An outstanding country house, immaculately restored in an idyllic setting in beautiful North Dorset.
Manston House is set in the heart of North Dorset within the triangle of Shaftesbury, Sherborne and Blandford Forum. It enjoys splendid views over unspoilt farmland with the River Stour forming part of the western boundary. Manston is a small hamlet situated between the neighbouring village of Child Okeford and the market town of Sturminster Newton.
Manston House is a distinguished Grade II listed country house with elegantly proportioned living accommodation arranged around a magnificent reception hall which is flooded with light from a galleried landing.
Recently the subject of a complete restoration project by the renowned country house builders R Moulding & Co, the house retains its late 17th century qualities including many period fireplaces, window shutters and cornicing but with 21st century conveniences and comforts including underfloor heating throughout. The owners extended the house as part of their restoration, creating a substantial house of over 8,500 sq ft. The layout of the house balances formal entertaining well with family living, for in addition to the exceptional entrance hall, elegant drawing room and large dining room, there is a library and sitting room along with a study/home office which would make an excellent playroom. The useful ancillary spaces of boot room and utility room are well laid out, with access from the rear courtyard and hallway.
There are six bedrooms in total on the first floor, all of which are supremely comfortable, each having their own en-suite bathrooms, whilst the principal bedroom naturally has a private dressing room as well. On the second floor there are three further bedrooms (one of which is used as a music room) and two bathrooms.
As with the house, the grounds have also been transformed under the current owners careful guidance. Flanked by the Lodge, automated gates lead into a gravel drive, with a secondary and imposing set of wrought iron gates set back from the road and opening onto the main driveway to the house. New park railings enclose the paddocks flanking the driveway and have been installed to give an immaculate appearance to the property.
The gravel drive sweeps up to a large parking and turning area at the front of the house with a spur off to the side of the house and rear courtyard beyond. Stone paths lead to landscaped gardens with mature planting. Deep, stone flagged terraces face the morning sun, whilst a sundeck over the River Stour provides a lovely spot for evening drinks.
There are areas of formal garden with close clipped topiary Yew walks, whilst the hard tennis court is flanked by more informal areas of wild flower meadows.
There are a range of outbuildings suitable to a house of this stature, including a garage, potting sheds, a greenhouse, workshop and former stables (with stalls still in situ) which are used as stores. The fine parish church (for which there is no chancel obligation) and a privately owned mausoleum are located within the grounds. The owners have taken great care to ensure that visitors are able to cross the grounds to the church with ease, without imposing on the privacy and security of the house and gardens.
The land amounts to about 58 acres in total, wrapped around the house and bound in part by the River Stour. The grazing element is let out to a local farmer.
Located at the head of the drive, Manston House Lodge provides the perfect complement to the main house, offering a detached two bedroom lodge, ideal for staff or letting out. There is a private area of garden and garaging. It is currently let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
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An exceptionally restored family home, undertaken by renowned firm Mouldings, offering the very best of country house living.James McKillopProperty agent