Country houses for sale

A beautiful baby castle in the South Downs with beams, spiral staircases, and a secret door that hides the bar

Turreted battlements, beautiful ornate interiors and idyllic surroundings make The Deer Tower at Shillinglee too good to miss.

In leafy West Sussex, Grade II-listed The Deer Tower at Shillinglee stands in splendid isolation at the heart of its verdant 120-acre estate within the South Downs National Park, five miles from Haslemere and three miles from Chiddingfold on the Surrey/Sussex border.

Annabel Blackett of Knight Frank quotes a guide price of £6.25m for the charming, 18th-century house with its four turrets and imitation keep, which stands on high ground overlooking its parkland and the heavily wooded Shillinglee estate of which it was once a part.

For sale for the first time in 25 years, The Deer Tower, according to its listing, was originally ‘a verderer’s look-out or an “eyecatcher” from Shillinglee House, originally a manor of the Duke of Norfolk’s Arundel estate, built in 1735 and revised in the 1770s, when a 2,000-acre landscaped park was laid out by Earl Winterton, with fishponds and tree planting in the style of Capability Brown.’

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Approached along a private lime avenue, the house is surrounded by immaculate formal gardens—a carefully structured mix of water features, ornate hedging, sun terraces and a crenellated gazebo that mirrors the tower itself.

The 3,034sq ft main house offers delightfully quirky living space on three floors with further space in the two-storey studio, a recent addition.

There are wonderful little touches everywhere: there are spiral staircases, topiary in the gardens, windows that are delightfully pretty, bespoke carpentry almost everywhere you look, and — a real guilty pleasure, this — a false-bookcase secret door in the drawing room, behind which is a hidden bar. How many houses can boast their own miniature speakeasy?

Highlights include the 24ft-long south- and east-facing formal drawing room in the studio extension and the octagonal principal bedroom suite, which occupies the entire second floor, with access to the roof terrace and views over the formal gardens and orchard to the fields and woodland beyond.

The Deer Tower is currently on the market via Knight Frank at a guide price of £6.25 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details.

Shillinglee: What you need to know

Location: Approximately five miles from Haslemere in the South Downs National Park and three miles from Chiddingfold. Train services run from both towns to London.

Atmosphere: The quiet area is wonderfully located for access onto the National Park, and nearby Chiddingfold and Haslemere offer plenty in the way of independent shops, restaurants and pubs.

Things to do: From the Godalming Farmers’ Market to the Shillinglee Fishery on the Suxxex/Surrey border and Chiddingford Golf Course; to the numerous walk and bridle trails across the South Downs National Park, plus the gardens and grounds of Shillinglee Estate, there is plenty to see and do.

Schools: Plaistow and Kirdford Primary School and St Mary’s Church of England School Chiddingfold are two local primary options, with secondary found further towards Guildford.

See more property for sale in the area.

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