Mulberry founder Roger Saul is selling his Somerset Abbots Sharpham estate


Mulberry founder Roger Saul is selling his eight-bedroom manor house for £8million.

The 268-acre estate, Abbots Sharpham in Somerset, is just a few miles from Glastonbury, the site of the annual blockbuster music festival.

Alongside the 15th-century grade II listed manor, the estate boasts an indoor swimming pool, two cottages, a tennis court, working flour mill and deer park.

Mr Saul, 72, founded fashion brand Mulberry in 1971 and turned it into a global powerhouse before he was ousted from the company’s board in 2003. 

He also grows and produces cereal, flour, pasta, risotto and milk, which is sold in Waitrose under Mr Saul’s Sharpham Park brand. 

He bought half of the main manor on his estate for £27,000 in 1977, when the other half was occupied by dairy farmers.

Mulberry founder Roger Saul is selling his eight-bedroom manor house for £8million. The 268-acre estate, Abbots Sharpham in Somerset, is just a few miles from Glastonbury, the site of the annual blockbuster music festival. Above: Mr Saul with his wife Monty

Mulberry founder Roger Saul is selling his eight-bedroom manor house for £8million. The 268-acre estate, Abbots Sharpham in Somerset, is just a few miles from Glastonbury, the site of the annual blockbuster music festival. Above: Mr Saul with his wife Monty

Alongside the 15th-century grade II listed manor, the estate boasts an indoor swimming pool, two cottages, a tennis court, working flour mill and deer park

Alongside the 15th-century grade II listed manor, the estate boasts an indoor swimming pool, two cottages, a tennis court, working flour mill and deer park

The businessman and his wife Monty then acquired the rest of the property and the estate itself in the ensuing decades.

In 1985, they bought one of the farmers’ outbuildings for £2,000 and installed the pool along with a kitchen, veranda and pizza area. 

In 1993, the couple bought more land and planted 4,000 hardwood trees. 

In 2003, after he had left Mulberry, the farmers opted to sell the estate and the rest of the farmhouse to Mr Saul.

The manor boasts six reception rooms, an orangery, farmhouse kitchen, offices, a study and five bathrooms. 

The staircase begins in the entrance hall and leads to a music room with an open stone fireplace, and elm floorboards. 

The room also features a concealed cupboard and secret door leading to a study containing screens linked to the CCTV security system.

The property’s drawing room has 16th century oak beams, wine cupboard and terrace. 

The kitchen meanwhile has cupboards built from a 19th century pine chemist shop and marble and mahogany worktops. There is also a gas hob and converted electric Aga. 

Mr Saul's home has been beautifully restored to reflect its medieval heritage

Mr Saul’s home has been beautifully restored to reflect its medieval heritage

The main entrance to the home is via a hefty oak door with elaborate scrolled medieval hinges

The main entrance to the home is via a hefty oak door with elaborate scrolled medieval hinges

The kitchen meanwhile has cupboards built from a 19th century pine chemist shop and marble and mahogany worktops. There is also a gas hob and converted electric Aga

The kitchen meanwhile has cupboards built from a 19th century pine chemist shop and marble and mahogany worktops. There is also a gas hob and converted electric Aga 

Mr Saul bought half of the main manor on his estate for £27,000 in 1977, when the other half was occupied by dairy farmers. Above: one of the sitting rooms

Mr Saul bought half of the main manor on his estate for £27,000 in 1977, when the other half was occupied by dairy farmers. Above: one of the sitting rooms

The indoor pool sits within the 'six eye waggon house', which also has a pizza area and kitchen

The indoor pool sits within the ‘six eye waggon house’, which also has a pizza area and kitchen

A hidden door in the kitchen’s paneling leads to the great hall. 

The garden includes a croquet lawn and 17th century ‘six eye waggon house’ which boasts a pizza area and kitchen, along with the indoor pool.  

The tycoon began growing spelt bread on his estate after his sister, who was suffering from cancer, recommended it. 

‘I discovered it was the most amazing grain,’ he told The Times

‘Back in the Middle Ages Saint Hildegard of Bingen had said it’s good for the mind, body and soul; the Roman army had used it as their marching bread.’

An archaeologist also found an ancient piece of spelt flatbread on Mr Saul’s land, indicating that it had been grown there thousands of years ago by Iron Age Britons. 

Mr Saul also found that walnuts were once grown on the estate, and so planted an organic walnut orchard which has matured enough to become a commercial venture.

He also grows and produces cereal, flour, pasta, risotto and milk, which is sold in Waitrose under Mr Saul’s Sharpham Park brand.

The period property dates back to the 16th century. Above: One of the sitting rooms

The period property dates back to the 16th century. Above: One of the sitting rooms

The magnificent great hall has an oak arch braced ceiling and heraldic shields on the walls

The magnificent great hall has an oak arch braced ceiling and heraldic shields on the walls

A buyer would have the space to fill the home with expensive delights, such as Mr Saul's grand piano

A buyer would have the space to fill the home with expensive delights, such as Mr Saul’s grand piano

A four poster bed is seen in one of the plush bedrooms, which boast wooden flooring and pannelling

A four poster bed is seen in one of the plush bedrooms, which boast wooden flooring and pannelling 

Mr Saul is selling his home with estate agent Carter Jonas. 

The estate is divided up into four lots which can be bought separately. 

The first includes the house along with the pool, gardens, tennis court, outbuildings, the two cottages, stables deer park, cider orchard and meadows, all set in more than 44 acres.

The second boasts the mill, a warehouse, office, agricultural buildings, solar plant and yards. It also includes the walnut and mixed fruit orchard and a mirror carp pond.

The third and fourth lots make up more than 200 acres of arable land and pasture that is all classified as fully organic.  

His business is being sold separately. 

The businessman said he is selling the estate because he is ‘spending 30 hours a week on the garden and farm’ alone, and wants to have more time to tackle wider issues related to the food supply. 

Abbots Sharpham itself dates back to the Bronze Age. The first known reference to it is in a grant by 10th-century King Eadwig, who ruled England from 955 until his death four years later.

Sharpham then spent the next 275 years passing in and out of the hands of the Abbots of Glastonbury. 

The main bedroom, which is the birthplace of author Henry Fielding, boasts a deep wardrobe

The main bedroom, which is the birthplace of author Henry Fielding, boasts a deep wardrobe

The landing leads to the main bedroom and also serves two other bedrooms and a bathroom

The landing leads to the main bedroom and also serves two other bedrooms and a bathroom

The property features five bathrooms, including the one above, which has a roll top bath

The property features five bathrooms, including the one above, which has a roll top bath

The manor comes with beautifully arranged gardens developed over decades by Mr Saul

The manor comes with beautifully arranged gardens developed over decades by Mr Saul

The sale also includes the estate's tennis court, which would prove very useful in sunny weather

The sale also includes the estate’s tennis court, which would prove very useful in sunny weather

Mr Saul has developed the garden extensively since he initially bought half of the manor more than 45 years ago

Mr Saul has developed the garden extensively since he initially bought half of the manor more than 45 years ago

The estate has more than 200 acres of arable land and pasture that is all classified as fully organic

The estate has more than 200 acres of arable land and pasture that is all classified as fully organic

In 1191, the much-maligned King John bequeathed the park to the Abbots.

During the reign of King Henry VIII, Abbot Bere, who had served under the King’s father, Henry VII, built a magnificent manor on the site. 

Sharpham was later granted to Sir Edward Seymour, who became Lord Protector to Henry’s son, Edward VI.

Sir Edward Dyer, poet and courtier to Queen Elizabeth I, was born there in 1641. 

Author Henry Fielding, the author of satirical novel Tom Jones, was born at the estate in 1707. 

In the early 19th century, the property was let to the Laver family, who were one of the largest cattle dealers in the west country. 

Renowned geologist Thomas Hawkins also lived there at around the same time. 

In the 1880s, the estate was regarded as one of the finest farms in Somerset.  



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