Surrey mansion on Denbies wine estate is on sale for £8.75million

Sprawling Surrey mansion on Denbies wine estate where Camilla Parker Bowles spent much of her childhood is on sale for £8.75million – and it boasts a large leisure complex, extensive cellars and FOUR additional properties

  • Denbies House is situated on historic country estate in Surrey Hills with far-reaching views of North Downs
  • The Denbies House was purchased in 1850 by Thomas Cubitt, the creator of Belgravia, who developed estate
  • 3rd Lord Ashcombe Roland Cubitt – grandfather of Duchess of Cornwall – pulled down main mansion in 1953 and converted separate Regency-style building previously used as staff quarters into the present house 
  • Sold to current owner in May 1984 who established Denbies Wine Estate – England’s biggest vineyard – in 1986

A sprawling Surrey mansion once owned by Camilla Parker Bowles’ grandfather, where she reportedly spent much of her childhood, is on sale for £8.75million.

The Denbies House, near Dorking, is situated on a historic country estate high up in the Surrey Hills – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – with far-reaching views of the North Downs and the Denbies Wine Estate – England’s largest vineyard.

The original Denbies mansion was knocked down and rebuilt by London builder Thomas Cubitt after he purchased it in 1850, before later being demolished again in 1953. The current home, previously used as staff quarters, boasts seven bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, extensive cellars and a leisure suite as well as four additional properties.

Thomas Cubitt, renowned for creating Belgravia, parts of Bloomsbury and the east front of Buckingham Palace, is believed to have become familiar with the North Downs countryside while building Polesden Lacey, an Edwardian house close to the estate which is now owned and run by the National Trust.

The Denbies House, a sprawling Surrey mansion where Camilla Parker Bowles reportedly spent much of her childhood, is on sale for £8.75million

He acquired Denbies 25 years later from Jonathan Tyers – the proprietor of New Spring Gardens, which later became known as Vauxhall Gardens, a popular pleasure garden in Kennington, London – who transformed the original farmhouse and grounds into a weekend retreat.

Cubitt replaced the moderate sized Regency-style house with a large Victorian mansion similar to Osborne House, the home he built on the Isle of Wight together with Prince Albert, used by Queen Victoria as a holiday home. 

He also employed the landscape architect who laid out St James’ Park, W.A. Nesfield, to advise him on developing the grounds of the estate.

It is believed Prince Albert visited Denbies in July 1851 and also offered Cubitt advice on overhauling the landscaping while planting several rare conifer trees to mark his visit. Specimens of rare plants and shrubs were added which Cubitt sourced from his friend William Hooker, the then-director of Kew Gardens.

The original Denbies mansion was knocked down and rebuilt by London builder Thomas Cubitt after he purchased it in 1850, before later being demolished again in 1953. The current home, pictured, previously used as staff quarters, boasts seven bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, extensive cellars and a leisure suite as well as four additional properties 

Thomas Cubitt replaced the original moderate sized Regency-style house with a large Victorian mansion (pictured) similar to Osborne House, the home he built on the Isle of Wight together with Prince Albert, used by Queen Victoria as a holiday home

When it became too costly to run, the old mansion was stripped, the furniture sold off and its flooring and doors incorporated into Lord Ashcombe’s new house – the current Denbies House. It was later demolished following a fire, though the basement remains today and a lake is situated in its place (pictured)

When Thomas Cubitt died on the estate in 1855, Denbies passed to his eldest son George, a politician, who who continued the development and expansion of the property and local area and became the first Lord Ashcombe after he was elevated to a peerage in 1892. 

He continued to extend the estate, adding a further 2,000 acres of land and employing 400 workers. It remained the seat of the Cubitt family, with Lord Ashcombe’s son Henry inheriting the title and extensive estate after the death of his father in 1917.

However, the hefty death duties and pricey upkeep of large estates during the First World War saw large swathes of the estate auctioned off in September 1921. The break up of the estate continued after Henry’s death in October 1947 when it was inherited by his fourth son Roland, who became the third Lord Ashcombe – the Duchess of Cornwall’s maternal grandfather. 

Roland’s daughter Rosalind Cubitt married Major Bruce Shand in 1946, and a young Camilla is said to have spent some of her holidays at Denbies learning to ride.

Thomas Cubitt, pictured, renowned for creating Belgravia, parts of Bloomsbury and the east front of Buckingham Palace, is believed to have become familiar with the North Downs countryside while building Polesden Lacey, an Edwardian house close to the estate which is now owned and run by the National Trust


Roland Cubitt’s daughter Rosalind Cubitt married Major Bruce Shand in 1946 (pictured left), and a young Camilla is said to have spent some of her holidays at Denbies learning to ride

Death duties and the Second World War impacted greatly on the estate; staffing became a problem while soaring maintenance and general repair costs were unsustainable. During the conflict a section of the mansion was requisitioned by the The Home Guard for its headquarters and a training school was based there.

Around this time, Roland Cubitt transformed the building once used as a residence for the garden and stable staff into a Regency-style house – which is The Denbies House currently on sale.

The old mansion was stripped, the furniture sold off and its flooring and doors incorporated into Lord Ashcombe’s new house. It was later demolished following a fire, though the basement remains today. 

The Denbies estate was last sold to its current owner in May 1984. The Denbies Wine Estate was established by Adrian White in 1986, after he initially trialled it as a pig farm, when a neighbour pointed out the bowl shape of the land matched the Champagne country of France.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the vineyard in 2011 and bought 30 cases of rosé for the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday celebrations. 

The magnificent Denbies House, which comes with approximately 58 acres of land and is listed with Savills estate agency, boasts a reception hall with a sweeping staircase, a drawing room, dining room, sitting room, family room, study, kitchen and utility rooms.

The magnificent Denbies House, which comes with approximately 58 acres of land and is listed with Savills estate agency, was last sold to its current owner in May 1984

The home boasts a reception hall with a sweeping staircase (pictured), a drawing room, dining room, sitting room, family room, study, kitchen and utility rooms

The old mansion was stripped, the furniture sold off and its flooring and doors incorporated into the new Denbies House, the residence of the 3rd Lord Ashcombe. Pictured: the living room

As well as the indoor pool (pictured), across a courtyard from the main house – or accessed via an underground tunnel – is an on-site leisure complex

The leisure complex boasts a huge sports hall which is currently set up to be a badminton court (pictured) 

There is also a squash court (pictured) within the leisure complex, as well as a snooker room, gym and sauna, changing room facilities and a kitchen

The master bedroom features a walk-in wardrobe as well as an additional dressing room, boudoir and en-suite bathroom, and opens out onto a large roof terrace with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

There are an additional six en-suite double bedrooms – one of which is part of the guest accommodation and offers an additional lounge, kitchenette and roof terrace.

As well as the indoor pool, across a courtyard from the main house – or accessed via an underground tunnel – is an on-site leisure complex which boasts a sports hall, squash court, snooker room, gym and sauna, as well as changing room facilities.

As well as a vineyard on your doorstep, the home is surrounded by beautifully manicured lawns, a lake where the old mansion once stood, and an impressive walled garden with a tennis court.

There are also four further estate houses and cottages, plus two large storage barns with equestrian potential, and a five car garage. 

As well as a vineyard on your doorstep, the home is surrounded by beautifully manicured lawns, a lake where the old mansion once stood, and an impressive walled garden with a tennis court (pictured)

There are also four further estate houses and cottages. Built by the current owner in the mid 1980s, Denbies Court is a well designed spacious bungalow with a dining room, sitting room, kitchen, master en-suite bedroom, two further double bedrooms, a family bathroom and a study

The additional properties feature a classic Victorian gate lodge (pictured) with a double aspect sitting room with an open fireplace, a fitted kitchen, double bedroom and bedroom plus its own garden and a detached garage

The appropriately named Applebee is a converted former apple store providing excellent ancillary or staff accommodation, complete with a reception room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom

Source: Read Full Article