Sudeley Lodge Estate, one of the most remarkable properties in Gloucestershire, has come to the market.
The sale of a very special – and truly enormous – estate in between Cheltenham and Stow-on-the-Wold reminds us that death, debt and divorce are not the only reasons that treasured country houses and estates find their way onto the open market.
In the case of Sudeley Lodge, a 519-acre estate just outside Winchcombe, the the owner’s recent bout of ill-health has forced the reluctant disposal of this ‘rare and wonderful’ sporting estate, which is for sale via Strutt & Parker and Knight Frank at a guide price of £16.5 million.
The decision coincides with the closing stages of a total redesign and renovation, not only of the principal house – Grade II-listed, Georgian Sudeley Lodge, a former shooting lodge on the magical Sudeley Castle estate and part of a royal deer park that stretched for more than three miles across the valley – but of all the estate houses and buildings.
These include an estate office and shoot room, a four-bedroom farmhouse, two cottages, a traditional farm building with potential for conversion and, cut into the hillside at the heart of the estate, the refurbished four-bedroom Parks Farm with its own garden and traditional outbuildings.
The refurbishment of the principal house, which was extended and split into two in 1994, involved the demolition of Victorian and later extensions and the construction of the four-storey north wing.
The owner has completed the first three phases of the scheme, leaving his successor to execute the fit-out of the interior, a process expected to take 12 months at an estimated cost of £1 million–£1.5 million.
The finished house will comprise eight bedrooms (six with en-suite bathrooms), three fine reception rooms and a kitchen/dining room with doors leading to a large balcony overlooking the garden and the surrounding farmland.
Life at Sudeley Lodge has long revolved around the outstanding pheasant-and-partridge shoot that has acquired an excellent reputation over the years, the rolling terrain, large blocks of woodland and natural valleys providing the perfect environment for its challenging high-bird shoot. The estate currently shoots 13 days a season, yielding bags of 150–300 birds a day.
Otherwise, land use within its ring-fenced boundary includes 214 acres of arable land farmed in hand with a contract farmer and 158 acres of pasture grazed on an annual basis by two local farmers.
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