The Salvin Suite: The largest of the principal apartments of a converted Grade II* listed country house.
Sherborne House is a Grade II* listed house with a history dating back to 811 when a small chapel was built on the site. The original house was built in about 1520 and twice hosted Queen Elizabeth I on her progresses. After more than 400 years of ownership by the same family and major renovations in 1650 and 1830-40, the house was sold and eventually converted to flats in 1981. The surrounding estate, except for 12 acres retained for the house, was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1982. The National Trust's Sherborne Park Estate, with extensive walking trails, is immediately adjacent to the house and its grounds.
Situated beside a fifteenth-century parish church, the house is approached by a long drive and entered through a stately hallway that leads to the apartments. Flat 18 consists of the first and second floors of the south-east wing. It is the largest of the apartments, comprising approximately 10% of the house, and fits naturally within the original floorplan.
An entrance hall/gallery leads to a reception hall or family-sized dining room, with 14' high ceiling and fine cornices. The adjacent kitchen has ample cabinets, worktops, storage and seating. Both rooms have large windows that look out onto a charming courtyard.
The drawing room is the former dining room for the house, unaltered by the conversion. It is magnificent. Designed in 1840 by Anthony Salvin, who designed rooms for Windsor castle, Warwick Castle and many others, the decor is based on the theme of food and wine. Seven large windows provide views over the grounds and parkland to the east, south and west. A large fireplace has an 18' oak mantelpiece carved with festoons of fruits. The original ceiling plasterwork features grapevines and Bacchus with his crown of grapes looking down from the four corners. The very large dimensions allow ample room for a large seating area, large dining area, snooker/pool table, writing/work area, and even a grand piano. The floor above is void to accommodate the 24' high ceiling.
Also on the first floor is the main bedroom area with high ceiling and a large window that receives the morning sun. It has an entry area, dressing area, additional closet, bathroom, utility room, and large storage area above the closet and entry area. A wide staircase with half-landings leads to a second floor sitting area with skylight and two further bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms. One has a large east-facing window, the other a window looking into the courtyard. The staircase also descends to the ground floor, providing direct access to the inner courtyard and allocated parking area at the back of the house.
Outside there are 12 acres of gardens with herbaceous borders, yew hedging, and orchards looked after by gardening staff. Communal facilities include an orangery with a lovely seating area, heated swimming pool and tennis court. The original walled kitchen garden is available for allotments. There is a full-time caretaker to ensure the house and grounds are well maintained and to look after apartments when owners are away. The apartment's position on the first floor and strong oak shutters make it a very secure lock-up and-leave.
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This truly is a 'stately' home. A superb and stunning apartment in a historical mansion with exceptional gardens and grounds.David Henderson