Country houses for sale

An incredibly rare chance to buy a great house within one of Britain’s most storied estates… but you’ll have to be ready to roll your sleeves up

A rare chance has come up to buy a house on the Holkham Estate in Norfolk. Penny Churchill takes a look.

Buyers prepared to consider a renovation project will surely be tempted by the launch onto the market of a rare find: Lodge Farm at Castle Acre, which is being sold via Savills on behalf of the Holkham estate. A guide price of £2.75m is quoted for the substantial former farmhouse with its outbuildings, farmstead and shoot lodge set in some 21 acres of gardens, pasture, meadow and woodland. Sounds great? It is. But as the pictures here show, you’ll have to be prepared to put some serious work in.

Although few may be aware of its existence, Lodge Farm sits in undulating countryside, a mile north-east of the charming and historic village of Castle Acre with its Norman castle, ruined Cluniac priory and medieval church of St James, three miles from the Georgian market town of Swaffham, 11 miles from Fakenham and 18 miles from Brancaster.

Originally an important farmhouse on the Holkham estate, Lodge Farm, which is unlisted, has been let to long-term tenants over many years and now requires updating and refurbishment throughout.

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The original approach to Lodge Farm was from a lane to the west, over a drive that swept through a hedged avenue via open, park-like grounds and through woodland before arriving at the handsome south façade. The drive is shown clearly in old images and will need to be reinstated by the new owner to provide access and re-create the sense of arrival that the house deserves.

Built of the distinctive Holkham estate brick, the main house is Georgian with a substantial Victorian addition. It offers more than 8,700sq ft of living space, with five reception rooms, nine bedrooms and five bathrooms, the most important of which are laid out along the south side of the house, overlooking the grounds and the countryside beyond.

A courtyard of single-storey buildings to the north of the house currently provides garaging, stabling, a workshop and stores, but could be converted to a variety of uses.

As is Lodge Farm itself, the gardens are a blank canvas, ripe for landscaping, but with an old structure that provides a useful starting point, whereas the farmstead to the north of the house, which incorporates the former walled garden, combines both traditional and modern barns that could also be converted to a number of alternative uses.

Lodge Farm is for sale at £2.75m — see more details and pictures.