In the scenic Cotswold county of Gloucestershire, Rookwoods is perhaps the apotheosis of the English country home.
Built of the glowing golden stone for which the Cotswolds are famous, the comprehensively updated residence dates to the 17th century. Today, the sprawling home sits on a secluded site of almost 54 acres, where it overlooks unspoiled countryside that encompasses a lake, a stream, woodlands, meadows and farmland. Additional genteel amenities include stabling and paddocks for horses, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a barn converted to an entertainment pavilion that’s complete with games room and home theater, plus additional cottages for guests and several apartments for staff.
The seven-bedroom, four-bathroom main house is constructed of traditional Cotswold stone, with mullioned windows under a stone-tiled roof. Inside, there is plenty of room to accommodate gracious entertaining and a large family. And with exposed beams, old fireplaces and beautiful wood and stone floors, charm and character are evident throughout the Grade II listed building.
Past the electric gates and inside the front door, a hall leads to a combination living and dining room, with a fireplace at either end, and a more cozily proportioned sitting room with another fireplace and rough-hewn wooden ceiling beams. Added in 2000, the kitchen boasts a vaulted and timbered ceiling, a limestone floor, an oversized island, and an Aga range. Off the kitchen are a glassed-in breakfast area with views over the garden, what the British refer to as a “snug,” basically a cozy eating and lounging area, and a family room/orangery. The service wing also includes a utility/laundry room and a flower room. (What, you don’t have a dedicated room for arranging flowers?)
Perfect for guests or live-in staff, the two-floor one-bedroom and one-bathroom guest wing, which includes a sitting room and kitchen, affords privacy for residents and guests alike. Up the main staircase are the family bedrooms. The primary suite includes a vaulted, oak-framed ceiling and fantastic garden views, a bathroom with a huge spa tub, and a two-story dressing room connected by its own staircase. Three further bedrooms are located on this floor, along with a family bathroom, and there are two more bedrooms and another bathroom on the uppermost floor.
Outside, the current owners have renovated and extended the gardens and grounds to a high standard. There’s a vegetable garden, a children’s playground with treehouse, a hard tennis court, a rockery with stream, and a spring-fed lake with a jetty. The swimming pool sits within a protected setting, with a stone surrounding wall, and nearby is a pavilion with kitchen, changing rooms and bath.
Horse lovers will relish the stables, with five loose boxes and well laid out paddocks, along with an outdoor manège (an arena for training horses). Further equine accommodation was built in 2006, including three garage bays, a powder room and three more loose boxes. At the back is a stable flat with a sitting room/bedroom with kitchen and shower room. Above that is another flat with laundry room, sitting room, kitchen and bedroom.
Ed Sugden at Savills comments, “Far from the madding crowd overlooking the unspoiled Holy Brook Valley, Rookwoods is the ultimate Cotswolds estate to simply escape from it all. In addition to the home’s secluded location, another unique feature is an Art Deco cinema designed by a renowned theatre designer. It is rare to see a country estate that is so effortlessly suited to entertaining, family life and the requirements of modern living. Rookwoods’ appeal is evident the second you pull into the long driveway.”