These impressive properties have two things in common: they’re currently for sale, and they’re each steeped in a unique history…
Brereton Hall, Brereton
A singular example of a 16th century ‘prodigy house’, the date inscribed on the entrance – along with Elizabeth I’s coat of arms – indicates that the Grade I-listed Brereton Hall was built in 1586. With a long driveway ending in a facade flanked by two imposing octagonal towers, it is certainly one of the more impressive entrances we’ve come across. The interior boasts splendid period features throughout, with a gallery that runs across the front of the house, original friezes and impossibly detailed carved fireplaces. Available through Jackson Stops for £3,950,000.
This stunning Grade I mansion was built in 1799 by John Nash, the acclaimed architect famous for Buckingham Palace and the grand terraces surrounding Regent’s Park. Many of the property’s individual features also come with Grade I or II listing, such as the gazebo and stonework in the magical gardens. The interiors are no less sumptuous; decorated in the Italianate baroque style, principal rooms have breathtaking plasterwork on the vaulted ceilings, while the impressive Library opens onto a balustraded terrace with seemingly endless country views. Available through Savills for £1.8m.
Grovehurst Lane, Kent
It is a truth universally acknowledged a listed country house in possession of a fascinating history must be in want of a good owner … This delightful, Grade II* manor was, in fact, home to seven generations of the Austen family, ancestors of the beloved novelist. With the earliest part dating back to the 13th century, the house is a mixture of different periods combining to create a building with fascinating history to be found in every corner. In addition to the gorgeous rose garden at the rear, the grounds include formal walled gardens, paddocks and a slice of woodland covered in wildflowers. Available through Knight Frank for £1,695,000.
2 Crawley Grange, Buckinghamshire
Keen historians of the Tudor period – or simply fans of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall – should take note: this handsome manor was built in 1526 for none other than Cardinal Wolsey. The manor is now converted into four separate living quarters. The high-ceilinged East Wing is set over three ornate floors, featuring exposed beams and mullioned windows with the original shutters and window seats. Available through Michael Graham for £1.4m.
Dower House, Derbyshire
Built in 1740s from Yorkshire stone, this imposing south-facing manor is the work of John Carr, considered the leading 18th century architect of the North. Painstakingly maintained, the house retains many of its period features, most strikingly the original woodwork visible in the ornate dining room and sweeping oak staircase. Available through Carter Jonas for £1.3m.
The Bath House, East Sussex
This charming, imaginative property lived many past lives before its current iteration as a whimsical family home – it was previously a Turkish bath house, emergency wartime church and finally a science glass factory. Now converted into a uniquely atmospheric house, it offers potential owners plenty of space for stylish, comfortable living with original tiling, wooden beams and exposed brick. Available through Fine & Country, offers over £1.5m.
D’Arblay Street, London
Properties in the capital rarely come as unique or as stylish. This 18th century townhouse is a haven of peace from the lively streets of Soho: the plentiful period features recall a time where London life was rather different to that of today. With flashes of original stonework, wooden beams, and fireplaces set off by modern fixtures, the house is an exceptional blend of the old and the new. Unusually for London, it also includes two terraces – an internal mid-floor patio as well as another on the roof – and downstairs spa facilities. Available through Knight Frank for £4,950,000.
Church Lane, Nottingham
Compact and carefully restored, this exceedingly fine 18th century Grade II* Queen Anne Country house was the birthplace of Victorian author Samuel Butler, and is listed in Pevsner’s Buildings of England. With lovely mature walled gardens and grounds, and an updated interior that nonetheless honours the house’s period charm, it would make a perfect family home. Available through Savills for £2m.
This splendid manor house dates back to the Carolean era, and is set within beautiful landscaped woodland gardens, themselves also listed Grade II*. The impressive dark oak staircase, original stone fireplace carved with the coat of arms, and plentiful stop chamfered beams are amongst the many fine period features of this historic manor. Available through Strutt & Parker for £1.5m.
Nonsuch House, Bath
A former hunting lodge possibly dating back as early as 1645, Nonsuch House is a spectacular, Grade II* William and Mary manor house that offers extensive living and entertainment facilities. The interior of the 10-bedroom house boasts extensive wood panelling and elaborate fireplaces, while the grounds include lovely gardens and pool. The property also comes with an estate comprising around 86 acres. Available through Carter Jonas for £3.9m.