About this property
One of the New Forest’s most historic country houses combining a timeless atmosphere with elegant accommodation ideal for modern living within an incomparable setting, including 11 acres of level gardens and grounds surrounded by open countryside with views of the Beaulieu River. The accommodation in the main house extends to over 6,000 sq. ft. with a further two bedroom staff/guest accommodation. There is a heated swimming pool, allweather tennis court and extensive garaging for atleast 10 cars, outbuildings, workshops and stables alongside a romantic ruined 13th Century Chapel; a constant reminder of the property’s enduring provenance in this exceptional location.
In St Leonard’s Grange one experiences the full history of The New Forest from its origins as a Royal paradise with attendant palaces and abbeys to the modern day National Park offering endless outdoor adventures both on land and water. Views from the house are unparalleled with its own formal gardens and parkland blending into the expanses of the New Forest and Beaulieu River where the current owners can see the mast of their moored yacht amongst others providing a constant frame of reference to this quiet coastal landscape.
There are several well established yacht clubs. The closest, The Royal Southampton, is a short walk down Gins Lane where there is also a pleasant small beach. Sailing on the Beaulieu River to the Solent is catered for by the Bucklers Hard Yacht Harbour and there are two further sailing clubs, The Royal Lymington and Lymington Town in Lymington itself which lies just seven miles to the west. The New Forest National Park is a haven for wildlife and an expanse of untouched countryside with countless walks, cycle rides and bridle paths. Communications are excellent with Southampton City Centre (17.5 miles) and the M27 within easy driving distance. Brockenhurst is 8.7 miles away and offers a mainline railway station providing two services an hour direct to London Waterloo in approximately 1h 40m. The excellent private prep school of Walhampton is 6 miles away.
St Leonard’s Grange has a history dating back to the 1200s when the existing building and chapel were constructed to serve the new Cistercian Abbey in Beaulieu. During the Dissolution of the monasteries during the 1530s the chapel was ruined and many dressed stones from there and the house itself were repurposed fortifying the coastal approaches, specifically the Solent Forts which guard the straits between the Isle of Wight and the mainland.
However, subtle reminders remain in the form of mullioned stained glass windows in the main house and the inimitable calm serenity of the chapel itself. The house which is Grade II Listed was entirely overhauled by the current owners and now combines centuries of history with modern comforts. There is underfloor heating throughout the ground floor and a bathroom for every bedroom on the upper floors. Accommodation throughout is warm and intimate rather than grand and imposing and there remains the potential (subject to the necessary consents) to extend the accommodation further.
On the ground floor is a central entrance hall flanked by the dining room and a separate sitting room with open fire place and views down the lavender lined drive. The drawing room has a bay window overlooking the garden with French windows opening onto the terrace. There is also an open fire with a stone surround. The kitchen breakfast room occupies the entire rear wing and as well as overlooking the garden features a vaulted ceiling over a marble topped central island and breakfast bar. There is a four oven Aga as well as exposed beams which run through into the breakfast room. There is a wine store for over 400 bottles off the breakfast room. Positioned off the kitchen is a large utility room with back door and separate door to a pantry. Completing the ground floor accommodation is a generous study with adjoining secure security strong room. There is also a wc on the ground floor.
On the first floor there is a master bedroom suite complete with adjoining dressing room and bathroom featuring a free standing bath and separate wet room shower. There are three further double bedrooms on this floor, two of which are en suite, as well as four further bath or shower rooms.
The second floor is currently arranged as a games room with a further fifth en suite bedroom. From this floor one can directly access significant store rooms and attic space that have the potential for conversion to further accommodation subject to the necessary consents. There remains the significant possibility of extending the existing accommodation by up to 30% under current New Forest National Park planning guidelines however this is subject to the necessary consents and permissions being granted.
GARDENS AND GROUNDS
One of the finest approaches to a country house in the south. A uniquely designed silent cattle grid leads to a pale gravel drive flanked by exquisite lavender beds and trimmed Irish yew trees give a sense of the Pays d’Oc in this most quintessential of English settings. Commanding direct views straight down the drive to the masts of the Beaulieu River the house sits centrally with mature formal gardens which have been beautifully planted over many decades to provide enduring charm and the sense of effortless elegance.
The drive is flanked by level formal lawns which give way to parkland that provides the principal outlook from the house. This parkland gives way to paddock land which extends to the north of the house. The more secluded gardens lie to the south of the house and can be accessed from the principal rooms via French windows in the kitchen, rear hall and drawing room. Immediately adjacent to the house is a mix of stone terrace and brick paviour pathways surrounded by beautifully planted borders.
Ancillary to the main house is a collection of traditional outbuildings which have been carefully designed to provide extensive garaging, with an electric charging point, for both cars and boats as well as storage for the equipment for the 11 acres of fields and gardens.
Above the garaging is a two bedroom apartment with a large sitting room, kitchen breakfast room, utility room and bathroom.
There is also a spacious workshop supported by several store rooms. Serving the tennis court and swimming pool is a dual aspect Studio which is adjacent to a changing room, and wc. The remainder of the upper floors of the outbuilding is dedicated to a 17m sail loft with permanent staircase and this space could make an ideal expansive home office.
Of particular note is the extremely picturesque ruined chapel, believed to date from around the year 1260 which is one of only 13 Grade I Listed buildings in the New Forest. The space within the chapel is exceptionally peaceful making it a charming and atmospheric spot for dining or larger parties. Opening onto fenced paddocks are three stables each measuring approximately 13′ x 11′ and all with doors onto the stable yard. Completing the outbuildings is a traditional Granary on staddle stones which is Grade II Listed in its own right and serves as a charming accompaniment to the productive kitchen garden and timber framed greenhouse. In short, all amenities that one would expect to accompany a fine country house are provided in spades and flow effortlessly to create an extremely appealing home.
- Mains electricity and water. Private drainage. Oil fired central heating in the house and air source heat pump for the swimming pool.
- The house holds the New Forest Manorial rights of Depasture (the right to put out ponies, donkeys, cattle, pigs etc.) on the open Forest.
- EPC Rating: E
- Tenure: Freehold