Country houses for sale

12 country house sales that defined the property market in 2016

In a year of uncertainty, property seemed to be the one thing you could count on.

2016 saw pollsters and pundits get more or less everything wrong, from the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the American Presidential Election to Leicester City’s win in the Premier League. Such multiple uncertainties should have spelt disaster for the UK country house market.

But they didn’t. On the contrary, from September onwards, leading agents saw a surge in sales of prime country houses and estates with little sign of a slowdown on the run-up to Christmas — a time when the sector traditionally hangs up its boots until spring.

So here are a dozen key properties which show the market to be in rude health.

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best 2016 country house salesBarbury Castle estate, near Marlborough, Wiltshire

The picturesque, ring-fenced estate, set in 1,799 acres of rolling Wiltshire downland, combines farming and equestrian enterprises with a challenging shoot. Launched on the open market at £20m in late September, it found a buyer within weeks in one of the biggest estate sales of the year (Knight Frank)

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best 2016 country house salesAlderley House, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

Designed by Lewis Vulliamy and built in 1863 for Robert Blagden Hale on the site of the Hale family’s original 17th-century manor house, the Grade II-listed house was launched on the market in June 2014 at £8m and sold for £7m in November 2016 (Knight Frank/Strutt & Parker)

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best 2016 country house salesManor House, Little Tew, Oxfordshire

A timeless former vicarage built in 1858, the house was home to the traveller and archaeologist Nancy Sandars from her birth in 1914 until her death in 2015. Launched onto the market in May at a guide price of £2.7m, it drew more than 60 viewings and sold in four weeks for £3.6m (Knight Frank)

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best 2016 country house salesChedington Court, near Beaminster, Dorset

Sold to its previous owner for £7.17m in 2004, the historic, neo-Jacobean mansion, set in 58 acres of formal gardens and parkland on the Dorset-Somerset border, was offered for sale in May 2015 at a guide price of ‘excess £7.5m’. A revised guide price of £6.95m produced a buyer from out of left field in June 2016 (Savills)

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best 2016 country house salesPorthledden, Cape Cornwall, Cornwall

Built in 1909 by Cornish-born Capt Francis Oats, who made a mining fortune in South Africa and was chairman of De Beers, the 21-bedroom mansion had lain derelict for 20 years before being sold in 2003 and painstakingly restored. Launched on the market at £2.75m in September 2015, it found a buyer in October 2016 (Savills)

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best 2016 country house salesThe Manor House, Buriton, Hampshire

This beautifully renovated, Grade II*-listed, Georgian house on the Hampshire/Sussex border was owned by the Gibbon family in the 18th century and the Bonham Carters from 1826 to 1957. One of few grand Hampshire houses offered publicly for sale in 2016, it sold within a month of its February launch at a guide price of £3.5m (Savills)

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best 2016 country house salesThe Hoo, Great Gaddesden, near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

Originally built in 1683 for Dr Edward Green, the Grade II*-listed, eight-bedroom country house, set in 90 acres of Capability Brown parkland, came to the market at a guide price of £3.85m in April 2016. With three parties bidding, it sold in September (Strutt & Parker)

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best 2016 country house salesThe Quaives, Wickhambreaux, near Canterbury, Kent

Set in 19 acres of formal gardens and paddocks, The Quaives was remodelled in the Flemish style in the 1600s and recently refurbished by singer Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, whose home it was for 25 years. Launched in September 2015 at a guide price of £2.5m, it sold in March 2016 for just shy of that (Strutt & Parker)

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best 2016 country house salesIsfield Place, near Uckfield, East Sussex

An idyllic, Grade II*-listed, eight-bedroom manor set in 187 acres of formal gardens, pasture and woodland on the banks of the River Ouse, historic Isfield Place dates from the early 16th century and enjoys glorious unspoilt views towards the South Downs. Relaunched on the market in May 2016, it found a buyer in August at a guide price of £7.15m (Strutt & Parker)

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best 2016 country house salesRiver House, Itchenor, near Chichester, West Sussex

Claimed to be the most expensive house ever sold in this popular sailing village, imposing River House occupies a prime position overlooking the harbour. Launched in March at a guide price of £5m, it sold for close to that figure at the height of the EU Referendum campaign in May (Strutt & Parker)

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best 2016 country house salesThe Priory, Bowdon, near Altrincham, Cheshire

A classic Georgian former vicarage, built in about 1800 and presently arranged as two properties, The Priory and its neighbour, The Well House, could be reinstated as one fine country house, 15 miles from Manchester city centre. Launched in February, it sold in June for close to its guide price of £2.9m (Strutt & Parker)

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best 2016 country house salesWater Hall, Wighton, Norfolk

Set in 5½ acres of immaculate gardens and grounds, three miles from Wells-next-the-Sea and seven miles from trendy Burnham Market, Water Hall has undergone an exemplary restoration over the past 15 years. Launched in early summer at a guide price of £3.6m, its autumn sale was one of Norfolk’s deals of the year (Savills)

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