A handsome, historic opportunity awaits

Few who wander onto Hayling Island to head for the southern shore may give even a passing thought to its history.

But after 1066, when William the Conqueror showed up to give King Harold a good going over on the shores of what’s now East Sussex, the island was ceded to French monks in 1067 and the Grange to their Benedictine Priory was built in the centre of the Island.

It’s still possible to see the 65 foot medieval dovecot, with its original brick nesting boxes set into the walls and one of the oldest examples in the country, although the foundations of the Grange were built upon in 1777 to create the present Manor House as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Norfolk.

As anyone who is a fan of Julian Fellowes costume dramas knows, they didn’t do things by halves back then so the Manor House as it stands now, with its outbuildings included, amounts to more than 12,000 square feet of living accommodation and covered space.

The Duke sold the house to William Padwick, who built the first bridge between the mainland and the Island, in 1825 – the Padwick family only relinquished ownership in 1971. So whoever becomes the next owner will be taking possession of a sizeable chunk of Hayling Island history as well as a home that Nikolaus Pevsner described as “handsome”.

Fortunately for 21st Century owners, the Manor House has become rather more manageable with its 4.51 acres of gardens and grounds although its impressive stature is hardly diminished. Several paddocks and parkland, including an ornamental lake and a walled garden adjacent to the Dovecote and, adjoining it, a gymnasium will help to while away the hours but with easy access

to the golf course, sailing club, and beaches that Hayling Island there’s never any reason to be bored.

Thanks to Padwick, at Langstone there’s a bridge to Havant with its mainline station to London Waterloo and via the A27 to the Cathedral City of Chichester to the east with its Festival Theatre and Portsmouth to the west with its renowned maritime history.

“It’s easy to imagine just how impressive the house is although a detailed description might take some time to deliver,” says Anne-Marie Green, of Fine and Country estate agents in Emsworth.

“Suffice to say that with eight bedrooms and six reception areas the Manor House is as impressive as you might hope such an important Grade II-listed building to be – and then some.

“It really is a Georgian gem with its vernacular brick and flint construction, classical proportions, and triangular pediment dominating the southern facade.

“The entrance porch also has classical echoes with semi-circular stone steps, Doric columns, and a fanlight above the front door. But this is not to say the house has stood still. It will be 240 years old in 2017 but it has been upgraded and modernised to the highest specification, while retaining many original and character features, to provide superb and elegant family accommodation laid out over three floors.”

Guide price is £2.25 million. For more information, contact Fine and Country Emsworth on 01243 487969 or email emsworth@fineandcountry.com