Tranquil Slindon Common house was once home to an Olympian and a former High Sheriff

Tranquil Slindon Common house was once home to an Olympian and a former High Sheriff
Tranquil Slindon Common house was once home to an Olympian and a former High Sheriff

A beautiful, tranquil and much-loved family house on Slindon Common has not only welcomed all sorts, from shy deer to hordes of grandchildren, but has also helped nurture an Olympian and gold-medal-winning swimmer and, most recently, a High Sheriff.

Although four generations of the Spofforth family have lived in Danesfield since 1972, it was originally built as two workers’ cottages in the very early 1920s.

Over the ensuing years, the family have added a cottage, tennis court, garage block and solar-panel-heated swimming pool.

Vendor Mark Spofforth OBE was a teenager when he moved in and his older sister kept her ponies in the surrounding fields belonging to the house.

Mark’s first wife was a keen swimmer and daughter Gemma started splashing in the pool aged just four.

Mark’s current wife Veronica said: “Her talent soon shone through … It was clear she had something very special.”

By Gemma’s late teens, her progress had exceeded training in this country and she made the move to Florida, eventually to compete in three Olympics and the 2009 World Aquatic Championships in Rome.

“It was in Rome 2009 where she won the Gold Medal for 100 metres backstroke.”

Today, Veronica said Danesfield continues to lend itself to celebration as much as to charm and comfort.

She said: “It’s built for fun at both ends of the spectrum – either complete peace, quiet and nature or wrapped up in a fun-loving family duvet for whatever the occasion.

“The pool and tennis court were a family focus for summer-long parties, celebrations and barbecues.”

In March 2015, her husband became High Sheriff for a year’s term.

“In order to entertain and thank all of the towns- and villages-people that we had met, the councillors and indeed the charities we championed, we had a fabulous garden party with over 250 people. It was a splendid affair and the house absolutely revelled in it.”

Veronica said Danesfield is best suited to a family who love living in the country, ‘perhaps with grandparents or extended family members living next door’.

She said: “The ease of getting to a station means that although you may appear to be living in the middle of the countryside, you are actually not.

“It’s just outside of Slindon village, with a pub in walking distance, which means the opportunities to be involved in the village can be a choice.”

Veronica said the family has loved the house for its mature beauty, its large spaces and the wealth of odd nooks and crannies.

“The seasons are all beautiful here and currently our three grandchildren are enjoying all of these benefits – there’s space to grow up in safety and creatively play, all under the watchful eye of our house.”

For more information, or to arrange a viewing, contact Henry Adams, Rowan House, Baffins Lane, Chichester. Telephone 01243 533377.


Shellbridge Road, Slindon Common

  • House and attached two bedroom cottage
  • Within the South Downs National Park
  • Approximately five acre plot
  • Triple garage
  • Offering great privacy
  • Swimming pool and tennis court
  • Paddocks and stabling
  • Desirable location
  • Southerly aspect
  • Guide Price £1,350,000

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