Cobham Court looks to be the ideal home for someone wanting one foot in London and another in the country. Penny Churchill has a look.
Romantic, Grade II-listed Cobham Court, set in 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens and grounds, comprising lawns, an orchard, well-stocked beds and borders and a pretty boating pond, is for sale through the country-house department of Hamptons International at a guide price of £4.5 million.
The ancient manor of Cobham was, for many centuries, part of the possessions of the Abbot and convent of Chertsey who, in 1537, transferred it to the Crown for £5,000. In 1553, Queen Mary granted it to one George Bigley, gentleman, after which it passed by marriage to the Gavell family.
In 1708, the Gavells sold the manor and several farms to Viscountess Lanesborough, retaining for themselves the manor house, known as Cobham Court, and its attached farm, which later passed to the Woods of Littleton, Middlesex, who owned it until the mid-1800s.
In the early 1900s, Cobham Court was the seat of Philip Warren when either he, or his family, extended the 17th-century manor and added the Edwardian front. In 1908, an advertisement in Country Life (October 2, 1908) offered ‘this delightful old residence, in a secluded and very picturesque situation, to be let for one year or longer’.
Some 77 years later, the old residence was delightful no more, a sorry crumbling wreck, when, in 1985, its present owner and her late husband spotted a newspaper article announcing its proposed sale.
It eventually went to sealed bids and, although theirs wasn’t the highest offer, their bid was accepted when they explained how much they loved the house and hoped to restore it and raise a family there — all of which they did with evident loving care. It’s with great reluctance that the owner has finally decided to call it a day.
Approached by a private lane shared with the adjoining farm, the house is totally secluded, yet only half a mile from Cobham High Street and 22 from central London.
The interior retains much of historical note, including beautiful panelling — some original, some restored — starting with the reception hall and running throughout the house.
It offers about 8,500sq ft of living space: three main reception rooms, study, kitchen/breakfast room, family room, various domestic offices, six bedrooms and three bathrooms. Outbuildings include a large, detached period barn of more than 2,300sq ft.
The assertion that a particular house is the oldest in the country is as impossible to prove as it is
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