Estates à la carte
Do you want a farming, sporting or investment estate? With these four properties, you don’t have to choose
by landowner Thomas Bonham’s granddaughter, who married Robert Mompesson. The estate remained with the influential Mompesson family until 1783, when it was sold to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and next changed hands in 1910.
The present owners, who bought Ballington Manor in 1996, have created not only a delightful family home, but a successful farming and sporting estate with diverse income streams. At its heart is the beautifully renovated, eight-bedroom, stone manor house, which dates from the late 16th century, with additions and alterations from about 1930, and is surrounded by Elizabethan-style gardens designed by Penelope Hobhouse; these run into a network of paths and bridges that cross the River Wylye to reach the meadows beyond.
Launched on the market in today’s COUNTRY LIFE—AT a guide price of £20m through Knight Frank (01488 688539)—the picturesque, ring-fenced Barbury Castle estate (Fig 2) near Marlborough, is another of Wiltshire’s finest, covering some 1,799 acres of classic rolling chalkland in the Marlborough Downs—part of the Wessex Downs AONB. Diversity is also the name of the game at Barbury Castle, which sits in a wonderfully secluded location just south of the Iron Age hill fort of that name on the ancient Ridgeway, four miles from Marlborough.
The Barbury Castle estate comprises 889 acres of arable farmland rotated with spring malting barley, winter wheat and morphine poppies; 177 acres of previously cropped pasture; 123 acres of railed paddocks and permanent pasture; and 248 acres of downland, which provide excellent grazing for the estate’s awardwinning flock of 900 sheep. It also boasts 205 acres of mature woodland, which provides perfect cover for a challenging high-bird pheasant and partridge shoot, along with excellent stalking for the abundant roe, fallow deer and muntjac that roam