Ringwood Road, North Gorley, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 2PJ, UK
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Savills - Country Department Agent Valuation of this property is £4,750,000
An exquisite Grade II* listed country house sitting of the edge of the New Forest in wonderful gardens and grounds with a substantial lodge house, outbuildings and equestrian facilities
Venards House is an extremely handsome Grade II* listed country house, understood to date from the late 17th Century with 18th and 19th Century additions. It has characteristics of the William & Mary period and is built of mellow brick with a slightly projected central bay with a stone pediment over the original front door. The house was once part of the nearby Somerley Estate, until it was sold in about 1901. In its more recent history it was the home of the novelist Leslie Thomas before he moved to the Cathedral Close in Salisbury. Venards House has Commoners’ rights allowing the owner to graze livestock on the open forest.
Under its current ownership, Venards has been beautifully renovated and maintained. It retains the sash windows, exposed beams, working fireplaces and some moulded ceilings one expects in a house of this era. The owners have also overseen the construction of a magnificent new kitchen with an orangery.
The ground floor accommodation provides the ideal balance of entertaining and family living space. The front door opens into a welcoming reception hall which, in turn, leads through into an inner staircase hall. There is an adjacent sitting room with an open fireplace and a door opening out onto the stone terrace to the front of the house. The drawing room and dining room are reached via the inner hall and are both extremely elegant rooms. The drawing room is double aspect, and has working shutters, a period fireplace with a log burning stove and a French doors to a south facing terrace. The dining room was added in the 19th Century and is a beautifully proportioned room with superb ceiling height. There is a study, with a working fireplace and a door out to the rear terrace, and an adjacent cloakroom. The kitchen/breakfast room is a superb space with beautiful handmade cabinetry, a central island and a 4-oven oil fired Aga. The orangery provides informal dining and doors out to the surrounding terrace and garden. There is an adjoining boot room and a utility/laundry room beyond.
There are five bedrooms on the first floor, including a wonderful principal bedroom, which sits within the 19th Century wing and has an exceptional vaulted ceiling. It has built-in wardrobes and a large en suite bathroom. There are four further well-proportioned bedrooms, 2 with en suite bath/shower rooms and a family bathroom. On the second floor is a large bedroom/games room with an en suite shower room.
Gardens and Grounds
Venards House sits in delightful, partly walled gardens and grounds which provide an incredible setting with numerous areas of interest. The house is approached via a gravel driveway with double gates opening into a pretty courtyard to the north of the house. There are ample parking and turning areas with lawns enclosed by traditional estate fencing. A spur drive continues to the stable yard and there is potential to create an in-and-out drive with another gateway adjacent to Venards Lodge.
The gardens were originally laid out about 100 years ago and include specimen trees dating from this time together with a magnificent Yew walk with double herbaceous borders which provides a very special centrepiece to the gardens. There are sandstone terraces surrounding the house, providing numerous outside seating areas with a Rose parterre within the south terrace. To the front, Venards House is enclosed in a walled garden with a variety of specimen trees and wide lawns. A magnificent Wisteria clads the front façade. To the north of the Yew Walk is the partly walled kitchen garden with a wide lawn, deep borders, raised beds and a Griffin greenhouse.
The swimming pool is found to the south of the Yew Walk and has been refurbished by the current owners with the addition of a retractable cover, a pool house with a kitchen and changing room and an outdoor shower.
To the south of the house and gardens, a small stream known as Huckles Brook flows through the grounds and there are areas of wild flower planted on its banks. To the south of the stream is an area of paddock and a beautiful block of woodland.
Venards House is located at the western edge of the New Forest National Park, in a rural setting 2.5 miles to the south of the market town of Fordingbridge. North Gorley is a small, scattered village with a thriving pub, The Royal Oak and there is a popular farm shop in nearby South Gorley. Fordingbridge offers day-to-day amenities and there is a wider range, including a Waitrose supermarket, in Ringwood. The Cathedral City of Salisbury, Christchurch and Bournemouth are all within easy reach, offering a superb range of shopping and cultural facilities.
The New Forest is a unique landscape of heathland, ancient wood, enclosures and picturesque villages and is a wonderful location for those wanting to ride, walk or cycle, amongst other outdoor pursuits. Venards House is perfectly located for those wishing to explore the surrounding countryside, with direct access to many miles of bridleways and footpaths from the driftway located immediately to the north of the property. In addition, watersports are available at the nearby New Forest Water Park and there is world class sailing at Lymington and Poole on the South Coast.
There are a wide range of preparatory and secondary schools in the area including Forres Sandle Manor, Moyles Court, Ballard, Walhampton, Durlston Court, Canford, Bryanston, Godolphin and grammar schools in Salisbury, Bournemouth and Poole. Communications are excellent, with the A338 linking north to Salisbury and south to the A31 which links to Bournemouth, Poole and the M27 for access to Southampton, Winchester and London. There are direct rail services to London Waterloo from Salisbury or Southampton Parkway as well as International Airports at Bournemouth and Southampton.
Square Footage: 5,426 sq ft
From Salisbury take the A338 (Downton Road) following signs for Downton and Fordingbridge. Follow the road for about 11 miles, bypassing the village of Downton, through Breamore and bypassing Fordingbridge. Shortly after the latter, take the left hand turning onto Lawrence Lane which is signposted ‘North Gorley’. Follow the lane for about 0.5 mile and then turn right at the t-Junction with Ringwood Road. Venards House will be seen on the left hand side after a short distance.
From London: Take the M3 towards Winchester and Southampton, continuing onto the M27 at junction 13 towards Southampton Docks and Bournemouth. Leave the M27 at Cadnam and take the third exit at the roundabout onto the B3079 towards Bramshaw and Fordingbridge. Follow the road for about 10 miles, following signs to Fordingbridge and on reaching the A338 follow signs for Ringwood. Follow the road for about 2 miles before turning left onto Lawrence Lane signposted ‘North Gorley’ and then continue as per directions above.
<B>Venards Lodge</b> Venards Lodge is a former dairy which was converted into a house about 60 years’ ago and sits to the north of the main house within a courtyard of traditional buildings. It has been renovated to a very high standard by the current owners and now provides a substantial secondary property which could be ideal for guests, staff or a letting opportunity. On the ground floor there is a sitting room, dining room, kitchen with 2-oven Aga and a utility room whilst the first floor has a principal bedroom with en suite bathroom, three further bedrooms and 2 further bath/shower rooms (1 en suite).
<B>Outbuildings & Equestrian Facilities</b> There are extensive outbuildings at Venards, with a principal courtyard of traditional buildings found to the north of the house and an adjacent stableyard. Adjoining the house, a run of outbuilding includes a double garage, quad store, gardens stores, gardener’s WC and the boiler room. To the far side of the courtyard, adjoining Venards Lodge is a large traditional barn with an adjacent workshop. Beyond the workshop is a former studio and a range of stores, which have the potential for a variety of different uses. The courtyard is completed by the traditional brick hay barn and the adjoining stables, which face out towards the stableyard. Overall the stableyard has 8 loose boxes, a tack room and feed store along with and storage within the traditional hay barn. There is a further modern hay barn and a covered Claydon horse walker. The 30x50m sand and rubber manège is a rarity in the New Forest and is located to the east of the principal gardens.
<B>Paddocks and Pasture</b> The balance of the land is laid to pasture with a small area of woodland to the far north-east of the property. The pasture is currently divided into 5 post-and-rail fenced paddocks with field shelters and water. As noted above, there is a further block of pasture with water and road access to the south of Huckles Brook. A further block of pastureland, extending to about 3.5 acres may be available by separate negotiation and is located to the north of the property, on the far side of the adjacent driftway.