The Duchess of Cornwall’s childhood home in Plumpton is on the market for £2.5million after being reduced in price by £650,000.
Former rectory The Laines is currently home to James Wilby, the actor, best known for roles in Maurice, Gosford Park and A Handful Of Dust, and is on the market with Strutt & Parker.
James and his wife bought it from Camilla Parker Bowles’s father, Major Bruce Shand, then a widower, who lived there for 45 years.
Camilla has fond memories of the years she spent at the historic property with her siblings Annabel and the late Mark after the family moved to Sussex to be near Sonia Cubitt, Camilla’s maternal grandmother.
It was from here that Camilla, aged four and a half enrolled in her first school, Dumbrell’s, before moving to Queen’s Gate School, Kensington and finishing schools in Switzerland and France.
Prince Charles visited the house several times, both before Camilla’s marriage and also later while on shore posting at Portsmouth during his Royal Navy service in the early Seventies. But most of the couple’s secret assignations were made at Camilla’s grandmother’s home, Hall Place at West Meon.
Dating from the 18th century The Laines has classic Georgian proportions spread over three floors in grounds of five acres. Inside are elegant reception rooms with high ceilings and working fireplaces. Outside is a paddock, lawns, a swimming pool, tennis court, gardens partially landscaped by Lanning Roper, a walled kitchen garden and a sloping Victorian style greenhouse. Agents describe it as ‘nestled in an enviable position at the foot of the South Downs with stunning views’ while its proximity to ‘gastropubs like the Jolly Sportdsman and Half Moon are also mentioned. The Duchess of Cornwall hailed her childhood home as ‘perfect in every way.’
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