Country houses for sale

Heaven for commuters? A centuries-old house in Surrey with endless charm, a swimming pool and manege

An ancient Surrey house that's perfectly-located — and set up — for modern living has come up for sale. Annunciata Elwes explains more.

On hearing that a house is called ‘Comforts Place’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a name plucked out of the ether by a property developer to create a feeling of pleasant cosiness in the prospective buyer. Yet in the case of this house in Surrey — for sale at £3.15 million through Knight Frank — the label is in fact many centuries old.

The Comfort family name appears in local parish record books throughout Surrey from the 13th century — notably as de Cumpwrthe, Cumpeworth, Compworth and Compworthe. The house that bears the family name is of a similar vintage: originally, the house was part of a medieval-aisled hall, but now, its core is an Elizabethan manor.

The house may be old but it is well cared for, not least by the current owners. They’ve been there for 17 years, and have determinedly taken on a new project every year. The property now has an extra 2,000sq ft of accommodation, with the main house significantly modernised.

Of brick and tile, it contains nine bedrooms in two wings; a brick-and-timber barn has been converted into a pool house and two-bedroom accommodation.

The surrounds are just as much of a draw. Comforts Place sits within 16 and a half acres that contain a sunken terrace, some large mature oaks and extensive lawns flanked by borders of roses, hydrangeas and grasses, leading to paddocks.

There’s also an orchard (with apple, pear, plum and mulberry trees), swimming pool, tennis court, a rose arbour where David Austin’s finest trail around pillars and over arches, a lake and a productive kitchen garden and greenhouses — not to mention a manège, hay barn and stabling for up to six horses, which are no doubt well supplied with carrots.

‘What the owners have done,’ explains Ed Rook, head of Knight Frank’s country department, ‘is taken a very good family house and turned it into an extremely good one.

‘A lot of this has involved improvements to the landscape — the kitchen garden is beautifully arranged with everything from asparagus and raspberries to lettuce and potatoes. Throughout, the owners have added thoughtful details, such as a big tree house. This has been going on for 17 years, so a lot of these projects have really matured.’

Only two miles west of the village of Lingfield and less than five miles from Oxted, from where trains to London Victoria take 40 minutes, or 30 to London Bridge, Comforts Place is well situated as a country haven for city worker bees.

Comforts Place is for sale at £3.15 million through Knight Frank — see more details and pictures.


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