Former home of reforming “first” Prime Minister on sale for £12.5m – twice the price it fetched 11 years ago

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A STUNNING estate once owned by the UK’s “first” Prime Minister and the man who introduced free school meals has gone on sale for £12.5m.

The former home of Liberal premier Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman is on sale for twice the price it reached when it last went on the market 11 years ago.

Hunton Court, named after the nearby Kent village, was the family home of the Bannermans until 2008.

(C) Strutt &Parker

Sir Henry, who occupied Downing Street from 1905 to 1908, would have enjoyed the peace of Hunton’s 171 acres as well as its beautifully-decorated interior.

As PM he also laid the foundations of the probation system and allowed councils to purchase private land.

Sir Henry, who occupied Downing Street from 1905 to 1908, would have enjoyed the peace of Hunton’s 171 acres as well as its beautifully-decorated interior. (C) Strutt &Parker

Hunton Court is a grade II listed country house, parts of which date from the 13th Century.

It was bought in the 1850s by the Bannerman family who spent a fortune on rennovations and extensions. It was eventually inherited by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, a Scot who was the Liberal MP for Stirling at the time.

The grounds also feature a lake complete with swans and a bridge.

The property features an incredible serpentine lake with a bridge (C) Strutt &Parker

Sellers Strutt & Parker say in their description: “The immediate grounds of the house are particularly striking with a large serpentine lake that bends around the western side of the house and garden, creating a particularly tranquil setting.

“From the stone balustrade parapet that reaches around the top of the house to the pillared reception hall, ornate cornicing and stunning fireplaces throughout, Hunton Court does not fail to impress and exude a sense of grandeur.”

(C) Strutt &Parker

Campbell-Bannerman succeeded Arthur Balfour in December 1905.

He was the first to be officially called Prime Minister as opposed to the First Lord of the Treasury.

The following year he led the Liberals to their biggest ever majority. During his time in power he introduced free school meals for all children and empowered local authorities to purchase private agricultural land from private landlords

(C) Strutt &Parker

Campbell-Bannerman tried to pass a bill in 1907 giving women the vote but the reform was blocked and he died of ill health the following year.

He was replaced by Herbert Asquith, who opposed women’s suffrage, sparking the Suffragette movement.

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