The Hexton Manor Estate is situated at the north eastern tip of the highly sought after Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Hertfordshire.
Hexton is an idyllic traditional rural village which offers that rare combination of unspoilt English charm, whilst being very accessible to the popular Hertfordshire towns of Hitchin, Harpenden and St Albans as well as London airports (both Luton and Heathrow) and is situated between the M1 (J11a & J12) and A1 (J8) which are eight miles equidistant.
The village of Hexton has a village shop, primary school, public house, weekly cream teas served at the village church and a monthly farmers market, whilst Barton Le Clay to the west and Hitchin to the east provide a wider range of amenities. Other notable local destinations include Champneys Spa at Henlow (8 miles), Woburn (12 miles) and Whipsnade Zoo (13 miles).
The Hexton Manor Estate is an exceptional residential, amenity and sporting estate just 40 miles north of London, within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Estate extends to 773.09 acres (312.87 hectares) and is being offered for sale as a whole or in two lots.
Lot 2 includes about 390 acres of woodland and steep valleys, home to the outstanding Hexton Shoot and offering huge potential for harnessing natural capital and delivering environmental benefits, along with a further 364 acres of productive farmland including arable and pasture.
The Hexton Manor Estate provides the backdrop to one of the finest high bird shoots in the Home Counties. Recently described as 'Little Devon' in Fieldsports Magazine, Hexton's deep wooded valleys are akin to those found in Yorkshire and the West Country. Situated at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, Hexton and shooting have been synonymous for centuries. The steep hillsides were planted for shooting at the beginning of the 20th century. The woodlands are now mature and provide a good variety of ages and species. These wooded valleys level out on top where they join cover strips and then turn to large arable fields beyond.
North Hertfordshire boasts excellent chalk based soils classified as both Grade 2 and 3. In addition to the undulating ground, there are large open arable fields which are let on a Farm Business Tenancy and cropped in a traditional cereal rotation. The permanent pasture is grazed by sheep on a short term grazing arrangement. There are cover crops and fallow which could be ploughed and incorporated into the farming rotation. Lot 1 includes 43 acres of arable land and 71 acres of pasture, whilst Lot 2 includes 220 acres of arable land and 28 acres of permanent pasture. The soils are described as Wantage 2 in the Soil Survey of England and Wales, which are shallow well drained calcareous silty soils over argillaceous chalk, deeper well drained coarse loamy soils in places.
Habitat & Wildlife
The countryside at Hexton is incredibly private and unspoilt. Wildlife rich species of grassland, including cowslips and orchids
can be seen on the chalky soils throughout the woodlands. In
a recent farmland bird survey, some 20 red and amber listed species along with an impressive number of wild grey partridge were recorded. This diverse habitat and mix of species is likely to make Hexton well placed for new stewardship schemes within the drive for nature recovery. There is a chalk pit let on a ten year lease to the Wildlife Trust who manage much of the surrounding land to the Estate. There is also the historic site of Ravensburgh Castle, which is a scheduled ancient monument perched up on the wooded hillside. These natural and historical assets may provide interesting opportunities for possible income generation and capital growth.
Much of the woodland was planted in the early 20th century,
although some of it is older and includes ancient woodland. There is a mixture of hardwoods and conifers, some nurse crops and much of it is edged with shrubs including box and laurel, before a hedgerow border. Since 2019, a new woodland management plan has helped to drive the improvement and general health of the woodland, while also improving habitat for game and farmland birds. The woodland encompasses forest rides, open glades and an extensive network of routes and tracks for one to explore by foot, horseback or estate vehicle. Lot 1 includes around 53 acres of woodland, whilst Lot 2 includes 336 acres. The woodlands also provide a useful source of timber for the biomass boiler at the Manor and may provide opportunities for mitigating carbon in the future.
For more information, the full brochure, estate plans or to arrange a viewing - please contact Louise Harrison or Oliver Carr on 0207 016 3715.
The postcode is SG5 3JH, which will take you to the Hexton crossroads. From the B655 (Between Hitchin and Barton le Clay), please turn in towards the village of Hexton and the gates to Hexton Manor are on the right hand side after 200 yards or so. Once through the gates, follow the drive past the gate lodge on the left, then as the drive forks, stay left and continue to the Manor House.
For users of the What3Wordsapp, the precise 3m sq location for the village entrance (Hexton Lodge): interviewer.coast.mammoths
For alternative directions or travel arrangements, please contact Savills.