A house with an extraordinary artistic past is on the market for £1.3 million

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  • Renowned British painter Lucien Freud lived in Benton End House in 1940.

    This stunning 16th century farmhouse would still be impressive and worth a look even without a famous past. It has well-maintained Tudor features and a quintessentially English garden, as well as magnificent views across the surrounding Suffolk countryside.

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    But Benton End House does indeed happen to have a rich artistic and horticultural history. The artist, art teacher and plantsman, Sir Cedric Morris, bought the house from Sir Alfred Sainsbury in 1939 and opened The East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing.

    Students at the school lived and studied at Benton End House, which is is how Lucien Freud came to live here for a period of time in 1940. Lucien was a student of Morris’, and was painted by him in the first floor studio here, which is now the master bedroom.

    The beautiful Grade II listed country home is located on the edge of the market town of Hadleigh in Suffolk, overlooking the Brett Valley.

    With seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and four reception rooms, there would have been ample room for the artists to set up their studios. There is also a wine cellar with room for a staggering 1200 bottles – imagine the house parties the students would have had!

    There are Tudor and Georgian features throughout the home, including high moulded beamed ceilings, open fireplaces, panelled walls, high skirting boards and sash windows.

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    Maggi Hambling is also known to have studied here, and she worked in the kitchen during her school holidays. We can think of worse places to work.

    The estate also comes with a separate coach house which has been fully renovated by the current owners and transformed into a self-contained two-bedroom cottage.

    As well as being an established artist and art teacher, Cedric Morris was also a keen plantsman. Benton End House has a pretty walled garden filled with roses, honeysuckles, and Cedric’s favourites – irises – which he bred in the garden and exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s.

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    His irises still grow in the Suffolk garden. A local horticulturalist exhibited a Cedric Morris Collection at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2015 and was awarded a Gold Medal for the display.

    The property is for sale with Savills for £1.3 million.

    Image credits: Savills

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