England's Favourite House 2011

    Somerset country home is South-West regional winner of England’s Favourite House

    Southill House, a mellow 18th century manor house in West Cranmore, Somerset, has been chosen as the South West regional winner of England’s Favourite House, Country Life magazine reveals today (6 April).

    The judges, pottery designer Emma Bridgewater; director of OKA and designer Annabel Astor; racehorse trainer and author Charlie Brooks, and Oscar-winning writer and creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, made the final choice and selected Southill House as the South West regional winner.  Julian Fellowes said: “The special gift of the English country house is for reinvention.  Each generation takes the tradition and makes it their own in a continuous stream of change and development.  Southill is astonishingly successful as a traditional country house that has been perfectly equipped for modern living.  It is beautiful and comfortable, its setting is superb and convenient.  In short, Southill is a remarkable achievement.”

    Approached along a sweeping drive through its own parkland, Southill House has  recently been renovated by new owners into a modern family home.  The Grade I-listed manor house, with its mellow Somerset contours and Ashlar façade, dates from the early 18th century. 

    Crispin Holborow, head of Savills country department, who sponsored the award, said: “Southill House has the beguiling combination of a traditional country house in a magnificent setting, with a gym, cinema, the kitchen, huge areas for sitting or dining, perfect for family living, alongside the grand drawing room and the Regency hall.”