The work of a life­time

Wanted: brave new own­ers with pa­tience and imag­i­na­tion

Country Life Every Week - - Property Market -

ever one to beat about the bush, Jock Lloyd Jones of Jack­son-stops & Staff in New­mar­ket says it will take some­one ‘brave and rich’ to re­store im­pos­ing, Grade Ii-listed Posling­ford House, near Clare on the es­sex-suf­folk bor­der, to its pris­tine glory.

The guide price of ‘of­fers over £1 mil­lion’ quoted by Jack­son-stops (01638 662231) re­flects the sub­stan­tial ad­di­tional funds needed—‘any­thing from £750,000 to £1.5m’—to com­pletely ren­o­vate the el­e­gant late­ge­or­gian man­sion, which stands in a mag­i­cal, 36-acre park­land set­ting, and comes to the mar­ket for the first time in al­most 70 years. Once re­stored, the prop­erty could be worth about £3m, Mr Lloyd Jones be­lieves.

Posling­ford House was built by Col Thomas Weston, in about 1820, on the site of an ear­lier manor house owned for cen­turies by the Gold­ing fam­ily, which he de­mol­ished. Posling­ford’s His­toric eng­land list­ing de­scribes the new house as ‘a good ex­am­ple of an early-19th-cen­tury house with a so­phis­ti­cated neo-clas­si­cal de­sign… com­pris­ing a main range with a Greek Doric por­tico, a flank­ing north wing and a small ser­vice wing’.

All ex­actly as it ap­pears to­day: the in­te­rior, alas, tells a very dif­fer­ent story.

Posling­ford House was owned by Maj and Mrs Dar­ley from 1912 un­til

Nthe out­break of the Sec­ond World War, when it was req­ui­si­tioned by the Army. When the war ended, the house was handed back to its own­ers, but in such a poor state of re­pair that Mrs Dar­ley ap­par­ently re­fused to re­turn.

In 1946, it was put up for sale and bought a year later by the par­ents of Wil­liam Gen­tle, the present owner.

In Jan­uary 1963, the main build­ing suf­fered a cat­a­strophic fire caused by an elec­tri­cal fault in the roof. The re­sult­ing dam­age in­cluded the loss of the roof and all the win­dows and the com­plete gut­ting of the in­te­rior, with only the ex­ter­nal walls and the dam­aged por­tico left stand­ing.

Restora­tion car­ried out by Mr Gen­tle’s fa­ther took six years to com­plete and in­cluded the in­stal­la­tion of a new roof, new chim­ney

Posling­ford House, near Clare on the Es­sex-suf­folk bor­der, could be trans­formed into an el­e­gant fam­ily home. £1m, plus about £750,000 to £1m in re­pairs

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