Country houses for sale

An idyllic Suffolk rectory with walled garden, croquet lawn and full of 18th century charm

A house in Suffolk's 'Constable country' has come to the market, offering an idyllic rural escape yet within an hour of London. Penny Churchill takes a closer look.

Like many of his estate agent colleagues, the ever-cheerful Tim Dansie of Jackson-Stops in Ipswich has been run ragged as buyers and vendors make the most of a busy country market that ‘may not go on forever’. The current pride of his portfolio is Grade II-listed The Old Rectory in the village of East Bergholt, on the northern side of the lovely Stour Valley — Constable country — for sale at £3.15m.

The impeccably restored former rectory, which dates from 1714 with additional wings added in the 1820s, was once the home of Dr Rhudde, the grandfather of Constable’s wife, Maria.

Built on high ground overlooking the Dedham Vale AONB, the elegant, 7,408sq ft house has light and spacious accommodation on three floors, including a large reception hall, three main reception rooms, a study and a kitchen/breakfast room on the ground floor.

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The rest of the accommodation is split between the two floors above. There are eight bedrooms and four bathrooms on the first floor, with a further three bedrooms on the second floor.

The main house, set in eight acres of gardens, grounds and woodland, with amenities including a hard tennis court, a croquet lawn and a swimming pool, is on offer at £3.15 million, with an additional eight acres of pasture priced at £200,000 and a 13-acre arable field at £150,000.

The location is ideal for those wanting a country house setting but still able to get further afield. It’s a short drive to the main A12, with Ipswich and Colchester each about 9 miles away.

Those keen on the idea of a commute from Suffolk will be happy to see that the railway station at Manningtree — three and a half miles away — has a mainline service into London’s Liverpool Street Station which takes 55 minutes.

The Old Rectory is for sale via Jackson-Stops — see more pictures and details.

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