There’s something special about a cherished family home that hasn’t been seen on the market for many years—and buyers, who currently outnumber sellers by an ever-increasing margin, will no doubt be queueing up to view Hadham Grange in the village of Much Hadham. Penny Churchill takes a look.
This week’s Country Life sees the launch onto the market of secluded Grade II-listed Hadham Grange, near the sought-after village of Much Hadham, half-way between the historic towns of Ware and Bishop’s Stortford in rural east Hertfordshire.
Following the recent death of its long-term owner, whose home it was for almost 50 years, Hadham Grange is now for sale through Knight Frank at a guide price of £3.95 million.
The ancient village of Much Hadham lies in a sheltered valley bounded to one side by the fledgling River Ash, a tributary of the Stort, and Hadham Grange occupies a commanding position on the ridge of a wooded escarpment to the east of the stream.
According to its listing, the imposing red-brick house dates from the late 16th or early 17th century and was ‘greatly enlarged’ in the early 20th century. It stands at the heart of a picturesque complex of listed barns, stabling and outbuildings on the edge of the village, surrounded by 16½ acres of beautifully maintained gardens, orchard, kitchen garden, paddocks and woodland.
Approached along its own private driveway that meanders through the grounds—currently a mass of daffodils in full bloom—the main house is built on two storeys with many projecting bay windows, the latter painted an unmissable purple that may not be to everyone’s taste.
The early-20th-century part of the house, accessed via the central hallway, contains the principal reception rooms, all of which are impressive spaces with high ceilings. They include the panelled morning room, dining room and drawing room, the last two of which face south over formal gardens. The original 17th-century part has some fine timbered rooms with open fireplaces.
A great deal of work was carried out by the owner in the 2000s, when the kitchen and bathrooms were modernised. Today, Hadham Grange offers 5,887sq ft of beautifully maintained living space, including four reception rooms, a conservatory, gymnasium, charming kitchen/breakfast room and four palatial bedroom suites, plus a fifth bedroom and family bathroom.
It comes with a one-bedroom annexe, two period thatched barns (one recently re-thatched), a tennis court, heated greenhouse, extensive garaging and stabling. Also included is a path that leads to the village via a footbridge over the River Ash.
Much Hadham: What you need to know
Location: About 5 miles from Bishop’s Stortford, which has fast rail links into London. Stansted International Airport is also conveniently close by, just 10 miles away.
Atmosphere: The village church is home to two Henry Moore sculptures plus a number of historical listed buildings — including the 15th century Red Lion Coaching Inn which was once the stopping point along the road from Cambridge to London. The Henry Moore Foundation is located in Perry Green.
Things to do: With a number of golf courses, country walks and Bishop’s Stortford just a short drive away with a wider range of shops and restaurants, plus the market town of Saffron Walden easily reached by car, there is plenty to keep busy with.
Schools: St Andrew’s CE primary school in Much Hadham is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. The area also has a wide range of independent schools, including Bishop’s Stortford College in Bishop’s Stortford and St Edmund’s College in Ware.