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Berkshire buyers for country hotel in Herefordshire

01 June 2006
Berkshire buyers for country hotel in Herefordshire

The Old Court hotel in Symonds Yat, Herefordshire, has changed hands after 20 years under the same ownership.

The new owners are experienced industry operators Jono Smith-Milne and Victoria Ball from Berkshire.

Smith-Milne was operations director for the Ha! Ha! Bar and Canteen chain while Ball, a hotel and catering graduate, has racked up eight years as an area manager.

The period property occupies a 1.6 acre site in the Wye Valley and has a prime position between both the Forest of Dean and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

It was built in 1570 and remained with the same family for 200 years.

Famous former owners included Thomas Gwillim, aide-de-camp to General Wolfe in the battle of Quebec, and John Graves Simcoe, the first Governor-General of Upper Canada and founder of the city of Toronto.

The hotel incorporates 18 bedrooms (some with four-poster beds), the Cotswold bar and snug, the 40-seat Tudor restaurant (the former Great Hall), the 20-seat Annexe restaurant, and a residents' lounge and conservatory.

It also has two meeting rooms (including the 150-capacity Elizabethan function suite with its own bar servery), a patio and a heated outdoor swimming pool.

Along with a detached owners' three-bedroom cottage, there are four bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor of the hotel for staff.

The Cirencester office of Colliers Robert Barry sold the freehold off an asking price of £1.05m.

By Angela Frewin

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