A sprawling house with a pair of gardens designed by some of the most brilliant minds in modern horticulture is at the heart of this huge estate for sale — which just so happens to be rather close to where Country Life is put together.
Staff in the Country Life offices regularly spot dream properties for sale, but there is a particular thrill in seeing one just a few minutes down the A31 from our anonymous business park in Farnborough. The property in question which has ticked that box is the 464-acre Bury Court estate at Bentley, Hampshire, which incorporates a range of farming and non-farming enterprises.
Bury Court is currently for sale through Savills at a guide price of £11 million; we think we’re right in saying that rules out any of the present staff. Certainly if they’re fishing in that sort of pond then they’ve kept it very much to themselves.
The estate is a beautiful spot that stands in rolling countryside on the edge of the South Downs National Park and, in the 17th century, was a demesne farm owned by the Bishops of Winchester.
A productive hop farm until the 1980s, at its heart is a five-bedroom country house (with potential to extend) arranged around a pair of huge rooms on the ground floor, one a dining room-kitchen and the other a sitting room-drawing room. Those rooms are just the start of the property, however, which extends to over 21,000 sq ft.
The main house is surrounded by two famous gardens — one a courtyard garden created in 1996 by Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, the other a ‘meadow garden’ of tall grasses and flowering perennials by Christopher Bradley-Hole.
The central group of buildings includes a magnificent listed barn, operated as an events and wedding venue, and an impressive range of converted brick-and-flint buildings.
Two self-contained flats, six further houses and cottages and four offices also generate a useful income.
The farmland is mainly arable, interspersed with pasture and woodland — a topography that lends itself well to a family shoot that until recently was run in conjunction with neighbouring landowners.
The higher grounds of the estate have beautiful views across the valley of the River Wey and the house and outbuildings on the lower ground enjoy a sense of seclusion.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.