Dorset mansion built by Bastards that has been the setting of a bitter familial feud for sale for the first time since 1846
The Prince of Wales is said to have considered purchasing the Chettle House estate in Dorset before he plumped for Highgrove and now, in the wake of an agreement to cease legal proceedings against one another, brother and sister Patrick Bourke and Susan Favre have placed part of their 1,200-acre estate on the market for £3.95 million ($6.1 million or €5.6 million).
Featuring a total of 16,571 square foot of accommodation in the main house and apartments and spread over four floors, the siblings are selling Chettle House with 117 acres of gardens, parkland and woodland. The current main Grade I listed house dates to circa 1710 and was built by the Bastard brothers of nearby Blandford.
Described as “the plum amongst Dorset houses of the early 18th century and nationally outstanding as a specimen of English Baroque” by Pevsner, the Bourke family became owners of the estate – which also includes the village of Chettle and The Castleman Hotel – in 1846. It passed through the family without incident for generations but in the wake of the 2011 death of Teddy Bourke, his “blunt headmistressy type” sister went to court with her other brother, Patrick, and his son over the estate’s ownership. Legal fees for their respective cases are estimated to have exceeded £100,000 ($155,000 or €141,000).
Unsurprisingly little mention is made of this “vicious and long-running family feud” in the selling agent Strutt & Parker’s brochure. A short paragraph towards the end, however, states that any buyer will have to pay a deposit of £500,000 ($775,000 or €705,000) on exchange that will enable the vendors “to fund an onward purchase”.
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