Agricultural estate up for sale at �10m

A 786-acre residential agricultural estate in the Stour Valley has been put up for sale with a guide price of more than �10million.

The Grove Estate at Wormingford, near Colchester, is being jointly marketed through the Ipswich offices of agents Savills and Strutt & Parker.

It includes a Grade II-listed main house, The Grove, with four reception rooms, nine bedrooms and five bathrooms, a gate lodge, six other cottages and a mix of former farm buildings let for alternative uses and modern buildings still in agricultural use.

The main house, which has undergone major renovation work in recent years but retains original period features, stands in mature gardens and grounds which include a walled garden, a swimming pool and a tennis court.

There is also a range of brick and timber stabling, a menage, and rail-fenced paddocks lying close to the house.

The Grade 2-classfied farmland consists of two main parcels, most within a ring fence around the main house. The current rotation includes winter wheat, sugar beet, oil seed rape, potatoes and occasional triticale.

Yields have benefited from a recent programme of soil improvement, with first wheats averaging 3.85 tonnes per acre, second wheats 3.25 tonnes per acre, sugar beet 30.75 tonnes per acre and oil seed rape 1.65 tonnes per acre.

Most Read

The farm holds a water abstraction licence permitting 9.6million gallons of water to be abstracted annually between April 1 and September 30 from either of two lakes on the estate.

In addition to the arable land there is woodland totalling around 29.3 acres which, with additional areas of game cover, could provide potential for a shoot. There is also a cricket bat plantation alongside one of the lakes.

The main block of farmland, consisting of deep, fine loam over clay, of the Hormbeam series, totals 589 acres, with an off-lying block totalling a further 175 acres, slightly lighter than the rest of the estate, with soils of the Hornbeam, Wix and Ludford series but similarly cropped, being lotted separately along with three blocks of adjoining woodland.

The annual income from the agricultural, residential and commercial assets is currently in the region of �300,000.

Around 275 entitlements to the EU Single Payment Scheme are registered to the Grove Estate and are included in the sale, allocated to the eligible land.

A comprehensive range of modern farm buildings is located at the heart of the estate, with good road access and including more than adequate grain storage for the farm. A number of buildings are let to third parties for non-agricultural uses, with the remainder being used for general storage.

There is also a range of garages which are used by occupiers of the nearby cottages.

Giles Allen from the Ipswich office of Strutt & Parker said: “It is very rare to find an estate of such high quality that combines an attractive and impressive principal house with such high income-earning capacity. Very rarely does an estate come to the market where there is little room for improvement

“The market for rural estates remains remarkably robust, when many other property sectors are continuing to feel the effect of the recent recession.”

Mark Oliver from Savills’ office in Ipswich added: “As we have found this summer, agricultural land values have climbed substantially, and this has been backed up by the recent surge in soft commodity prices brought about by the Russian export ban.

“With the UK’s economy beginning to recover and the City now paying substantial bonuses, the market for estates is likely to keep pace with the farmland market, and both Savills and Strutt & Parker have already had indications of interest from various parties.”