When the Grade-II* listed Shrubland Hall near Ipswich in Suffolk was put on the market for £23m in 2006 it included over 40 cottages, several farms, over 1,400 acres and one of the finest Italianate houses in the country. The house was originally designed by James Paine in the 1770s it was extensively altered by Sir Charles Barry in the 1840s. Lord de Saumurez had decided to start afresh with a grand country house auction rarely seen such a scale since the 1950s, and which included Meissen porcelain, paintings, and many fine pieces of Georgian furniture. The sale was a roaring success but the house itself languished on the market as the especially as the growing global credit crunch limited the desire for buyers wealthy enough to take on the 40,000 sq ft. house.
However, after three years, and selling off much of the estate in smaller lots, the house plus a few hundred acres of parkland including the listed gardens designed by Sir Humphrey Repton, has now finally been sold for £6.5m to a London businessman. It will now be interesting to see how the estate develops as without the larger estate it will be simply a home supported by income from elsewhere. Here’s hoping that the new owner fully understands and appreciates the architectural gem they have acquired.
Full story: ‘Shrubland Hall sold‘ [Evening Star 24]