James Fisher takes a look at a quite superb Hampshire country house that's one of the finest for sale in Britain right now.
Izaak Walton, arguably Britain’s greatest fisherman, once said that ‘God has two dwellings; one in Heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart’.
His third dwelling — and here, it must be said, we’re assuming that God is a fisherman who’d like nothing more than to cast a line over the River Meon — would likely be Meonstoke House in Hampshire, which has come up for sale via Knight Frank at £9 million.
This beautifully presented and proportioned house, which is Grade II listed, stands in some 35 acres of gardens and grounds that provide not only fishing, but tennis and equestrian facilities as well.
The house was built in the late 18th century, with north and south wings added half-way through the 20th century. It’s full of the Georgian details you might expect — sahs windows and beautifully-proportioned rooms — with a clean, red brick walls and a hipped tile roof.
Inside, the agents’ details note ‘four reception rooms’, though we feel that is underplaying things slightly, not least because there’s also a vast reception hall which is almost 46 feet long and swallows a grand piano as easily as most people swallow peanuts.
There is also a billiard room, media room, gym, study, wine cellar, a walk-in gun safe and butler’s pantry. There’s also a wine cellar, air-conditioned, in case its lower ground floor location doesn’t quite manage to keep conditions optimal.
There are eight bedrooms and five bathrooms, though again this seems to under-play things slightly when you discover that the smallest is 17’6” across and the largest — the master suite — has both a walk-in wardrobe and a separate dressing room which is bigger than most people’s kitchens.
Although the exterior is effortlessly Georgian, the interiors have been sympathetically modernised thanks to a full-scale refurbishment effort in 2010, and it’s immaculately presented with furnishings that complement the style of the house.
As well as the joys for sporty types in the grounds, gardeners will love the place too. The greenhouse looks like the sort of thing you’d expect to see at Kew Gardens, while there are also lawns, walled gardens and a pergola draped in wisteria.
Meonstoke itself is in the heart of the South Downs, roughly half-way between Winchester and Petersfield, making this a relatively easily accessible place to come to and from. All you have to do now is find the necessary £9m.
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