Country houses for sale

A ‘rare and exceptional’ medieval estate with an Elizabethan-style house, a string of cottages, and a location an hour from London

The Allexton Hall Estate comes to the market, and Penny Churchill tells its story.

One of the great properties in the East Midlands has come up for sale: the prestigious 955-acre Allexton Hall estate, which straddles the border between Rutland and Leicestershire — four miles west of Uppingham and 13 miles north of Market Harborough, from where there is a regular fast train service to London St Pancras (under an hour).

The agents, Savills Farms & Estates, quote a guide price of £17m for the ‘rare and exceptional’ residential and amenity estate.

Allexton’s existence dates from medieval times, when it was part of the Royal Forest and the first manor was a moated fortalice on the banks of the Eye Brook.

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This was superseded in the 16th century by the original Allexton Hall, of which little is known apart from the fact that the house was downgraded from a manor to a farmhouse in 1843, and the old house was probably ‘a hall house with four bays of structure’.

It was unoccupied in 1899 when the Wilson family decided that the Allexton Hall estate should be sold and, in July 1900, it was bought by George Pauling, a wealthy engineering contractor and director of a railway company that built a line between Newark and Market Harborough.

In 1902, Pauling had Allexton Hall almost totally rebuilt in the ‘Elizabethan Manorial style’ to designs by the architect William J. Shearburn. Local Ketton stone was used and the work was done largely by local craftsmen.

According to historian Vivian Anthony, ‘all the rooms were on a grand scale, including, on the ground floor, the Hall, Lounge Hall, Billiard Room and 50ft-long Lounge.

On the first floor, there were eight family and guest bedrooms and the private chapel. There were also three maids’ rooms and three manservants’ rooms. Other estate workers lived in the three timbered cottages near the gates to the village’.

Pauling died in London in 1920, after which various attempts were made to sell the hall, manor and land. The estate passed through several hands in the in 1930s, 1950s and 1990s, before being acquired by technology investor Sanjay Mehta in 2008.

During his ownership, both Allexton Hall and its estate have been restored to their imperial glory, with the installation of a biomass boiler to service the estate properties.

The purchase includes the converted former stables and coach house, two stable cottages and the east and west gate lodges, all currently let on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs).

Allexton Hall and Estate are for sale at £17 million — see more pictures and details.

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