One Of The Greatest Homes Built In Britain This Century Has Just Come Up For Sale

Penny Churchill February 24, 2024

The Mount, near the Shropshire town of Oswestry, is a quite incredible home built with no expense spared — and it’s now seeking a new owner. Penny Churchill takes a look.

After a distinguished career spanning almost 50 years, softly spoken Tony Morris-Eyton of Savills in Telford has stepped back from his longstanding role as head of the firm’s West Midlands operations to concentrate on his first love, the sale of prime country houses and estates in his native Shropshire, where he served as High Sheriff of the county in 2021–22. As the scion of one of Shropshire’s oldest families, he knows every nook and cranny of the county’s finest properties, many of which he has sold more than once over the years.

Few of those houses have stories as fascinating as recently-built masterpiece that is The Mount, however. For a while in the 1980s, the crumbling Edwardian house that once stood on this spot was home to Francis Ormsby-Gore, 6th Baron Harlech, who was forced to sell his estate and ancestral home, Brogyntyn Hall, in 2000. The house, on the edge of the estate, was acquired by a dynamic local businessman and eventually demolished.

The new owner swiftly assembled a team of building and conservation experts headed by Shrewsbury-based Andrew Arrol, doyen of country-house architects. Working together at speed, they soon convinced the planners that The Mount’s historic site deserved a classic Georgian house built in the grand manner, using state-of-the-art technology and materials. No expense was spared in realising the owner’s dream country house, which was positioned to take advantage of the spectacular, far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside. They house they created is now on the market at £12.5 million.

Recommended videos for you For Mr Arrol, it was clearly an exhilarating ride, as he recalls the degree of thought and planning that went into every aspect of the project. Unlike most modern neo-Georgian houses, all the main walls have been built using hand-carved stone from a Derbyshire quarry, the entire stock of which was bought by the owner; the outside elevations are highly insulated cavity walls and all floors have underfloor heating; the windows throughout are triple-glazed with a discreet, but sophisticated Pilkington Spacia system perfected in Japan.

To complement the house, the gardens have been beautifully landscaped, with three walled gardens that include a vegetable garden and three ponds, with a pump house equipped to ensure constant clear water.

The Mount is approached through imposing double gates and a sweeping drive that meanders gently through the property’s 47 acres of parkland, flanked by immaculate estate railings to either side.

As befits a 31,000sq ft country house of considerable stature, The Mount has everything today’s most demanding buyer could wish for and then some. The front door opens onto the main reception hall and the grand staircase hall with its magnificent cantilevered staircase that immediately sets the tone.

The hall leads to a well-proportioned dining room, a large drawing room, family room and a vast living kitchen. Upstairs, seven elegant bedrooms all have en-suite bathrooms. To the south, an orangery runs the length of the rear wing; beyond is a 20m (65ft) swimming pool and a plant room.

Twenty years on, The Mount is as pristine as the day it was completed and few would gainsay the agent’s claim that it ranks among the most important new mansion houses built in the UK within the past two decades.

However, the owner’s decision to downsize prompts the launch in Country Life of this remarkable country house in its unspoilt private setting near the market town of Oswestry, 19 miles from Shrewsbury and 27 miles from Chester.

The Mount is for sale via Savills, with selling agent Tony Morris-Eyton quoting a guide price of £12.5m — see more details and pictures.