Where coun­try houses go for a song

Country Life Every Week - - Property News - Edited by An­nun­ci­ata Wal­ton

THERE is a county—the sec­ond big­gest—that al­most no one ever thinks of: Lin­colnshire, where you can buy a manor house for a mil­lion.

It’s no joke, says Ru­pert Fisher, head of Sav­ills’ Lin­coln of­fice. ‘The av­er­age price per square foot is £140— it’s crazy.’ Mr Fisher puts the county’s se­cret sta­tus down to its suc­cess­ful farm­ing.

Value for money here is stag­ger­ing. Thurlby Hall, lo­cated just off the A46 be­tween Lin­coln and Ne­wark, a sev­enbed­room Grade Ii-listed hall with 23 acres, two cot­tages and a ten­nis court, re­cently sold for £995,000— an ab­so­lute steal by the stan­dards of the Home Coun­ties.

The av­er­age price of houses sold by Sav­ills in Lin­colnshire this year is £556,000; half a mil­lion ‘gets you so much more here’. Eight-bed­room Careby Manor, in the sought-after town of Stam­ford, is on the mar­ket for £995,000 and comes with 10 acres and sta­bling.

There’s much more to Lin­colnshire’s ap­peal than lower-than-low prices. As well as ex­cep­tional hunt­ing with the Brock­lesby, there’s at least one gram­mar school in ev­ery town ex­cept Lin­coln and a smat­ter­ing of good preps feed the public schools that en­cir­cle the county at Up­ping­ham, Oun­dle, Oakham and Rep­ton.

The county’s house prices are slow to move, with 3% or 4% move­ment a year. A soon-to-ar­rive im­proved train link to Lin­coln from London will help with the com­mute.

But res­i­dents, re­luc­tant to give away their closely-guarded se­cret, are forced to ad­mit that, as it is, travel to town isn’t bad—just 80 min­utes to King’s Cross from Ne­wark North Gate. What are you wait­ing for? Eleanor Doughty

Leas­ing­ham—this Ge­or­gian manor house has seven bed­rooms. Price with Brown & Co (01476 514455)

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