Country houses for sale

A 16th century, Grade II-listed property that’s been totally transformed by a music legend, now seeking a new owner

Musical superstar Nellee Hooper — who has produced albums for everyone from Björk to U2 — turned his hand to home renovation in sympathetically restoring The Old Manor House in West Sussex. Now, he's moving on and is selling this timeless property that benefits from the best of both traditional and modern worlds. Penny Churchill takes a look.

In West Sussex, but still within the National Park, the pandemic has seen music legend Nellee Hooper redirect his considerable creative talents to the restoration and upgrading of Grade II-listed The Old Manor House at Milland, 2½ miles from Liphook and seven miles from Haslemere. Hooper — who has recorded songs with Madonna, Tina Turner and dozens more stars — is now moving on, and his house is for sale at £3.95m.

Although a Roman posting station in ancient times, Milland was a scattered farming community until a handful of council houses were built there in 1948. Nowadays, village life revolves around the Rising Sun gastro-pub, service station, pottery and book exchange.

Having bought the house in a state of progressive disrepair in 2018, Mr Hooper has extensively, but sympathetically renovated the stone and timber-frame house, which carries a date stone of 1651, although its listing suggests that the oldest part is ‘probably 16th century’.

It now presents as a period home of great charm and authenticity that, beneath the skin, bristles with the latest technology. Theo James-Wright of Savills quotes a guide price of £3.95m.

With strong ESG credentials evident throughout, the entire house has been stripped down to the bare bones, re-plumbed and rewired and all walls lined with traditional lime plaster. A high proportion of the building materials used have been reclaimed or recycled, including stone from France and Italy, and 16th-century wood panelling from Belgium.

In contrast, modern convenience comes in the shape of smart home-control, internet and security systems, large flat-screen televisions and air-conditioning in the main bedrooms.

Set in 1½ acres of landscaped gardens, The Old Manor House (previously known as Mill Cottage) provides 3,072sq ft of atmospheric living space in the main building, including three reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, principal bedroom suite, two/three further bedrooms and two bath/shower rooms.

A former stone barn, rebuilt in 1980, has been redesigned as a self-contained, two-bedroom guest annexe.

The Old Manor House is currently on the market via Savills at a guide price of £3.95 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details.

Milland: What you need to know

Location: Near the South Downs National Park in West Sussex on the border of Hampshire, just over 7 miles from Petersfield. The village of Liphook is just 2 1/2 miles away. There are train stations located at Liphook which runs services to London Waterloo and Haslemere.

Atmosphere: The quiet village is home to a primary School plus several shops. Nearby Liphook has a range of further facilities including a large supermarkert, doctors surgery and the well regarded Bohunt School.

Things to do: Thanks to the village’s close proximity to the South Downs National Park, running, walking, cycling and riding are all available within the area. Nearby Haslemere is a charming market town with an array of cafes, shops and restaurants to explore.

Schools: Hollycombe Primary School is local to the village whilst Bohunt Secondary School in Liphook is well regarded and rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.