Country houses for sale

A magnificent 15th century, Grade I-listed Manor House in West Sussex, with two cottages and 15 acres

Just as the country-house market appeared to be coming off the boil, a picturesque Manor House burst onto the scene.

Newly arrived on the market is historic, Grade I-listed Rymans in the parish of Appledram, West Sussex, a picturesque coastal area three miles south-west of Chichester, bounded to the west by the main channel of Chichester Harbour, to the north by the River Lavant and to the south by a stream that runs into the harbour below Birdham Mill.

He quotes a guide price of £4.5 million for Rymans, described by Pevsner as ‘a delightful small 15th-century manor house’, which takes its name from William Ryman, a prominent merchant and lawyer who was knighted in 1420 and appointed Sheriff of Sussex in 1434. He built the house of stone from the Bembridge and Ventnor quarries in about 1410.

This oldest part of the T-shaped house, which remains largely unaltered, comprises a three-storey stone tower with trefoil windows and a south wing of two storeys under a tiled roof.

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In 1654, the Ryman family sold the house to the Smith family of Binderton, who, in 1656, renamed it Appledram Place. The Smiths lived there until 1730 when it passed by marriage to the Bartellot family who owned it until 1913.

The two-storey east wing contains the former hall, built in the early 17th century and extensively remodelled in 1913–14 by the architect and historian Walter Godfrey, who also added the service wing to the north.

In 1913, he replaced the original main staircase to the first-floor Great Chamber with the present 17th-century staircase and rebuilt the fireplace.

Godfrey restored and adapted a number of important historic buildings and gardens throughout the South of England, including Chelsea Old Church, the Memorial Chapel at Eton College and Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, where his reconstruction of the interior was deemed ‘exemplary’ by Pevsner.

Rymans was later owned by the antiquary, Walter Peckham, and then by the Phillimore family, who further altered the house and laid out the splendid Grade II-listed ornamental gardens between 1910 and 1950.

The present owners, who bought Rymans in the mid 1990s, have carried on the inspirational work initiated by their predecessors both inside and outside the house, converting the former stables to provide a second three-bedroom cottage and maintaining and nurturing the manor’s nearly 15 acres of formal and walled gardens, pasture and woodland.

In all, Rymans offers some 5,400sq ft of accommodation in the main house, including four reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, butler’s pantry and office on the ground floor; a central landing/music room, master suite, four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor; and a further large bedroom with its own separate staircase on the second floor.

Worthy of note are the dining hall with its fine open fireplace, beamed ceiling and original stone floor; the well-proportioned drawing room with its working fireplace and elegant marble surround; the bright and cheerful kitchen/breakfast room; and the spacious master suite with its lovely views over the formal gardens.

Rymans is currently on the market via Savills at a guide price of £4.5 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details.

Appledram: What you need to know

Location: Appledram is a small village located 2 miles north of Chichester centre. The nearest train station is located within Chichester, just 1.2 miles away.

Atmosphere: Appledram, also known as Apuldram, is quiet village with a 13th century church and is also home to Dell Quay. There’s a cafe and shop within the village.

Things to do: Nearby Chichester is a haven for watersports, with sailing and mooring opportunities in the harbour. The city is also home to the largest Roman residence unearthed in Britain — Fishbourne Roman Palace, which makes for an interesting visit. There are also several large houses that are open to the public and gardens, including Bishop’s Palace Gardens.

Schools: Fishbourne C of E Primary School, Bishop Luffa School, Chichester and Chichester High School are all well-regarded local schooling options.

See more property for sale in the area.


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