Country houses for sale

Pool, paddock and party barn at this Georgian house and farm set in 264 acres of Surrey

Pockford House is a beautiful Surrey farm that's a 'rare and unspoilt' property full of fun, from paddocks to party barn, as Penny Churchill finds out.

A report from Strutt & Parker reveals that the average price of arable land sold during the first nine months of 2022 increased by 4% to £9,800 an acre, the highest it has been since 2015. Over the same period, the average price of pasture rose by 6% to a record-breaking £8,000 an acre.

‘The strength of demand reflects the broad spectrum of buyers who are interested in buying land,’ says Matthew Sudlow, head of estates and farm agency for Strutt & Parker, adding: ‘We have a combination of farmers with rollover money, lifestyle buyers and private investors, along with individuals and corporate companies looking at land for carbon sequestration or conservation projects.’

Given the current turmoil in the global economy, Strutt & Parker believes that competition for rural assets can only intensify. Fortunately, although land ownership is undoubtedly a serious business, farming can also be fun, as a  fine country estate have on the market amply demonstrates.

Will Matthews of Knight Frank quotes a guide price of £9.75 million for Pockford House and Farm near Chiddingfold, Surrey, described as ‘a rare and unspoilt, principally Georgian house set at the heart of a 264-acre sporting estate’.

Pockford Farm sits 1½ miles from this quintessential English village with its green and pond surrounded by historic buildings, including the Grade I-listed Church of St Mary and The Crown Inn, said to be one of the oldest hostelries in England.

Built in 1805 around an earlier mid- to late-16th-century dwelling, Pockford House stands on high ground at the end of a long gravel driveway with wide verges flanked by mature trees and far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside and down to Pockford Brook.

Behind its classic Georgian front, the house offers 4,855sq ft of comfortable living space, including three main reception rooms, a study, a kitchen/breakfast room, two bedroom suites, three further bedrooms and a family shower room.

Next to the house, a large conservatory is linked to the stable block, staff cottage and estate office. Away from the house, two semi-detached three-bedroom cottages are both currently let.

Behind the walled garden, a lower courtyard houses a heated indoor pool and plant room, with a tennis court and a Grade II-listed party-barn nearby. Equestrian facilities include four loose boxes with paddocks close by, a sand school and an all-weather turnout area.

The land at Pockford Farm comprises 140 acres of pasture and 114 acres of woodland, of which 55 acres along the southern boundary are leased by the Forestry Commission as part of the Chiddingfold Forest SSSI. The land has been farmed organically and would be ideal for regenerative farming or rewilding, given the large areas of ancient woodland.

Once part of the Chiddingfold estate that was assembled over time by the Sadler family, who were lords of the manor of nearby Prestwick, Pockford House and its historic farmland were reunited in 1996 by the present owners, following the sale of the estate on the death of the last remaining Sadler.

The family is commemorated in a portrait of Thomas Sadler (1835–1915), which hangs in The Crown Inn, and bears the inscription ‘Presented to Thomas Sadler Esq of Pockford House by the Members and Friends of the Chiddingfold Hunt for his untiring zeal in hunting the Hounds for twelve seasons. May 15th, 1872.’ It previously hung in the dining room at Pockford House until the mid 1960s, when it passed to Lord Egremont at nearby Petworth.

Pockford Farm is for sale via Knight Frank at £9.75m — see more pictures and details.

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