Country houses for sale

A castle in miniature in Herefordshire that comes with parkland, pool and its own on-site cinema

The exotically castellated Pudleston Court is a beautifully-restored home in a gloriously rural setting. Penny Churchill and Toby Keel take a look.

The village of Pudleston is the sort of English village you can’t quite believe still exists. It sits quietly, almost serenely, in the heart of the northern Herefordshire, a land of rolling farmland, hedgerows and pretty houses. And in this spot — four miles east of Leominster and 14 miles south of Ludlow — you’ll find the idyllic Pudlestone Court, which is on the market via Savills at £7.5m.

This striking Grade II-listed home is the principal house of the village, set in 49 acres of formal gardens, parkland and woodland with views over the surrounding rich farmland and the Welsh mountains.

If your initial reaction is that a grand home like this would be perfect for a well-heeled owner seeking privacy and seclusion in a splendid bucolic setting, you’re not alone.

Last time the house came up for sale — a decade or so ago — there was speculation that everyone from Prince William to (slightly bizarrely) Alan Sugar was keen to buy the place. These are the stories that mushroom when a limo with tinted windows comes to a rural village — especially a village with its own mini-castle.

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Those rumours proved unfounded, but the house had previously had a high-profile owner in the shape of Dutch supermarket entrepreneur Albert Heijn Jr — whose eponymous chain is the Netherlands’ answer to Tesco’s — and who lived at the house from his retirement in 1989 until his death in 2011. If an Englishman’s home is a castle, turns out that a Dutchman’s can be too.

Pudleston Court’s latest owner has restored it to the highest of standards in recent years. It offers sumptuous accommodation on two main floors, including a reception hall, grand hall, drawing room, library, sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, office and nine principal bedroom suites.

There is also a cinema complex, an indoor swimming pool complex, a staff flat and extensive cellars.

It comes with five cottages (two with their own indoor swimming pools), two entrance lodges and two newly built houses. Most currently let on an Airbnb basis and producing a substantial income.

Pudleston Court was acquired by local grandee Elias Chadwick in 1845 following the death of its previous owner, who was rector of Pudleston.

He subsequently rebuilt the house in pink sandstone with a battlemented roofline in the Tudor Gothic style to the designs of Liverpool architect J. T. Brearley.

It was later described as ‘a handsome modern mansion in the castellated style standing on an eminence in a beautifully undulating park of over 200 acres ornamented with shrubberies, plantations and sheets of water’.

Pudleston Court is for sale via Savills at £7.5m — see more details and pictures.

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