Today the gardens look just as beautiful having matured into an outstanding series of garden settings surrounding a picturesque lake, complete with two islands.
Little Wantley has just come to the market with Henry Adams of Storrington with one of the best gardens in the country. Former professional golfer Brian Barnes and his wife Hilary bought the property in 1987 and acquired an additional three acres in ’97 which they set about landscaping from farmland with contours created to mimic the horizon of the South Downs.
“We had always wanted to live by the water so we had intended to build a lake but not of this scale - we got carried away with the white spray can in marking it out,” said Brian. “We discovered natural springs so the lake is ideal for fish and we’ve created a spillway back into the stream and on to the River Arun.”
Hilary Barnes was a renowned and talented gardener who designed on a grand scale and included plenty of little surprises. There’s a secret garden with an arched hazel walk, topiary and rolling lawns, different blooms throughout the seasons and an incredible stumpery arch surrounded by more dramatic planting. By the lake is a summer house where a cantilevered jetty, perfect for summer evening dining, sweeps out over the water which is covered with lilies each summer.
Little Wantley itself is set behind electric gates and offers more than 4,000 sq ft of versatile accommodation including a large annexe extensions.
With five bedrooms, four bathrooms and five receptions, there is plenty of space but the real jewel in the crown is the glasshouse conservatory leading from the kitchen. Overlooking the gardens though out the seasons, this is a setting to savour.
Brian added: “We have had great satisfaction from opening the garden as part of the National Garden Scheme and it’s lovely to see people meandering around and discovering it anew. Naturally it would be nice to sell to a garden enthusiast or perhaps someone who will just enjoy it as much as we have:”
Little Wantley comes to the market for offers in excess of £1,300,000.
For further details contact the selling agents Henry Adams on 01903 748133 or www.henryadams.co.uk.