Country houses for sale

Country Life’s most eyecatching properties of 2018: Wrecks to renovate, castles to care for and islands going for a song

We looked through the statistics from our social media pages to see which properties were best at grabbing attention during the past year.

The result is a fascinating collection of everything from remote islands and castles to picture-perfect, commuter-friendly cottages.

The gulf in asking prices across different parts of the country often provoked a reaction. One day, when we all commute to work via super-fast helicopters á la Brave New World, homes like this will not have prices like this:

In a similar vein was the enticing sale of this Scottish island towards the start of the year.

Not surprisingly, the island – called ‘Holm of Grimbister’ – sold easily. Not all the properties have, though: take this beautiful Suffolk home:

The complications of selling a property which incorporates a stud farm have no doubt made the negotiations over Glebe House complicated. And avoiding complication is one reason why some sellers decide to go to auction, as in the case of the amazing castle below.

Ribbesford House sold for £800,000 in the end, to a pair of brothers who are planning to make it great again.

And speaking of places which need a bit – read ‘lot’ – of work doing, this one really stood out: High Head Castle.

We await with interest what they’ll do with the place, for some owners do make rather unusual decisions, as this next place demonstrates:

While that decorative style might not be the norm for a period house, it certainly appears to have tickled somebody’s fancy since the place is no longer on the market.

This equally unusual property is yet to find a buyer, however, despite, charm, history and an attractive price tag:

We’re sure that this thatched home will find a new hobbit – sorry, new owner – before too long. As will this equally-historic place in Kent:

Sometimes, hard-nosed business sense is more important than aesthetics when it comes to choosing a home. At other times, both go hand in hand.

Very often, though, the person needed to step forward to save a property will certainly be doing so for altruistic reasons. Parnham’s recent arrival on the market is one such case:

Thankfully, wealthy benefactors have long helped the nation – and not just with their funds, but also with their patience, vision and generosity. Step forward Sir Cecil Chubb:

A true hero of Britain – we were delighted that Cecil’s story resonated with so many of you this year. We’ll drink a toast to Cecil on New Year’s Eve, and another to unearthing more fine property at countrylife.co.uk in 2019.