A north Oxfordshire farming family is selling two adjoining farms, totalling almost 850 acres in Hornton, near Banbury, the largest acreage the region has seen for some time.

Hornton Grounds Estate and Manor Farm include a substantial, 12-bedroom Grade II listed house currently split in two, three other houses and three farmsteads, development opportunities in some of the older buildings, and a let stone yard.

The main house lies at the end of a long, sweeping driveway set well back from the road, beside a considerable courtyard of traditional stone buildings, and a range of more modern buildings. The land is predominately arable with some pasture. Part has been reinstated after quarrying for ironstone.

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The principal house is lotted with 430 acres. Parcels of bare land and land with buildings range in size from 15 acres to 250 acres, within a total guide of £7.35m. Until fairly recently, the in-hand farming enterprises have included dairy, sheep and arable.

“We are expecting serious interest from a wide range of buyers and our lotting reflects this,” said Paul Clayson, partner of selling agent Fisher German. “The market for large blocks of land in this area is relatively untested this year, but at our recent auction several medium size blocks made in the region of £6000/acre or more.

“Despite the credit crunch, there is also a severe shortage of prime residential properties, relative to demand.”