Country houses for sale

Spectacular beams, wondrous gardens and a vaulted party room in the house where Capability Brown’s mother used to live

Moor Hall is a dreamy country house in Suffolk that offers a true getaway from the world — with a few modern surprises thrown in.

Coming across a house like Moor Hall — in the village of Stoke-by-Clare, on the Suffolk-Essex border — it’s hard not to wonder what the residents of former years would think if they could see it now.

The house — which is up for sale with Fenn Wright via OnTheMarket at £1.675 million — is a 17th century home full of character and original details. The beams in the ceilings and walls have been turned into a real feature throughout almost all the house.

The high point of the beams — in both the literal and metaphorical sense — is the striking, vaulted space marked down on the floorplan as ‘bedroom 6/party room’. If that modest description alone weren’t enough to get you intrigued, discovering that it’s a 43ft space that’s most like being in a marquee than a bedroom should be enough. The modern art that currently festoons the walls highlights how the present owners have blended old and new — something which can be seen in the choice of furnishings throughout.

For a 400-year-old house, of course, change is always part of the history. The property’s Grade II listing at Historic England notes that the windows are 18th century and that the roof was tiled in the 20th century, while the agents add that the house was remodelled in the early 19th century.

What is very much 21st century, however, is a feature that will doubtless be one of the big draws for buyers: the indoor pool in its own separate complex, which also includes a sauna and Jacuzzi.

The house is arranged as an L-shape, with one wing having the kitchen/breakfast room, study, dining room, drawing room and music room all accessed off the hallway, and five bedrooms above.

The other half — the north wing — includes boot room, utility room, workshop and a sitting room that leads up to the aforementioned party space.

There’s also an extra bedroom above the boot room and utility, currently accessed via a linking staircase from the main house, though the floorplan suggests it could potentially be reconfigured to split the wing off as an entirely self-contained living space — a granny flat or a holiday let, perhaps.

Outside, the 5.5 acres of gardens are a real joy, with mature trees, rolling lawned areas and a pair of lakes, one of which is overlooked by a wooden jetty.

The appearance of a swan in one of the agent’s photos makes it look like something from a National Trust property, and indeed it’s possible that Moor Court has a historic claim to fame. According to local legend, Capability Brown’s mother used to live in the house, and the great man himself may have had a hand in laying out the grounds.

The village of Stoke-by-Clare itself is a pretty little spot (fewer than 500 people at last count) with a shop and pub; a couple of miles away is Clare, which has a few more shops and doctor’s surgery. It’s probably just about commutable, particularly for those only needing to be in London a couple of days a week: the station at Sudbury is a 10-mile drive.

Moor Court is for sale via Fenn Wright via OnTheMarket at £1.675m — see more details and pictures.


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