Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 15:21 UK

Tenants sought for country estate

Ashdown House
Ashdown House dates back to the mid-17th Century.

The 41-year-lease for "one of the most spectacular country houses in England" has been put on the market for £4.5m.

The 17th Century Ashdown House, in Lambourn Downs, in Oxfordshire, has been owned by the National Trust but was sold on a 60-year lease in 1990.

The remainder of the lease is now for sale but potential occupants are warned the property needs work and is "not for the financially faint-hearted".

The lease includes 84.7 acres of land along with three keepers' cottages.

What you get for 4.5m
Eight bedrooms
Two pavilions
Heated pool and tennis court
Three keepers' cottages
Orangery

The house dates back to the mid-17th Century and was built by the Lord Craven for Charles I's sister, Elizabeth, the exiled Queen of Bohemia, so she might avoid the plague in London.

She died before she could see it and Lord Craven never married but the property remained with the Craven family until 1956 when it was given to the National Trust.

Bedroom in Ashdown House
Ashdown House has eight bedrooms and "copious" entertaining space.

Chris Boreham, of estate agent Carter Jonas, said: ""The driveway to the house passes through the trees and many people wonder what lies behind. The answer is one of the most spectacular country houses in England.

"The house has had as much love lavished upon it as it has money invested in its upkeep and taking on this property is not going to be for the financially faint-hearted.

"On the other hand, the rewards of occupying a country house that must be a trophy among such properties is not to be missed."



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