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Jamie Oliver gets a flock of sheep for £6m Grade I-listed Essex Tudor mansion

Jamie Oliver has gotten a flock of sheep who were seen grazing outside his Essex Tudor mansion last week.

The TV chef, 45, bought the £6m Grade I-listed six-bedroom mansion in Finchingfield, Essex at the start of 2019, and it boasts a 70-acre estate that is perfect for the farm animals to roam.

A large number of sheep were seen enjoying life in a large field next to the mansion which was divided by trees and large hedges for their safety.

Grazing: The animals were seen eating grass on his land

New additions: Jamie Oliver has gotten a flock of sheep for £6m Grade I-listed six-bedroom Essex Tudor mansion as the farm animals were seen grazing on the 70-acre estate last week

The sheep looked contented as they grazed on grass and relaxed outside, and a rope fence had been place along the perimeter of their field so they don’t get lost. 

The 16th century seven-bedroom house is Grade I listed, and the plush gardens are Grade II listed, and the Elizabethan country house was named after Hervey de Ispania, who owned the land in 1086.

Since then the land has been owned by just three families – the de Ispania family, the Kempe family and the Ruggles family, and Jamie bought it from the latter – who had owned it since 1760. 

Home: The TV chef (pictured in 2020) bought the £6m Grade I-listed six-bedroom mansion in Finchingfield, Essex in 2019

Home: The TV chef (pictured in 2020) bought the £6m Grade I-listed six-bedroom mansion in Finchingfield, Essex in 2019

Enjoying the outdoors: The sheep looked contented as they grazed on grass and relaxed outside

Shearing season: The sheep appeared to have had their winter coats shaven off

Enjoying the outdoors: The sheep looked contented as they grazed on grass and relaxed outside

Wow: The 16th century seven-bedroom house is Grade I listed, and the plush gardens are Grade II listed, and the Elizabethan country house was named after Hervey de Ispania, who owned the land in 1086

Wow: The 16th century seven-bedroom house is Grade I listed, and the plush gardens are Grade II listed, and the Elizabethan country house was named after Hervey de Ispania, who owned the land in 1086

The manor house boasts 12 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a large games room, great hall, dining room, two drawing rooms and a wine storage area. 

The large grounds are perfect for kids Poppy, 19, Daisy, 18, Petal, 12, Buddy, ten, and River Rocket, four, and it has a kids’ playroom, with toys stored in glass-fronted cabinets and comfy chairs.

Jamie and his wife Jools, 46, regularly post loving snaps of their children in the garden on social media.

In March it was revealed Jamie had been given the green light to rebuild the 600-year-old moat bridge at his country mansion.

The 12-bedroom manor house Spains Hall used to be surrounded by a moat – which were commonly found around medieval castles to keep out villains.

Expansive: Jamie's property boasts a 70-acre estate that is perfect for the farm animals to roam

Expansive: Jamie’s property boasts a 70-acre estate that is perfect for the farm animals to roam

Animals: A large number of sheep were seen enjoying life in a large field next to the mansion which was divided by trees and large hedges for their safety

Animals: A large number of sheep were seen enjoying life in a large field next to the mansion which was divided by trees and large hedges for their safety

And the Channel 4 star was given permission to restore the 15th century red-brick bridge to its former glory, though the celebrity chef has not indicated if he is planning to bring back the moat.

Jamie is going to have the bridge’s brickwork repointed, which was first built in the Middle Ages around the original timber-framed house.

He also wants to replace all the modern terracotta drainage spouts to restore the bridge to its former glory, and he won permission to extend a former estate road connecting up the moat bridge.

A heritage statement by Stephen Gray Consultancy, submitted to Braintree District Council, explained Jamie’s plans.

Safe: A rope fence had been place along the perimeter of their field so they don't get lost

Safe: A rope fence had been place along the perimeter of their field so they don’t get lost

Heritage: The land has been owned by just three families - the de Ispania family, the Kempe family and the Ruggles family, and Jamie bought it from the latter - who had owned it since 1760

Heritage: The land has been owned by just three families – the de Ispania family, the Kempe family and the Ruggles family, and Jamie bought it from the latter – who had owned it since 1760

It said: ‘The moat is now dry and partly levelled but the bridge reinforces its tangibility. The moat was in all likelihood a feature of the 15th century first phase of the existing building and would have remained a prominent feature of the late 16th century phase of building development that is the primary significance of the hall.

‘The aesthetic significance of the bridge is partially diminished by earlier poor quality repairs but remains substantial as a link between the house and the less formal working landscape of the west side of the estate.

‘The moat bridge also has substantial architectural significance, as a later part of the architectural composition of the side elevation, its more modest character counterpointing the principal elevation of the ‘prodigy house’.

‘The aesthetic significance of the bridge is partially diminished by earlier poor quality repairs but remains substantial as a link between the house and the less formal working landscape of the west side of the estate.’

Historic England backed Jamie’s plans to renovate the moat bridge.

Impressive: The manor house boasts 12 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a large games room, great hall, dining room, two drawing rooms and a wine storage area

Interior: It also has a kids' playroom, with toys stored in glass-fronted cabinets and comfy chairs

Impressive: The manor house boasts 12 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a large games room, great hall, dining room, two drawing rooms and a wine storage area

Sheila Stones, inspector of historic buildings and areas, wrote: ‘The proposals involve the reinstatement of an estate road to the west of Spains Hall that would include an extension to connect the road to the moat bridge, together with repairs to the moat bridge itself.

‘The proposed estate road would be a reinstatement of a route that was extant at least between 1876-1921 and as such would comprise a route in an historic location that would be finished in traditional gravel.

‘The proposed repairs to the moat bridge will assist in safeguarding the future of the historic fabric.

‘The replacement of modern concrete copings and pyramid with clay copings and cap and replacement of modern terracotta drainage spouts with lead spouts will result in the reinstatement of historic features in traditional materials.’

She added: ‘We welcome the proposed repairs to the moat bridge and are satisfied that the evidence base for the historic estate road is conclusive.

Famile: The large grounds are perfect for Jamie and wife Jools' kids Poppy, 19, Daisy, 18, Petal, 12, Buddy, ten, and River Rocket, four

Famile: The large grounds are perfect for Jamie and wife Jools’ kids Poppy, 19, Daisy, 18, Petal, 12, Buddy, ten, and River Rocket, four

‘We therefore have no objection to its proposed reinstatement on heritage grounds.’

Planning experts at Braintree District Council gave the plans the green light, and work is expected to start imminently.

Jamie has already had a lot of restoration done on the centuries old house, including the entrance gates and the library window frame.

He recently got the green light to build a classical timber greenhouse, as well as touching up the windows of two bedrooms. 

The country pad is close to the pub which Jamie’s parents Trevor and Sally ran when the chef was growing up.

The celebrity chef, who is estimated to be worth £100 million, shot to fame in 1999 on the back of a BBC show.

He then went on a crusade to make school dinners healthier.

He opened his first Jamie’s Italian restaurant in 2008 before a rapid expansion across the country.

But in 2017, it was revealed that Jamie’s firm owed staff £2.2m and was in £71.5million of debt.

The chef was forced to axe 22 of 25 of his restaurants, including all but one branch of Jamie’s Italian, as well as Barbecoa and Fifteen London.

Delighted: Jamie and his wife Jools, 46, regularly post loving snaps of their children in the garden on social media  (pictured at the mansion on River's fourth birthday)

Delighted: Jamie and his wife Jools, 46, regularly post loving snaps of their children in the garden on social media  (pictured at the mansion on River’s fourth birthday)


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