3 September 1999

Two estates at £6m+ each

By Louise Rose

SEPTEMBER sees the launch of two estates onto the market which, despite their different characteristics, are both guided at in excess of £6m for the whole.

In Norfolk, the 497ha (1227 acre) Gillingham Hall Estate, Gillingham, near Norwich, includes most of the elements associated with a traditional estate – a mansion, farm, sporting and amenity – but it does split into two distinct lots.

For the purely residentially-motivated buyer, the 10-bedroom Jacobean mansion house, cottage and nearly 24ha (60 acres) of park and woodland could be bought separately.

The remaining acreage is included in the 473ha (1169 acre) in-hand unit Hill Farm. Mainly grade 3, about 280.5ha (693 acres) are eligible for arable area aid and soil types range from a sandy clay loam suitable for combinable cropping, wheat yields average more than 1.6t/ha (4t/acre), to some lighter land used for potato and sugar beet production.

An abstraction licence for 50,000m sq enables irrigation on 139ha (344 acres) of arable land and the farm has a sugar beet quota for 1210t of A and B contract.

The estate also has a suckler cow enterprise and sheep flock. The 1200 sheep, which are traditionally overwintered, are run on the 98ha (242 acres) of grazing marshes that are classified an environmentally sensitive area.

Accommodation for a 225-cow dairy herd with housing for followers and stores exists, although the parlour and dairy equipment needs updating before any re-establishment of a dairy enterprise.

Another range of farm buildings at Windle Hill Farm include grain storage for 900t and a traditional brick barn which could be suitable for an alternative use, subject to planning permission.

A six-bedroom farmhouse, four cottages – mainly occupied on protected tenancies – complete lot two which has a value of around £4m. In the locality the best land on the estate is achieving at least £1417/ha (£3500/acre) with a premium for the acreage with irrigation.

Lot two forms the basis for the pheasant and partridge shoot, which selling agent Tom White, Brown & Co says is of the calibre to be let commercially. And for fishermen, there is nearly two miles of frontage to the River Waveney.

Despite falling into two distinct lots, Mr White says the estate is likely to go as a whole.

To the south-west in Wiltshire, 567ha (1400 acres) on the Marlborough Downs is for sale as a whole or in five lots.

Hillwood Estate, Aldbourne, includes 514ha (1269 acres) of farmland, mainly classified grade 3. The majority is eligible for arable area aid, and the current arable rotation ranges from cereals to linseed with winter wheat yields averaging more than 1.3t/ha (3.25t/acre).

Grain storage capacity is about 2000t.

Other enterprises include a 170-cow dairy herd and Hillwood stud, which is let on a commerical lease and a shoot. A family shoot is run with 1500 birds put down shot over 8-10 days/season.

In lots, most of the land is split two ways. The main seven-bedroom modern house, the stud and 390ha (964 acres) of mainly arable land are guided at £3.95m with the dairy, four cottages and 183ha (451 acres) of land including 34ha (83 acres) of pasture and 8.5ha (21 acres) of woodland/scrub valued in the region of £1.5m by joint selling agent FPDSavills and Dreweatt Neate.

Another five cottages make up lots three, four and five most of which are occupied under protected tenancies.