Pirbright

£2,500,000

Guide price

  • Bedrooms: 12
Sold in Association with Fine & Country. Majesty and splendour are abound within this magnificent Victorian country house set with a vast and picturesque estate.

HISTORY Furzehill Place was built in the late nineteenth century and was purchased by Sir Henry Morton Stanley in 1898. Sir Henry was one of the most renowned explorers of Victorian times who was born, in North Wales in 1841. He later migrated to America where he became a journalist after fighting in the American Civil War (Confederates). In 1867, Stanley became special correspondent for the New York Herald. Two years later he was commissioned by the paper to go to Africa and search for the explorer David Livingstone, of who little had been heard since 1866 when he had set off to search for the source of the Nile. Stanley reached Lake Tanganyika, Livingstone's last known location and in November 1871 he found the sick explorer, greeting him with the famous words: 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?' Stanley's reports on his expedition made his name. From then on he led a number of arduous expeditions into uncharted areas of Africa at a time of great unrest. His perseverance and tenacity during one exploration earned him the African title - Bula Matari' which roughly translates as - Breaker of Rocks'. This later became the family motto boldly emblazoned on the Stanley crest.

Sir Henry carried out a number of alterations to Furzehill Place including the addition of bay windows and the creation of the Billiard Room together with large scale landscaping of the grounds. These were, charmingly, named after places visited on his travels. The Ordnance Survey Plan revels in names such as Congo Stream, uwenzori Hill and Holy Island.

Stanley moved to Furzehill in 1899, in his last year as a Member of Parliament, but died in May 1904. He was buried at Pirbright with an epitaph - Henry Morton Stanley 1841 - 1904', with his African name - Bula Matari' and the one word, - Africa'.

Ground Floor Accommodation Furzehill Place creates a welcoming impression upon entering the house and rooms of note include the impressive panelled Entrance Hall and adjoining Billiard Room with parquet oak flooring, panelling and a feature fireplace. The charming Library is an ode to Victorian design, with rich, partial panelling and decorative ceiling plasterwork.

The drawing room provides the largest reception room. extending to just under 43ft in length. Its glorious views over the parkland are unrivalled and amplify the rural, private setting. The Kitchen has been hand-built by Mark Wilkinson, (whose work is recognised worldwide as being the best in quality, design and workmanship) and is of impeccable design, topped with sleek granite work surfaces. There are cupboards cleverly concealing a sink as well as various state-of-the art appliances.

First Floor Accommodation Stairs rise from the reception hall to the first floor landing where a large feature stain glass window offers natural light. The first floor of Furzehill Place comprises six principal bedrooms, four of which have en suite facilities. The master bedroom suite is well equipped with a bathroom and separate dressing area. There are also four secondary bedrooms and one further bathroom.

Second Floor Accommodation The easterly corner is occupied by the impressive Tower Room which operates as a further bedroom. There is a spiral staircase from this room leading up to a wonderful terrace offering unrivalled views across the countryside. Also located on this floor is a Staff Flat which comprises a Sitting Room, 2 Bedrooms, Kitchenette, Bathroom and separate WC.

Outside Extensive gardens are located to the South of the house, accessed from the principal reception room by a large paved terrace area which is flanked with ornamental stone balustrading, stone steps lead down to sweeping lawns with stunning vistas and a Ha-Ha which divides the Formal Gardens from the Park. A magnificent shrub border, principally stocked with mature rhododendrons, lies to the north.

The lawns lead to an open shrubbery with stunning vistas and a variety of heathers which are enclosed by rhododendrons, a cedar tree and Scots pines. Beyond the South lawn are woodland gardens with a large array of trees and plants including rhododendrons and azaleas with spectacular views. The gardens are bordered to the east by an impressive brick wall with stone coping and piers which, like the house, are Grade II listed. Within the grounds are a number of fine mature trees including Cut Leaf Beech, Oak, Scots Pine, Redwood, Tulip Tree, Magnolia as well as several clipped yews. To the north of the house is a Swimming Pool with a paved stone surround which is bordered by shrubs and trellising. A cast iron gate leads through into the former Kitchen Garden which is walled on three sides. Within this area there is also a Hard Tennis Court. The Parkland provides a wonderful outlook from the house and is principally situated to the south comprising permanent pasture. Bordering the park is the Congo Stream offering natural drinking water for livestock, and a moated island called Ruwenzori Hill named by Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

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Mackenzie Smith - Ash Vale

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