Nestled within Hampshire’s Durford Wood Estate, a luxurious mansion boasting an Arts & Crafts style has recently emerged on the market, commanding a price tag of £3.95 million. Beyond its opulent six-bedroom main house, the property sprawls across 10 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds designed partly by the eminent horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll, in collaboration with architect Edwin Lutyens.
What distinguishes this estate from the ordinary is the surprising addition parked on its lawn – a decommissioned Harrier II jump jet. This particular GR7 model, one of only eight remaining in the UK, is an emblem of 20th-century military history. Evoking the Harrier’s legacy as the world’s first widely utilized vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet aircraft, the Harrier family comprised various versions, including the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, and Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II.
Originally engineered to operate from unconventional sites like car parks to evade vulnerability to tactical nuclear weapons, the Harrier later found adaptation for aircraft carrier use. Famed for its pivotal role in conflicts like the Falklands War, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, these jets served in RAF and Royal Navy squadrons, forming Joint Force Harrier in 2000 at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland.
Despite most Harrier jets being sold off post their retirement from UK military service in 2011, this GR7 evaded disassembly due to abandoned repair efforts. It boasts a Rolls Royce Pegasus 11-21 Mk. 105 turbofan engine and an inert Sidewinder missile used for training purposes.
Savills, the estate agent handling the property, confirmed the potential inclusion of the Harrier jet in the sale, adding an unparalleled historic allure to an already captivating estate. Besides the main house, the property features a charming four-bedroom guest house named The Hollow, complete with a patio leading up to a serene water body.
Amidst the beamed ceilings and a grand stone fireplace adorning the dining room of the renovated mansion, this property stands as a testament to blending historic elegance with modern comfort.
This Hampshire estate joins an array of distinctive properties hitting the market, each offering its unique charm. However, the presence of a rare military relic like the Harrier II jump jet adds an unmatched allure to the Durford Wood Estate, inviting prospective buyers to own a piece of both architectural and aviation history.
As the final flight of Harrier jets soared over RAF Cottesmore on 15 December 2010, marking the end of an era, this GR7 now sits gracefully on the lawns of the Hampshire mansion, awaiting a discerning buyer captivated by its rich legacy and the tranquil surroundings of this remarkable estate.