Advertisement

'Vivienne Westwood asked to buy it': Amber Rudd's former family home is on the market for £8 million

 (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)
(Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)

Chalcot House in Wiltshire, a Grade II listed 12-bedroom manor house in 53 acres of private parkland, is on the market for £8 million with Strutt & Parker.

Former home secretary Amber Rudd’s father, stockbroker Tony Rudd, used to own the estate.

Built in the 17th century during the Mary and William period, Chalcot House’s Palladian style was inspired by the architecture of Inigo Jones.

So striking is the house’s ornate façade that on of Britain’s most famous fashion designer’s spotted it from the road and wrote to the occupants asking to buy it off them.

Chalcot House is a 12-bedroom manor house (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)
Chalcot House is a 12-bedroom manor house (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)

Vivienne Westwood asked to buy my home because she thought it wonderful,” says James Bruce, who has owned the house with his wife Lucinda since 1999.

“I politely declined,” he adds. “It does make a good story though!”

The Bruce’s formerly lived next door, and jumped at the chance to buy the manor house when it last wen on the market in 1998.

“I’d always wanted to live in a Palladian house,” he says. “These houses don’t just grow on trees.”

The main house includes a library (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)
The main house includes a library (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)

Hundreds of years before Chalcot House was built, the site near Westbury was believed to be occupied by a Roman settlement.

A collection of Roman coins was discovered near the house in the 1970s, and in 1993 a hoard of over 5,000 more Roman coins was discovered by metal detectorists searching the site.

The Bruce’s say they regularly find fragments of Roman pottery turning up in the flower beds.

There are 10 bedrooms in the main house, including an entire guest suite with attached children’s rooms, and two further bedrooms in a cottage on the estate.

There’s a swimming pool in the grounds, with a pool house and sauna (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)
There’s a swimming pool in the grounds, with a pool house and sauna (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)

Chalcot House includes a library, wine cellar and gunroom, and a playroom.

An outdoor swimming pool in the grounds comes with a pool house that includes a sauna along with shower and changing facilities. There are also tennis courts.

Equine enthusiasts will note there are stables with seven loose boxes, plus a tack room and store.

As well as the swathes of parkland, the grounds include open lawns, a kitchen garden, formal gardens and an orchard.

The estate includes over 50 acres of land (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)
The estate includes over 50 acres of land (Stonephoto Ltd/Strutt & Parker)

The Bruce’s have re-decorated the house in a period appropriate style, and used it to host writers and yoga retreats, along with regularly hosting family and friends. While they have loved living there, they are now looking to downsize in the area.

“Chalcot House is one of those perfect little estates that’s infinitely manageable and provides just the right balance of parkland and gardens that complement such a beautiful home,” says Oliver Custance Baker.

“It’s probably one of the finest Palladian homes I’ve come across, and a really good example of William and Mary architecture – a short architectural period that’s incredibly sought after,” adds Baker.

“This part of Wiltshire is close to popular artistic enclave, Frome, and very accessible Westbury making Chalcot House an exciting prospect for somebody looking for a slice of history and rare architecture in this part of the West Country.”