Penny Churchill looks around the magnificent old Homestall Manor, where every inch seems to be filled with rich history.
If 1,000 years of history is still a dream, Will Peppitt of the Savills Department of Agriculture is selling the stunning II* listed Homestall Manor, with its sprawling complex of associated buildings, the entire complex spanning 28 acres of gardens and land in Ashurst Wood, just over the county line in West Sussex, within the High Weald AONB. Acting at the behest of Belleveue Mortlakes fixed beneficiaries, he quotes an estimated price of £10 million for this stately country home that boasts a unique provenance.
Originally a simple farmhouse, the oldest part of the estate dates from 1350, when it was probably used as a hunting box by John of Gaunt, son of Edward III, who owned the hunting rights in Ashdown Forest. In 1907 Lord Tommy Dewar, a Perth whiskey distiller, bought and restored The Homestall and remodeled the surrounding gardens.
After his death in 1930, his nephew, racehorse owner and breeder John Arthur Dewar, inherited the estate, which he used as a country retreat, living at Claridge’s for the remainder of the week.
However, for Dewar’s new wife, Katherine, the house was simply too small for the luxurious entertainment she had in mind. With the nonchalance of a very wealthy man, her husband responded by purchasing Dutton Hall, a large Tudor mansion in Cheshire dating back to Doomsday, which he dismantled, brick by brick, oak beam by oak beam, and rebuilt into an estate to form the present southwest wing of Homestall Manor.
This part of the house has an elaborately carved two-story porch with a pediment at the top, dated 1562. The imposing Great Hall has a partially closed hammer-beam roof, believed to have originated from the wardroom of the last English ship to see the battle. under sail and a stone fireplace from 1585.
By the way, the front door of the French monastery is said to be over 1000 years old.
To the south of the house are regular gardens with ponds overlooking the forest, and on the territory there are two all-weather tennis courts and a swimming pool.
During World War II, the building, then known as Dutton Homestall, served as a satellite hospital run by the formidable Sir Archibald Mackindo, who performed miracles of plastic surgery during World War II. It became Stoke Brunswick Preparatory School in the late 1940s and became residential again in 2009.
In its current configuration, Homestall Manor offers approximately 26,000 sq. feet of living space, and various outbuildings provide another 10,760 sq. conversion of former school buildings into 15 vacation homes.
However, in terms of the future of the estate, Mr. Peppit does not exclude anything. In his opinion, the next caretaker could very well be “a hotel owner, director or lord of the manor” – or even someone enterprising from a very different path in life.
The Homestall estate is up for sale for £10 million – see more photos and details.
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