A PRIVATE estate which served as a school for wartime evacuees and has links to royalty is on sale for the first time in 74 years.

The 234-acre Wilverley Estate in the New Forest, is on sale as a whole or in three lots, with a guide price of £8.65million.

It is the estate’s first time on the open market since it was sold to Peter Barker-Mill in 1947.

The three parts of the estate are Wilverley Park, Cuffnells Farm and Wilverley Farm.

Fred Cook, in the farm agency team at Savills Salisbury, said: “The dramatic setting of this estate, coupled with its period charm and history, is outstanding. It is also a farm with great variety. Whilst enjoying a fairly secluded location, it is well situated to a range of nearby amenities. With everything that this has to offer, Wilverley Park provides a rare and exciting opportunity for lifestyle farming and the potential to create additional revenue streams.”

William Langmead, central southern estates and farms agency at joint agent Strutt & Parker, said: “The New Forest is a sought after part of the world at the moment, ticking the country, coast and commutability boxes, and Wilverley Park offers a really special opportunity in the heart of it. The estate is the perfect escape for someone who wants their own idyllic bolt-hole surrounded by Capability Brown-esque parkland. The previous owners have kept it as a residential escape, having fallen in love with the inimitable setting and their Holstein herd.

“There’s an opportunity at Wilverley Park to create a real destination through diversification of the existing estate buildings and acreage. This part of Hampshire is particularly popular, not only in terms of the property market, but with both domestic and international tourists. The national park is a location that’s well recognised in the increasingly valuable UK tourism industry, home to beautiful countryside and wildlife with the south coast within easy reach.”

Wilverley is one of a small group of historic parks on the fringe of the New Forest National Park. It was part of the Foxlease Estate until it was inherited by Henry Buckworth Powell-Montgomery in 1865. It remained in his family’s ownership but was requisitioned for use as a school for evacuees during World War Two before being sold.

Cuffnells Park was owned in the 18th century by Sir Thomas Tancred and family. Tancred employed Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to design the parkland there, including a lake, kitchen garden, orangery and arboretum. In 1784, the estate was sold to the Honourable George Rose, who was paymaster general and was known to have entertained King George III there.

Wilverley Park covers 86 acres and has a six-bedroom Victorian coach house, a landscaped garden designed by Francois Goffinet, an orangery and a swimming pool. There is also a range of farm buildings, a parkland setting with lake, a lodge cottage and two additional properties.

Cuffnells Farm covers around five acres and includes a four-bedroom farmhouse, a two-bedroom cottage and a range of traditional and modern farm buildings.

Wilverley Farm consists of around 143 acres in total and is a mix of pasture and arable land, with a two-bedroom cottage.