Real Estate

A $11.9-Million Step Into Rural Britain In California Wine Country

This quintessential English country manor has all the trappings one would expect: Leaded windows, half-timbering, formal gardens arranged in geometrical patterns, a stacked-stone stable.

But there’s also something unexpected. The property is not set in the wilds of Great Britain but rather in California’s Santa Ynez Valley.

It’s no accident that one could be fooled. Seven Oaks, as the estate is known, was designed in the style of English architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, whose early 20th century career spanned 50 years. His renowned style gave a signature look to the homes of his Edwardian clients. High chimneys stand tall against steeply pitched roofs. Lengths of windows bring light into interiors. Traditional lines take an inventive twist.

But it’s not just the architecture that has a trompe l’oeil effect at Seven Oaks. The grounds pay homage to the work of British horticulturist Gertrude Jekyll, with whom Lutyens frequently collaborated. Her influence on garden design in the U.K. and America is still felt today.

Priced at $11.9 million, this accurate recreation a Lutyens estate encompasses 101 acres in the Happy Canyon area. Views take in lupine-covered fields, rolling farmland and distant mountains.

A security gate opens to a 2,500-foot-long tree-lined driveway that accesses the residence and the horse barn. A circular driveway leads to the wooden front door, which is protected by an overhang.

Wide walkways lead through the colorful gardens to the stables – a solid pitched-roof structure connected to a rotunda with a turret roof. A riding arena and a paddock sit nearby.

The two-story house features cathedral ceilings and fireplaces in the living, dining and family rooms. There’s another fireplace in the master bedroom for a total of six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The 8,404 square feet of living space also includes a breakfast area and a pantry.

In addition to the main house, there’s a guesthouse and an infinity-edge pool.

Among neighboring properties are established vineyards. The estate could be used for vineyards, farming or equestrian facilities.

Carey Kendall of Village Properties, an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, is the listing agent for 5200 Armour Ranch Road, Santa Ynez.

And what would Lutyens think of this charming replica so far from his homeland?

As Oscar Wilde so famously said: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

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