Country houses for sale

A ‘little piece of rural England’ in the shape of a compact estate that comes with an 8,000 sq ft main house, two cottages, numerous outbuildings and 94 acres

Beech Farm is a beautifully converted family home/estate in the rural Oxfordshire countryside area of the Chiltern Hills that combines country living with a healthy dollop of luxury.

In Oxfordshire, Beech Farm is a compact country estate set amid beautifully maintained woodland, arable land and pasture at one of the highest points of the Chilterns, a mile from the village of Woodcote, 10 miles from Reading and 12 miles from Henley-on-Thames.

The compact estate has come to market via Knight Frank following the recent death of the estate’s former owner, Major Sir David Black, in May of this year. Knight Frank have the estate for sale at a guide price of ‘excess £9m’ for the whole, or ‘excess £6.5m’ for lot 1, which comprises the main house, the gardens, grounds, two cottages and 94 acres of land.

Formerly part of the Elvendon Priory estate, it was retained as Sir David’s ‘little piece of rural England’ in 2003, when Elvendon Priory was sold. Sir David served in the Royal Horse Guards, retiring as a major in 1960, before joining the Berkshire Territorials and later the Voluntary Reserve.

A keen fieldsportsman and hunting man, he was joint master of the Garth and South Berks Foxhounds from 1965 to 1973, later becoming chairman and president. Hounds were always welcome on his estate, where a successful shoot is still run in conjunction with the neighbouring Elvendon Priory estate.

Cleverly converted from a traditional barn in the mid 1990s, Beech Wood’s 8,127sq ft main house, which is unlisted, combines the relaxed ambience of a family farmhouse with some imposing high-ceilinged rooms designed for formal entertaining. The entrance hall leads into the drawing room and sitting room, both of which have dual access to the gardens and grounds, with views over immaculate lawns and herbaceous borders to the fields below, and towards Wantage in the distance.

In all, the house offers four reception rooms, two studies, a billiard room, a kitchen and breakfast room in need of upgrading and various domestic offices on the ground floor, with a large principal bedroom suite, two further suites, two further bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor.

Additional properties include two three-bedroom cottages to the rear of the farmhouse. The farm buildings to the east include a large barn that could potentially be used as a party barn or as part of an extension to the main house.

Beech Farm is being offered at a guide price of ‘excess £9m’ for the whole, or at ‘excess 6.5m’ for lot 1, which comprises the main house, the gardens, grounds, two cottages and 94 acres of land.

Woodcote: What you need to know

Location: Woodcote is a village in south Oxfordshire, located within the Chiltern Hills and approximately 8 miles from Reading. The nearest train station is located in Goring & Streatley.

Atmosphere: The village won the BBC Oxfordshire Village of the Year 2008 and is home to a garden centre, a village hall, several small shops and a number of independent cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Things to do: The annual Woodcote rally is a steam, vintage and veteran transport festival, with numerous craft stalls and entertainment for children. For the other 364 days of the year, explore the surrounding Chiltern Hills via its numerous walks, or take a day trip into Oxford (less than 20 miles away) or Reading, for shopping and further leisure facilities.

Schools: Woodcote Primary School is located within the village, as is Langtree School and Oratory School for secondary.

See more property for sale in the area.