Country house with ‘long and rich history’ for sale for £7.5m

One of the finest privately-owned houses in England, a 14-bedroom, Grade I listed country house set on 160 acres of parkland, has gone on the market with a price tag of £7.5m.

PIC: Savilles/SWNS

Thomas Hardy was a regular visitor at the 15th century Athelhampton House in Dorset, whose owners have included William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, fourth Earl of Mornington and nephew to the Duke of Wellington.

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It was acquired in 1957 by the family of the late Conservative MP Robert Cooke, who have now put it up for sale, with an inventory that includes five bathrooms and a cinema.

PIC: Savilles/SWNS

Lindsay Cuthill, at the estate agent Savills, said: “It’s a magical Tudor manor. It’s surprisingly domestic. You don’t feel as if you are standing in an echo-y place at all – it has a real warmth to it.

“It’s not full of Henry VIII, but it has got a long and rich history and I don’t think you need to have kings and queens going through the house for it be a very historic place.”

She said it would suit “a private family who wanted to live in a historic piece of England and pull up the drawbridge, so to speak”.