FOREST OF BERE HOUSE, HAMPSHIRE
This new house high on the chalk downlands of Hampshire is the centre of a farming estate that has been cultivated since Roman times. Where the earlier houses were sited in the floor of the valley near the deep well that still survives, the new house is sited higher on the North side of the valley to take advantage of the spectacular views to South and West. It is faced with a soft red brick, with stone trim and panels of flintwork, and a red clay-tiled roof - all features typical of the locality. The flavour is that of a modest manor house of the early 18th Century.
The accommodation is arranged around a central triple-height stair hall, which also serves for dining and dancing on special occasions. The main reception rooms face south. The family accommodation faces South West and opens onto a densely-planted walled garden with pergolas, pleached fruit trees and two little summer houses. There are four bedrooms suites on the first floor and four further bedrooms in the attic. A tight spiral stair leads to a miniature observatory on the roof with stunning views in all directions. In the basement is a wine cellar and billiard room.
To the North of the house is a sheltered courtyard with garages, a guest/service apartment and a plant room that houses a low energy heating system using a wood-chip boiler, ground source heat pumps and solar heating in combination.