Country houses for sale

A sprawling country mansion just outside the M25, with period charm, oak staircase and grass tennis court

A grand home with Arts-and-Crafts heritage, where your oak beams and Aga exist alongside a pool, tennis court and blood-red snooker table has come up for sale just outside London.

Designed by architect Baillie Scott for Sir Stanley Farr, Grade II-listed The Gate House has a name that rather under-sells its magnificence. For ‘magnificent’ is probably the single best word to describe this property in Surrey, where there are features such as a solid oak staircase and a vaulted billiard room, complete with wood-panelling, a balustraded minstrels’ gallery and a full-size table complete with blood-red baize.

The house is just outside the M25 and not far from Winston Churchill’s former home at Chartwell. It’s on the market through Knight Frank, priced at £4m.

With six bedrooms in some five acres of the Surrey countryside, the property is a spectacular example of the Arts-and-Crafts style from 1926, with highlights including the oak-panelled drawing room and the Oregon pine-panelled dining room.

Recommended videos for you

The house has been modernised since then, thankfully, with new bathrooms, a new kitchen, and extensive upgrading of the electrics.

Outside, five acres of grounds include lawned areas, paddocks, outbuildings and stables, as well as a swimming pool with an electric child-proof cover.

There’s also an Alitex greenhouse and an oak-framed triple garage — and if all this suggests that the outgoing owners love their toys and gadgets, you’d be right. There’s even an automated irrigation and watering system to keep the gardens and terraces pristine.

The medieval village of Limpsfield is a five-minute stroll away, a lovely little place with a cabinet full of awards with names like ‘Best Village In Bloom’ and ‘Best in the South East’ — you get the picture. There’s also a gastro pub, post office stores, cookery school — who doesn’t need one of those on the doorstep? — dog groomers, tennis and squash club, cricket ground and golf course.

Not that you have to both joining the club to play tennis. The house has its own grass court.

If you need more, Oxted and Westerham are nearby, with cinemas, railway connections and more, while junction 6 of the M25 is just a short drive away, making for easy access to Gatwick and Heathrow. The property is within easy reach of some of the top independent schools in the country.

The Gate House is on the market through Knight Frank, priced at £4m — see more details and pictures.

Best country houses for sale this week

Dream homes in the Cotswolds and Cumbria make it in to our list of the finest country houses for sale

50 best places to live near London

The indispensable guide for getting into the country without ending up out of touch with the town.