Country houses for sale

A grand country house with a wonderful faux-medieval folly, just down the road from the King’s estate at Sandringham

Ingoldisthorpe Hall is the sort of house that is as easy to fall in love with as it is hard to spell.

Norfolk is the fifth-largest county in England by area, with 2,074 square miles — and yet it doesn’t even crack the top 20 for population. This is a wonderfully diverse landscape of woods, lush farmland and a glorious sweeping coastline that stretches for 90 miles from King’s Lynn in the west to Hopton-on-Sea in the east. And there is good news for buyers looking to secure a base in this least cluttered of counties: this year there is an unusually wide selection of coastal and country properties, from manors and farmhouses large and small, to seaside houses old and new.

Ben Rivett of Savills in Norwich sets the pace with the launch onto the market of Grade II*-listed Ingoldisthorpe Hall, for sale with a guide price of £3.75 million, situated only three miles from the royal estate at Sandringham and 10 miles from King’s Lynn.

A house like this is a rare find in west Norfolk, where most of the finest houses are owned by the major estates. And this imposing country house is wonderful place, set in 33 acres of private gardens, parkland and woodland — and one of the most charming faux-medieval follies we’ve seen in a long time.

The Folly — a faux-medieval, 19th century creation that is now a separate residence — is a beauty.

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Located within easy reach of the sandy beaches of Holkham, Brancaster and Hunstanton, with the ancient Peddars Way Trail and the 84-mile Norfolk Coastal Path on the doorstep, Ingoldisthorpe Hall offers 10,454sq ft of elegant, light-filled living space on two main floors.

There are entrance and staircase halls, four principal reception rooms, two kitchens, a television room and various utilities on the ground floor.

Below, on the lower ground floor, you’ll find an office wine cellar and, somewhat unusually, the dining room.

Upstairs you’ll find a nine bedrooms and six bathrooms, and if you need further accommodation there is also The Folly, which provides a family room, kitchen/breakfast room and three further bedrooms.

Originally known as Mount Amelia, the property was described in William White’s Gazetteer of Norfolk (1845) as ‘the delightful seat of Capt John Davy RN, built by John Davy Esq in 1745 on an eminence commanding an extensive view of the ocean and the adjacent country’.

The Norfolk Heritage Explorer confirms 1745 as the date of the original building, which had side pavilions that were later built into the 19th-century wings, whereas, according to the date on the downpipes, the present red-brick Ingoldisthorpe Hall was built in 1757, with stone and stucco dressings, a slate roof and wings of the local carrstone that defines this part of the county.

The stable block, groom’s cottage and coach house to the north of the hall also date from 1745, but were remodelled as a mock-medieval folly with a Gothic tower in 1820 and converted in 2008 to a private house.

Ingoldisthorpe Hall, Norfolk.

In the late 2000s, Ingoldisthorpe Hall was meticulously restored by the current owner following a landmark renovation project led by Mark Ashurst of Norwich-based architects A Squared, which earned the team a coveted CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Award in 2010.

Since then, the hall and its complex of properties have been successfully developed as a high-end holiday destination for large groups or families wishing to celebrate special events or simply spend quality time together.

Ingoldisthorpe Hall is for sale via Savills at £3.75 million — see more details and pictures.