Country houses for sale

A spectacular 16th century manor concealing truly astonishing 21st century additions

Blackden Manor offers a confident and stylish blend of old and new of the sort that's rarely seen – and it works beautifully. Penny Churchill takes a look.

The old farming village of Goostrey lies 2½ miles north of Holmes Chapel and eight miles south of Alderley Edge, the ancient and picturesque village in the east of Cheshire. This part of the world is nowadays known as one of the most expensive and sought-after places to live in the UK outside London, and it’s here that the Grade II-listed Blackden Manor is for sale, a beautiful property lying due west of the Peak District National Park.

Size matters in this affluent part of Cheshire, a fact reflected in the ‘excess of £10 million’ guide price quoted for the 9,903sq ft former manor house, which stands at the end of a long, tree-lined drive, surrounded by 28½ acres of parkland, woodland and landscaped gardens, having been substantially renovated and extended by its current owners, who bought it in 2018. Crispin Harris of Jackson-Stops in Alderley Edge is handling the sale — and he calls it ‘one of the finest country houses I have ever had the pleasure of visiting’.

According to its listing details, Blackden Manor dates from about 1597 and was originally timber frame before being encased in red brickwork in the late 19th century.

In 1920, the manor house, built on two storeys under a sandstone slate roof, was restored by the Manchester-based architect James Henry Sellers, who added new wings to the rear to form a courtyard. Also listed Grade II is a two-storey brick farm building, which dates from 1709.

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With a 21st-century squire in mind, the renovation of the interior blends the finest bespoke contemporary fittings and joinery with the original period features that are present in most rooms.

The entire manor has been fitted with a sophisticated Control 4 intelligent home system that controls the heating (some of which is underfloor), lighting and music to the main ground-floor rooms, the principal bedroom suite and three further bedrooms, as well as the electric entrance gates.

A bespoke handmade oak door, with a coat of arms above it, leads to the vast, stone-and-slate floored entrance hall, off which is an oak-panelled sitting room to one side, with an impressive dining room to the other.

The east wing houses a study, and a large drawing room lined with newly carved oak panelling and centred on an open fireplace with a carved overmantel.

The west wing is home to a billiard room with bespoke back-lit carpentry, a decorative ceiling, leather-topped bench seating, an open fire and a hidden door leading to the bespoke fitted bar.

The rear wing has been extended to provide a mainly open-plan kitchen/dining/sitting area and a library, partly screened by a large, floor-to-ceiling log-burner/fireplace set into a floating wall, with a full-height window looking out towards Jodrell Bank. The wing is completed by a gym with views of the gardens.

A solid-oak Jacobean staircase leads to the first floor and the principal bedroom suite, comprising a barrel-vaulted bedroom, a new bespoke dressing room and a huge en-suite bathroom, plus six further bedrooms and bathrooms. Further accommodation is available in the three-bedroom cottage that abuts the period stone barn within the south-eastern courtyard.

The house sits centrally within its beautifully landscaped gardens, which are divided into numerous areas of interest. A stone terrace leads through the formal garden to an old stone wall overlooking the lake and wraps around the house on the way to the colourful west gardens, a discreetly hidden resurfaced tennis court and a tiled swimming pool.

On the eastern front, a high stone wall screens a courtyard/parking area in front of a newly constructed five-car garage. The listed period barn, which forms part of this courtyard, could be converted, subject to planning consent, into ‘an ideal leisure complex,’ the agent suggests.

Blackden Manor is for sale at £10m via Jackson-Stops — see more pictures and details.


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