Shrubland Hall sold

IT is one of the jewels in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, a sprawling 18th century estate which is now set to become the new home of a wealthy businessman.

Lizzie Parry

IT is one of the jewels in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, a sprawling 18th century estate which is now set to become the new home of a wealthy businessman.

Shrubland Hall, one of the country's finest stately halls with spectacular gardens, has finally sold after being put on the market three years ago with a price tag of �23million.

Lord de Saumarez decided to sell his family estate in Coddenham, near Ipswich, in 2006 to help pay off death duties.


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And last night speculation in the local area was rife with rumours of who the new owner could be.

Today the EADT can reveal the new occupant of the 31-bedroom stately home is a wealthy businessman from London.

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Hector Wykes-Sneyd, who acted as land agent in the sale, confirmed last night that the sale was completed last month, making it official.

He confirmed the estate, Shrubland Park, sold in two separate lots, with around 1,000 acres of farm and woodland selling last year.

He said: “The buyer is a businessman from London. He has bought the hall and parkland.

“It is my understanding that in the long term it is to be his home.

“But in the meantime I believe he may have some business uses for the hall.”

Mr Wykes-Sneyd declined to comment on the nature of the new owners business.

The sale marks the end of an era for the de Saumarez family, who have lived there for more than 100 years.

The decision to sell followed the death of Lord de Saumarez's father in 1991 and his mother Lady de Saumarez in 2004.

For 40 years it was operated as a health clinic, which closed in 2006, making a total of 65 staff redundant.

The magnificent hall stands on an abrupt glacial ridge overlooking the stunning Gipping Valley.

Although there is evidence of settlement on the site since the early Roman period, the first recorded owner was Robert de Shrubeland.

The grade II* listed hall was designed by James Paine in the 1770s and survives as the central core on the present building.

Shrubland Park was designed by James Paine in the 1770s and passed by marriage through the families of Oake, Bothe, Lytton, Little, Bacon, until it was bought in the late 18th century by William Middleton of Crowfield who was created Sir William Fowle Middleton Bart.

In 1804 he commissioned Sir Humphrey Repton to produce a "Red Book" on the landscape in 1789.

His son, Sir William Fowle Fowle Middleton, became the owner in 1829 and continued the improvements and changes to the hall and gardens. In 1882 the estate passed by marriage to the fourth Lord de Saumarez.

While Gandy Deering made extensive alterations in the 1830s - moving the entrance to its present position and building the upper terrace at first floor level - Donald Beaton helped with the garden design.

Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, completed the alterations to the hall and set about transforming the gardens with Sir William and his wife in the late 1840s.

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