Buyers looking for potential and space — lots of space — have a great option now on the market not far from the pretty town of Marlborough. Penny Churchill investigates.
Across the county border in Wiltshire, the sky’s the limit in sporting terms for the successful buyer of the spectacular, 1,400-acre Ogbourne Down estate, which comes to the market in Country Life at a guide price of £15m through Knight Frank and Webb Paton.
By far the most important farming property to hit the open market this year, the classic estate amid rolling chalk downland is situated in a secluded and peaceful location to the south of the landmark Barbury Castle Iron Age hill fort and the ancient Ridgeway, three miles north of Marlborough in the North Wessex Downs AONB and just 80 miles from the centre of London.
Although at present there is no grand house on the estate, at its heart is the recently built, three-bedroom Ogbourne Down Farmhouse, which has magnificent south-westerly views across the entire farm and, subject to planning, could be extended or replaced by a much larger house should a new owner so wish, selling agent Clive Hopkins suggests.
Also present is New Barn Farmhouse on the edge of Ogbourne St Andrew village, and a pair of semi-detached cottages and a stable court-yard with evident scope for redevelopment, again subject to planning.
The land is farmed in hand under contract with some 1,105 acres in arable production and 212 acres in permanent pasture, including sweeping grass gallops currently used by neighbouring trainer Neil King.
The estate also includes some 52 acres of amenity woodland, ideally located in a strategic box across the estate, and although no formal shoot is currently run, the carefully managed woodland and the glorious contours of the landscape provide the basis for an excellent partridge shoot, adds Mr Hopkins.
The location is also ideal for those looking for an estate with easy access to the city. Junction 15 of the M4 is 10 miles away, from which Heathrow Airport is less than an hour’s drive, while Bristol, Bath, Oxford and the South Coast are all within easy reach.