A $6.3 Million English Country Estate Is On Sale For The First Time In 145 Years

A 540-acre country estate by Hadrian’s Wall in northeast England has hit the market for offers in excess of $6.3 million. The Blenkinsopp Estate lies in Northumberland just below the border with Scotland and has been in the same family for the past 145 years.

The extensive rural property lies in a valley 2 miles from Haltwhistle town and features parkland, woodlands, and a 19th-century castellated stone mansion at its core. Hadrian’s Wall, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Roman-built fortification, lies close to its northern border.

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According to selling agent James Denne of Knight Frank, Blenkinsopp, which has sweeping southerly views of moorland and sporting opportunities, “is a pre-eminent estate in Northumberland… surrounded by sparely populated landscapes with a rugged feel, which offer a real sense of seclusion.”

Denne says that the estate, which went on sale last week, is attracting interest from the UK and mainland Europe. “International buyers are drawn to the romanticism of owning a large English country estate and the weak pound against the euro is helping,” he says.

The estate lies by the folklore and history-rich English-Scottish border, surrounded by hills and moorland. It was once home to a peel tower first mentioned in 1663 as the home of John Blenkinsopp and part of the estates of the Blenkinsopp family whose history dates back to the Norman times. Peel towers are fortified houses that were built to keep out raiders known as Border Reivers who dominated the area from the 13th century to the 17th century.

Blenkinsopp Hall lies at its heart and it was built in the early 180os by Colonel John Blenkinsopp Coulson on the site of an earlier house known as Dryburnhaugh. In 1875 it was bought by Edward Joicey and it has been passed down through generations to its current owners, Fiona Lees-Millais (neé Joicey) and her partner Patrick. 

The 14,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom Blenkinsopp Hall has an elevated, south-facing aspect, with views over its parkland and Northumbrian countryside, as well as stone castellated facades, and later additions including a conservatory. Inside, it has an elegant timber staircase, two grand reception rooms, large windows, wood panelling, and a two-bedroom self-contained flat.

Approached by a long, tree-lined drive, it has extensive gardens, which are noted for its daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons, and herbaceous borders, and are bordered by stone balustrades, which lead to ancient parkland, a tennis court, and a lake. Included in the estate are 9 houses and cottages, a listed 1903-built stable block, a walled garden, and a farm steading. 

The varied estate, which sits between Carlisle (14 miles) and Newcastle (36 miles), includes 212 acres of pastureland, about 218 acres of woodland, 85 acres of hill land, and a 1,578 metre stretch of the River Tipalt, which runs through the land.

Blenkinsopp has the potential for keeping livestock and horses and offers sporting opportunities including roe deer stalking, a long-established pheasant shoot, and trout fishing on the Tipalt. It also enjoys a further 540 acres of sporting rights over adjoining land including salmon and trout fishing on the River Tipalt.

About 83 acres of pastureland is let annually to neighbors and an additional 98 acres form part of the Darlees Business Farm Tenancy (terminating in 2023), which is suitable for rewilding, subject to planning consents.

The property is on sale with Knight Frank

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