Fabulous Country House with Exquisitely Landscaped Gardens (of international repute)
Crockmore House is a substantial country house, with stunning gardens, expertly designed and landscaped by Christopher Bradley-Hole. The current house was built as a family home in 1988 in a Georgian style, with a traditional country house interior. Subsequently, the house has been elegantly refurbished and has a large expansive Orangery with extensive views of the surrounding garden and countryside. Crockmore House has been used as a film set, for corporate events, retreats and weddings and as a destination in its own right, with visitors coming to see the beautiful garden, which has also been featured in The Private Gardens of England by Tania Compton, amongst other notable publications.
The Annexe at Crockmore House is a beautifully designed one bedroomed cottage that is currently available to let for short stays. There is an en-suite bedroom and large, light, stylish kitchen diner/living room. It is tucked away behind hidden doors and overlooks the garden.
Next to the tennis court is a summer house which can be used as a separate office, fully equipped with wi-fi and electricity. There is an apple store / garden equipment store, four garages, storage room, pool plant, greenhouse and mower awning. Beside the summer house is a full sized tennis court, flanked by a lime tree avenue with herbaceous peony and rose border.
Gardens and Grounds
The garden designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole, has matured beautifully since its creation in 1999 and was planted in 2000. He visualised the terrace from the large (then unbuilt)conservatory and the generous entertaining spaces leading out from it, surrounded by a vast curved bank dropping down into the garden. Christopher brought the curves out as far as the fields, where a deer fence is planted with Persicaria polymorpha and Miscanthus grasses, to seamlessly knit the garden with the landscape beyond, in the style of Piet Oudolf.
Christopher chose this area to reflect the concept ‘out of chaos, order’ by carving the area up into a series of eighteen large grid beds. This is the heart of the garden. From the top of the house one can see the effect the grid beds create. From the upstairs bedrooms they read like a tapestry as the muted colours from the plantings converge.
Christopher made the plant choices and they have sustained the garden well. Knautia macedonica, one of his trademark plants, punctuates the planting throughout, as does Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’. There is a perfect balance with many beautiful grasses, each with their own special qualities; Calemagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, Miscanthus gracillimus, Stipa gigantea and Pennisetum alcuperoides ‘Hameln’ being firm favourites. Every year, clouds of Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ spill over the Raisby gravel pathways under the apple tree in the centre and the odd Dianthus carthusianorum pokes it head through clouds of Astrantia ‘Hapsden Blood’, and Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firedance’. Clouds of bronze leaved fennel are threaded throughout the plants. For more information about the gardens, please follow Instagram: @juliakirkhamgardendesign
Connecting the grid beds with the enclosed raised vegetable beds was a wildflower meadow with a collection of fruit trees including pear, medlar, apple (for Crockmore Gold apple juice) damson, quince and cherry. The meadow area, is a beautiful sea of marguerites and cowslips in early May. There is a series of clipped yew hedges; on the side that meets the beech hedge of the vegetable area where there are six box pruned Carpinus (hornbeam), planted at intervals along the hedge, which are well established. This adds more structure to the garden and there is a space in which to create a quiet contemplative space to reflect on the exuberance of the grid beds beyond, before entering the joyful cacophony of colours that constitute the vegetable beds, filled with dahlias and nasturtiums in the late summer.
At the far end of the gardens, there is a field with a separate gate and access, which can be used for guest parking. There is a wooden walkway between the field and the garden, which is replicated between the garden and the terrace.
A helipad has been mown into the grass behind the tennis court, which the current owner has used for Ascot and other events.
Crockmore House is tucked away in the charming hamlet of Fawley, within easy reach of Henley on Thames. It is completely private and offers sensational space for family living and entertaining. The attractive market towns of Henley-on-Thames and Marlow provide extensive shopping and entertainment opportunities, including the Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Festival. There are excellent golf courses including Huntercombe, wonderful footpaths for walking, cycling and exploring the Chilterns, as well as being within close proximity to local Shooting Schools at EJ Churchill and the Royal Berkshire Shooting School. The nearby Bosley Patch Farm Shop offers organic vegetables, flowers and freshly baked breads and pastries.
Crockmore House is well situated to access the gastronomic delights of Marlow, where there are several restaurants operated by renowned chefs, including Tom Kerridge and Atul Kochhar. More locally, Luscombe’s at The Golden Ball located in Lower Assendon is featured in the Michelin Guide. Good local hotels feature Danesfield House Hotel & Spa and The Complete Angler in Marlow.
There are good transport links, with frequent train services to London (Paddington) from Henley-on-Thames (54 minutes), while the M4 and M40 motorways give excellent access to London, Gatwick and Heathrow.
There is a superb range of schools within easy reach including Eton, Harrow, Radley, Wellington, Shiplake College, St Edward’s Oxford, Ludgrove, Moulsford, Cothill and The Oratory prep schools and Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow.
From Henley, take the Marlow Road, turn left onto Icehouse Lane opposite Toad Hall Garden Centre signposted towards Fawley . Continue up the hill avoiding the left hand turn to Henley Park. Stay on Icehouse Lane for approximately one mile and Crockmore House is on the left, opposite to the driver mirrors in the hedge on your right.