It’s all about the great outdoors at Durrington House

THIS GRADE II listed country house is situated near the Essex/Hertfordshire border, outside the rural villages of Sheering, Lower Sheering and Sawbridgeworth. With four reception rooms, 10 principal bedrooms and five bathrooms, plus seven further rooms on the second floor and substantial cellars, this £4.65m property is ideal for private and guest accommodation.

The 46-acre house was built for Samuel Feake, a director of the South Sea Company, in 1723. The 18th-century portion is of timber frame with brick infill, whereas the later 19th-century addition is mostly brick construction with a slate and tile roof. It was renovated in the 1960s.

Approaching the house, visitors see a tree-lined lake. Durrington comes with some interesting architectural quirks like an underground brick-arch passage stretching from the front door. The three grand open fireplaces throughout the house are all adorned with carved-timber mantels. The triple bay front elevation combined with a modillion pediment porch, make Durrington a striking sight. Bay and double-hung Venetian sash windows highlight the Palladian splendour of the structure, as well as an exterior modillion cornice.

On the ground floor, the entrance hall is flanked by the paneled dining and morning room. The former has an ornate dentil cornice, while two built-in cupboards and serving sideboards surround the fireplace. The large bay windows have overlook the lawns and lake. Meanwhile, the south-facing morning room sees plenty of natural sunlight and links to the billiard room, with its sunken painted panel ceiling and cornice borders. Behind it is the drawing room, with three French windows that lead to the terrace running the length of the southern. All bedrooms are on the first floor, and the cellar has a wine storage.

Aside from an office and garage, the vast outbuildings include four cottages: Jacobs, 2 Durrington, Stable and Clock. The old carriage house, complete with an 18th century clock tower, also has garaging and stores. Potting sheds, a greenhouse, tennis court and croquet lawn encourage residents to stay outside. The property also includes extensive formal and informal gardens, mostly to the south and east of the house. An alfresco dining area and orchard enhance the natural beauty of the estate.