park which enjoys long views and a wonderfully private woodland setting. Penny Churchill reports.

Down in deepest Devon, Knight Frank are selling the beautifully renovated Brimptsmead estate in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park, four miles from Widecombe-in-the-Moor and 29 miles from Exeter.

Agents quote a guide price of £4.95m for the exquisite Arts-and-Crafts house set in more than nine acres of terraced gardens, ancient woodland and wildflower meadows at the confluence of the East and West Rivers Dart, surrounded by lands owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

The construction of Brimptsmead started in 1893, when permission was granted to build a hunting lodge and summer home on the magical riverside site. The building was completed in 1906 and the house, which is unlisted, was leased from the then Prince of Wales.

Some 27 years ago, the present owners were given the opportunity to buy the freehold from the current Prince of Wales, which they did with alacrity — hardly surprising, given that freeholds are rarely available in this part of the world.

In fact, there is one quirk remaining from the previous ownership: The Prince of Wales retains the right to fish on Brimptsmead’s river bank — though His Royal Highness does need to give 24 hours’ notice to the owners!

During their tenure, the owners have carried out a massive programme of works, including the installation of a new 26,000-tile roof, 120 leaded-light windows handmade by Lamplite of Ashburton, polished pink-granite floors with underfloor heating, 100 new cast-iron radiators and bespoke oak panelling in the principal rooms.

In all, Brimptsmead offers 5,984sq ft of stylish, uncluttered accommodation including a reception hall/library, a delightful turret room, two formal reception rooms, a study, gun-room, kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, six bedrooms, five bathrooms, hydro-pool and a shower room.

Estate cottages once used to house the family gardener and chauffeur have been restored and upgraded.

A novel addition is ‘the shed’, a cleverly designed building built into the side of the hill with space for six vehicles on the lower level and a splendid party barn on the upper level. A gate from the paddock on the northern boundary gives direct access to the moor, over which there is right to roam.

Brimptsmead Estate is currently on the market via Knight Frank at a guide price of £4.95 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details.

Yelverton: What you need to know

Location: In Devon on the South-Western edge of the Dartmoor National Park. Plymouth is approximately 9.5 miles away, whilst Tavistock is approximately 5.7 miles away. The closest train station is in Plymouth, which runs a Great Western service to Penzance and London Paddington.

Atmosphere: This large village is a popular starting point for people wanting to explore the Dartmoor National Park. There is a cricket club, several small shops in the village — including a bakery, a pub, and a larger supermarket situated close by.

Things to do: Yelverton is a great place from which to base yourself to explore the 386 square miles of Dartmoor National Park. Explore either on foot, bike or horseback. Visit Burrator Reservoir or the Garden House at Buckland Monachorum, or head towards Plymouth for more leisure and shopping facilities.

Schools: Horrabridge Community Primary School and Whitchurch Community Primary School are within the area, whilst Plymouth College, Plymouth High School for Girls, Devonport High School for Boys and Mount Kelly College are all good independent secondary options.

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