Country houses for sale

A 16th-century farmhouse in rural Surrey that comes with a thriving 483-acre estate

The Markwick Estate enjoys spectacular far-reaching views over rural south Surrey towards the South Downs. Penny Churchill takes a look.

September saw the launch onto the market, through Savills National Farms and Estates, of the captivating, 483-acre Markwick residential and farming estate, which sits between the villages of Dunsfold and Hambledon, five miles south of Godalming and nine miles south of the cathedral city of Guildford, within the affluent Surrey Hills AONB.

For sale at a guide price of £8.4 million for the whole, or in three lots, the estate, which enjoys spectacular far-reaching views over rural south Surrey towards the South Downs National Park, was developed over a period of 60-odd years by the late, somewhat eccentric Peter John Rampton, whose family owned the successful catalogue sales company Freemans and lived in Hambledon village.

In the mid 1960s, Rampton bought Burgate farm, which adjoined his parents’ house. He developed and modernised the original pig farm, installing a state-of-the-art piggery with an automated feeder. The farm went from strength to strength and grew into an impressive, still thriving enterprise that is part of an estate-wide commercial farming operation currently run under an Farm Business Tenancy until September 2027.

Farming rekindled Rampton’s interest in steam-powered machinery and engineering, and inspired his other lifelong passion, his vast collection of narrow-gauge railway locomotives and carriages sourced from all over the world, which he repaired and restored at the farm. An intriguing relic remains at Gorebridge Green Farm buildings (part of lot 2), where a disused narrow-gauge railway line was designed to link to the main house, but never finished.

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In 1968, Rampton acquired the adjoining farm, which included an early-16th-century Surrey hall house with 17th-century extensions and 19th- and 20th-century additions at either end. The timber-frame house had been damaged by two fires and was partly restored over many years, using timber from the farm, and skills and techniques employed in its original construction.

Lot 1, on offer at a guide price of £2.25m, comprises the partly renovated, 16th-century Markwick Farmhouse, which stands on high ground surrounded by lawned gardens and 27 acres of arable and pasture land overlooking the fields and woodland of Burgate Farm. The house provides 3,436sq ft of accommodation including three reception rooms, two unfinished bedroom suites, and a single-storey, two-bedroom annexe that could be incorporated within the main living space or used as separate accommodation.

Across the courtyard from the main house stands Markwick Barn, a substantial stone and timber-framed barn previously used to store classic cars, which has evident potential for conversion to additional accommodation.

Lot 2, priced at £5.75m, comprises the 412-acre Burgate Farm, a well-equipped mainly arable farm with 188 acres of mixed coniferous and broadleaved woodland. A charming, brick-and-flint, three-bedroom farmhouse is located centrally among the farmland and woodland, accessed from a private road that runs from east to west across the farm.

Originally built as two cottages, the house has been knocked through to provide more than 1,670sq ft of accommodation. The farm buildings include a new grain store and grain dryer, as well as former livestock buildings. Lot 3, priced at £400,000, is a block of 40 acres of bare arable land let until September 2027.

The Markwick Estate is for sale at a guide price of £8.4 million for the whole, but can be split in to lots — see more details and pictures.