Country houses for sale

A glorious Grade-I listed country house for sale that Nelson and his mistress once used as their lovenest

A beautiful home and fascinating history are part of the package at Rudhall Manor, the home which Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton once used as their meeting place away from the disapproving looks of London society.

The historic, Grade I-listed Rudhall Manor, three miles east of Ross-on-Wye in southeast Herefordshire, sits close to the Welsh border and the northern edge of the Forest of Dean. A guide price of £2.95m is quoted by Lindsay Cuthill’s Blue Book Agency, which is handling the sale.

It’s a wonderfully atmospheric manor house set in 10 acres of picturesque landscaped gardens leading down to the Rudhall Brook, which enters the grounds via a waterfall and is crossed by a series of bridges. The brook feeds a pair of lakes that provide a haven for birds and wildlife.

According to its listing details, the manor house was extensively remodelled in the mid-to-late 16th century, further remodelled and rebuilt after a fire in the 17th century, altered in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and restored in the 20th century. The manor was home to the influential Rudhall family and their heirs by marriage, the Westfalings, until 1830, when it was acquired by Alexander Baring, later 1st Lord Ashburton.

Other notable owners include the ornithologist Sir Peter Scott and the businessman Sir John Harvey Jones. The current owner is intriguingly described as ‘a well-known artist with an illustrious catalogue’.

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Admiral Lord Nelson first visited Rudhall as a guest of Thomas Westfaling in 1802, the year that Nelson was made a freeman of Hereford city. Thereafter, legend has it that Nelson and Lady Hamilton would meet at the manor, away from the prying eyes and disapproval of London society.

According to Mr Cuthill, the present owners, who bought Rudhall Manor in 2013, have done much excellent work in paring back ‘improvements’ made in the 1980s and 1990s, while restoring the interior to its historic warmth with the use of bold authentic colours, notably in the Tudor Great Hall and the Georgian drawing room and library.

The accommodation includes a reception hall, three main reception rooms, a sitting room, family room, breakfast room and kitchen, plus a master suite, five further bedrooms and bathrooms, a further sitting room, solar and morning room, and two offices; there is also a three-bedroom annexe.

Outside, an array of outbuildings have been repurposed for modern living and now includes a heated indoor swimming pool and gym, with a self-contained studio apartment located above a large garage.

Rudhall Manor is for sale at £2.95m  —  see more details and pictures.