Country houses for sale

A stunning house on the Surrey/Sussex border ‘that’s more like being in the Scottish Highlands’ than the commuter belt

Marley House on Marley Common boasts nine bedrooms and some of the finest views in southern England.

The expansive hills of Surrey and Sussex have long attracted those who want to live in the countryside, yet be within easy reach of the capital. Anyone heading south from Guildford will notice that the hills quickly start to rise and, once you’re beyond the market town of Haslemere, set in a fold of high woodland, you enter the South Downs National Park.

One route goes across the border from Surrey into West Sussex and up to Marley Common, an area of mixed broadleaf woodland and open heath that is owned by the National Trust; it was one of their first countryside acquisitions (in 1911).

Together with neighbouring Black Down — where Alfred, Lord Tennyson built a home in the late 1860s — the area is famous for its spectacular views…  and those views don’t get any better than the ones from Marley House, on the edge of Marley Common, which has been launched via Country Life this week at £9.5 million.

Selling agent James Crawford of Knight Frank says it enjoys views like no other house he’s seen in his long career. ‘They are extraordinary,’ he explains, likening the setting to something more akin to the Scottish Highlands than the commuter belt.

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‘You have a 180-degree perspective that stretches 15 miles over the Cowdray estate and beyond, with wonderful sunrises and sunsets in the mix.’

A swimming pool with Classical columns. Yes please.

Marley House, which is unlisted, is believed to date from about 1880 and was one of the first houses to be built on the common. It has been arranged to take advantage of its commanding position: the living rooms, including a vast kitchen/breakfast room, look out over the valley and are flooded with natural light.

The main bedroom has an enclosed terrace on which to sit out and enjoy the setting, too; a further eight bedrooms are located on this floor and the one above.

The basement level houses an indoor swimming pool, games room, entertainment room and what Mr Crawford describes as an ‘excellent wine cellar’.

One of the many reception rooms.

There are nearly seven acres of gardens and grounds, including an all-weather tennis court, a meadow and a summerhouse with a terrace.

A room with a view. And *what* a view…

In addition, there is Marley House Lodge, a large, single-storey cottage with four bedrooms and a timber-frame garage, which is slightly away from the main house and approached via its own drive. This could easily be used as staff accommodation or as a guest house.

The gardens and grounds. The house sits in National Trust owned land.

The attraction of living here is the marriage of peace — no traffic, rail noise or light pollution — and quiet, with accessibility. Haslemere has regular trains into London Waterloo that take about an hour; Heathrow and the south coast are also easily reached by road.

The vendors are moving to a smaller property and Mr Crawford believes the location of Marley House will attract international buyers, as well as families wanting to be within easy distance of a host of highly regarded schools.

Marley House is for sale with Knight Frank for £9.5 million — see more information and pictures.

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