Country houses for sale

‘One of the finest houses on Dartmoor’ has come to the market, and it’s a spectacular masterpiece in granite

Outer Down, near the picturesque Dartmoor town of Chagford, is a house that's been superbly refurbished, with utterly breathtaking views across the local landscape.

Oliver Custance Baker of Strutt & Parker’s country department isn’t one to mince his words: ‘one of the finest houses on Dartmoor’ in ‘arguably the best location just outside Chagford’ is his assessment of Outer Down. This grand old house, which has come up for sale for £5.75 million, is set in 54 acres of gardens, paddocks and pasture overlooking Meldon Hill and the surrounding moor.

According to its Historic England listing, Grade II-listed Outer Down was built ‘in a restrained Tudor style’ in 1911 for a Miss Jameson of the Irish-whiskey family, using granite ashlar quarried from the grounds, with granite stacks and granite ashlar chimney shafts under a roof of Delabole slate.

It was one of many grand houses built on Dartmoor in Edwardian times by gentry — or rich families aspiring to gentryhood — among them Grade I-listed Castle Drogo near Drewsteignton, three miles from Outer Down, which overlooks Chagford, and was England’s last castle, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe, founder of the Home and Colonial Stores, and now owned by the National Trust.

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The house last appeared in Country Life in May 2007, Outer Down, when it was offered ‘in need of general updating and refurbishment’, either as a whole or in six lots, including two cottages, a stable courtyard and a range of traditional outbuildings, with woodland running down to the South Teign River. It was then that the present owners acquired the house and buildings, with 19½ acres of gardens, grounds and woodland, and they have sensitively modernised the place.

Outer Down now has more than 6,000sq ft of elegant living space, the original stable block has been refurbished, along with its two three-bedroom cottages and outbuildings, and the magnificent gardens have also been restored. The latter are currently open to the public.

These houses were built to last and Outer Down combines the amenities of modern living with a wealth of original features, including high ceilings, original fireplaces, exposed oak flooring and fine panelling and cornicing.

The accommodation comprises four reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, utilities and stores on the ground floor, with seven bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor and a large attic space on the second.

Outside, the beautifully landscaped gardens roll down to the river, where the property benefits from 314 yards of fishing rights with spectacular views over the national park.

Chagford itself, meanwhile, is an ancient and thriving Devon market town within the Dartmoor National Park, 20 miles west of the cathedral city of Exeter.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, the town’s former Easton Court Hotel was a popular writers’ retreat, where Evelyn Waugh reputedly completed A Handful of Dust in 1933 and Brideshead Revisited in 1944.

Outer House is for sale via Strutt & Parker at £5.75m — see more pictures and details.


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