An equestrian estate in the affluent London suburb of Mill Hill is on the market for $25 million. Highwood Lodge Farm Estate comprises 103 acres of land, a racehorse training yard and an 8,127-square-foot manor house dating back to the mid-1600s. It is believed to have been reconstructed in its current Gothic style at the beginning of the 20th century.
Approached by a sweeping drive lined with lime trees, an estate of this kind and size is extremely rare within a London postcode, and it looks as if it should be nestling deep in England’s rural shires rather than only a 25-minute train ride from the Square Mile. Esteemed former residents include William Brodie Gurney, a 19th-century shorthand writer and philanthropist, Lieutenant-General Sir George Mark Watson MacDonogh, director of Military Intelligence at the British War Office from 1916 to 1918, and Sir Frederick Aked Sellers, a Lord Chief Justice of Appeal from 1957 to 1968 and a Privy Councillor.
Since 1995 Highwood Lodge has been owned by Andrew Reid, the only racecourse trainer based in the capital. Reid trained 179 winners there—including Eccentric, who won the Winter Hill Stakes and the Winter Derby in 2005, and victors in races on Derby Day and Oaks Day at Epsom—and developed the superb equestrian facilities. The main yard, close to but concealed from the house, features 14 loose boxes, tack and feed rooms, a horse walker and accommodation for grooms. Horses are exercised on a gently sloping six-furlong gallop, and there’s a polo field and a floodlit outdoor arena for dressage, show jumping and polo. A cross-country course, designed by Captain Mark Phillips, an Olympic gold medal-winning three-day eventer and Princess Anne’s first husband, once hosted horse trials that attracted a crowd of over 10,000 people, though it’s no longer used for competitions.
To enhance natural biodiversity and support the ecosystem, Reid has improved the soil quality through regenerative farming practices, planted over 6,000 trees and established almost two miles of hedgerow.
Reid also remodeled the historic, four-story brick house, the surrounding gardens and indoor swimming pool. Interiors are classically inspired, with intricate plasterwork moldings and traditional fireplaces throughout. The ground floor incorporates a kitchen/breakfast room and four well-proportioned, high-ceilinged reception rooms, among them a 30-foot drawing room opening into a conservatory. This leads out to a terrace and a stone staircase that sweeps down to the formal southeast-facing gardens spread out below.
Back inside, the lower ground floor contains a second kitchen, a fifth reception room, an office, utility, a wine cellar and a dog room, plus a one-bedroom staff flat. The principal bedroom, together with an adjoining dressing room, is on the ground floor, also overlooking the garden. Three bedrooms are on the first floor, two more are on the second, and a flat above the four-car garage and two cottages on the grounds provide further accommodation.
“An equestrian estate of this caliber and size in such close proximity to Central London is highly unusual,” Crispin Holborow, Joint Head of The Private Office at Savills, the listing agent, told Observer. “In addition to the acres of rolling pasture and significant equestrian facilities, the estate features a principal house with a fascinating history surrounded by beautiful formal gardens, an indoor swimming pool and tennis court, providing plenty of attributes for someone looking for a home as well as the infrastructure for a racing operation. The estate also has extensive accommodation including a mixture of cottages and flats – perfect for housing extended family, friends or employees. One of the key selling points for me is the combination of the country house setting with the excellent transport links.”