Whichford House would be a beautiful period home in any setting, but its magical five acres of gardens – including an outdoor areana – make it all the more special, as Penny Churchill reports.
Having your own amphitheatre won’t be near the top of the must-have list for many of us when looking for a new home — but probably only because it’s the sort of thing that you’d never even dream of. Yet the Grade II*-listed Whichford House, standing in five acres of gardens and grounds, includes an outdoor amphitheatre to call your own — one which is regularly used for charity events and the Diva Opera.
The rest of the property is equally enticing. This is an outstanding Cotswold country house in Whichford, a Warwickshire village close to the border with Oxfordshire, six miles from Chipping Norton and seven miles from Shipston-on-Stour. It’s currently for sale through Knight Frank’s country department at a guide price of £6m.
Whichford House was bought by the present owners in 2004 and extensively restored, refurbished and redecorated to become the 7,330sq ft property that it is today.
The house offers accommodation on three floors, including reception and staircase halls, three reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, an orangery and a wine cellar.
There are eight bedrooms and five bathrooms, with the bedrooms currently decorated in a traditional style which really accentuates the house’s period features.
The property also comes with a three-bedroom cottage, a coach house with a one-bedroom flat, outbuildings and stables.
The gardens have been twice featured in Country Life (June 1, 1967 and June 9, 2010), and have glorious views of Brailes Hill. They were laid out by James Russell for Rainbird in the 1950s and have been fully restored by the present owners over the past 15 years.
Whichford House was the village rectory until 1954, when the Church of England sold it to the publisher George Rainbird for a reputed £1,400.
Architecturally, the house evolved during the medieval period and in the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Civil War, it was badly damaged by the Roundheads, after the incumbent rector, the Rev James Langston, preached against Cromwell.
The house was repaired in the 17th century and, according to its Historic England listing, further enhanced and enlarged in the 18th century; a stone over the west doorway shows a date of 1662. The Classical Georgian front was begun in the 1740s, but not finally completed until the present owners built the new west wing in 2006.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.
When partaking of a piping-hot cup of tea and a crumblingly delicious slice of cake, where better to indulge than