The historic Sutton Hall Estate, near Woodbridge in Suffolk, has been put on the market – for the first time in more than a century – for £31.5 million. The guide price may be high, but for that money the buyer can enjoy more than 2,170 acres of land containing an eight-bedroom Grade-II listed Georgian country house, as well as 11 other cottages and farmhouses, and two barns.
The estate, currently owned by Sir Guy Quilter and his wife Lady Jenny Quilter, has been in the same family since the late 19th century, when it was bought by Sir Cuthbert Quilter as part of his Bawdsey Estate. Sir Cuthbert was an MP, stockbroker and art collector, as well as one of the founders of the National Telephone Company, a predecessor of what would eventually become BT. The overall estate was formed over the next two decades, and by the early 1900s, as a working farm, would have relied upon a combination of cattle, sheep and arable crops. Today, the estate still offers 1,432 acres of irrigated arable farmland in addition to grazing and parkland, mature woodland and a sporting shoot.
For potential buyers, Sutton Hall Estate promises a diverse package of land that includes three and a half miles of river frontage and a private quay on the northern bank of the River Deben. Arguably the highlight of the estate is the Georgian main house, Sutton Hall itself. Having undergone substantial renovation by the current owners, the historic property is light and spacious, extending over 6,000 square feet over two floors. The hall features five principal bedrooms accessible via the central staircase, with three more bedrooms at the rear of the house.
Other interior features of Sutton Hall include an entrance hall, sitting room, music room, drawing room, dining room, conservatory, kitchen and breakfast room, boot room, utility room, cellar, and three bathrooms. The hall’s grounds also boast beautiful landscaped gardens, a summer house and a swimming pool.
Additional buildings on the estate include 11 further farmhouses and cottages, as well two barn buildings which have planning permission for residential conversion. There are also another three ranges of farm buildings with the potential for redevelopment or conversion, an estate office and a stable block. Overall, the estate is on the market to be sold either as a whole, as two separate estates, or in up to 21 individual lots.
So, why are Sir Guy and Lady Jenny giving up this breathtaking estate after over a century in the Quilter family? Having spent a lifetime renovating and improving both Sutton Hall and the lands of the estate, Sir Guy explained to Farmers Weekly: “People can hang on to estates because it is their duty and expectation to and sometimes you can end up passing it to someone who doesn’t want the responsibility. If you’re not completely comfortable running a place like this you can get it wrong very easily. History is littered with estates that have turned to dust within a generation. We feel very lucky to have had the opportunity and I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved, but it feels like we’ve done as much as we’re comfortable doing without changing the nature of the estate.”