Two large Norfolk estates offer rare opportunity

Most land agents agree there is usually one major country estate offered for sale each year. But just weeks after completing the sale of Tetworth Hall, a 2500-acre Bedfordshire-Cambridgeshire border, Strutt & Parker has two more, very significant instructions.

“I can’t remember when the market last saw three big estates like this in a year. It’s quite exceptional,” said Strutt & Parker’s James Laing.

The Kelling Estate, which lies between Holt and the sea, was created in the early 20th century for Henri Deterding, the sometime “Napoleon of Oil” and founder of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, forerunner of today’s petrochemical giant Shell.

Kelling Hall is a flint-and-brick, Arts and Crafts mansion originally conceived as a shooting lodge for Deterding by the architect Sir Edward Brantwood Maufe, pupil of Lutyens and designer of Britain’s newest Anglican cathedral at Guildford. A great deal of thought was put into the layout of the mansion’s amenities – for instance, the grounds feature two tennis courts set at right angles, allowing matches to be played all day without players facing directly into the sun.

kelling estate 
Kelling Estate in Norfolk is one of two major country estates to be offered by Strutt & Parker.

There are 30 cottages, only two of which are let long-term. The rest provide a significant income from successful holiday lettings.

Strutt & Parker is joint agent with CKD Kennedy Macpherson on the estate, which includes 1700 acres of agricultural land. Cropping has been based on wheat, barley, potatoes and sugar beet, with some land rented annually to an outdoor pig enterprise. There is also extensive irrigation. The land is currently contract farmed, and the estate’s two main agricultural buildings have been converted to an enterprise farming Tilapia fish.

Kelling Estate’s sporting credentials are encapsulated in its famous wild bird pheasant shoot. Although “enormous” days are now a thing of the past and the policy is now cocks-only, this was a shoot that had famously “devastated some who thought themselves very good guns indeed”, said Mr Laing.

The estate is being guided at £25m as a whole, or in four lots. The principal lot includes Kelling Hall, the sporting estate and 1600 acres along with seven cottages. Other lots, including two dower houses, holiday cottages and some development land, may be available should the first lot be sold in isolation. The farmland is valued at about £6000/acre.

Strutt & Parker is also handling the sale of High House Estate, about 40 miles west of Kelling and 12 miles from King’s Lynn. Part of the West Acre Estate, High House presents an impressive Grade 1 listed Georgian manor house of 20,000sq ft plus an adjoining stable block.

There are 1100 acres of farmland, with 300 acres of grazing in what remains a spectacular area of sculpted classical parkland. Currently farmed in-hand by the West Acre Estate, High House could be farmed by its new owner or could continue to be contract-farmed by the estate.

One delightful feature of High House is its unusual walled kitchen garden, laid out in a “D” formation to make maximum use of south-facing wall space. It harks back to a time when Victorian endeavour meant all manner of fruit and vegetables could be produced – long before “food miles” had even been thought of.

High House estate is guided at £9.5m as a whole.

Tetworth Hall, on which Strutt & Parker acted jointly with Robinson & Hall, sold for more than its £20m guide earlier this summer to a private individual.

Farmers Weekly Awards 2021

Enter or nominate today

Gallery: Lambing 2021

One of the highlights of the farming year, lambing season is a challenging but joy-filled time for Britain’s farmers. View our gallery and share your lambing photos!
See photos
See more