Country houses for sale

The house of a great Victorian adventurer who married Britain’s richest heiress, won the Derby and became prime minister

When he wasn't living an extraordinary life that involved politics, sport and marrying into the Rothschild millions, Archibald Primrose put his feet up in this beautiful Norfolk home.

Archibald Primrose, later 5th Lord Rosebery, reputedly had three aims in life: to marry an heiress, to win the Derby and to become Prime Minister. Archibald — who once lived at The Manor House, which we look at today — managed to achieve all three.

In 1878, he married Hannah de Rothschild, the sole heiress of banker Mayer Amschel de Rothschild, and the wealthiest British heiress of her day. In 1894, he became Prime Minister following Gladstone’s retirement, but resigned a year later.

As a result of his marriage, Rosebery acquired the Mentmore Towers estate and Mentmore stud near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, and the Crafton Stud in Buckinghamshire. He went on to win the Derby in 1894, 1895 and 1905, and was a major force in racing for 40 years. His fortune bought him houses in Scotland, Italy and England — among them The Manor House at Postwick, near Norwich, which apparently served as a hunting lodge before the First World War and was eventually sold by the family in 1945.

The classic late-Georgian house, built by Francis Gostling in 1831 — which is, surprisingly, unlisted — is now for sale through the Norwich office of Savills for the first time in more than 40 years. Selling agent Natalie Howlett-Clarke quotes a guide price of £2.2 million for the wonderfully private, 9,284sq ft manor house set in 7½ acres of gardens and grounds, and surrounded by mature woodland.

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The house stands close to the medieval church of All Saints on the edge of the village of Postwick (pronounced ‘pozzick’), which sits amid narrow winding lanes in the gentle hills above the River Yare, four miles east of Norwich. The property lies within the Broadland district of Norfolk, which, incidentally, boasts the lowest violent-crime rate in the UK.

During their tenure, the owners have retained the essential Georgian character of the interior, which has been cleverly adapted for modern living, notably in the kitchen with its adjoining dining room, and the elegant drawing room, the focal point of which is an exquisite period fireplace imported from a French château.

There are eight bedrooms and four bathrooms: two of the bedrooms are reached by a separate staircase and could be used as a self-contained wing for guests or family members, or incorporated with the games room below to create an independent holiday let, subject to planning.

Outside, double wrought-iron gates lead to a courtyard with a central island, a large garage, workshops, stores and stabling.

The gardens are mainly laid to lawn, with a terrace around the outer perimeter of the house providing an impressive vantage point from which to view the grounds.

A swimming pool and tennis court are located to the east of the property, well away from the main house.

The Manor House is for sale at £2.2m — see more details and pictures.


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