Montco farm with 17th-century home, access to Gwynedd Preserve lists for $4.99M

An 18.5-acre farmland estate in Montgomery County that dates back centuries with 10 different buildings on the property has hit the market for nearly $4.999 million.

The home along South Swedesford Road in North Wales has gated access to Natural Lands’ 279-acre Gwynedd Preserve, surrounding the property with hundreds of acres of forest, agricultural land and open space. The five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath main home has elements that date back to 1698, according to the listing, and spans over 5,300 square feet.

A driveway lined with trees that stretches about a quarter mile opens up to the vast estate with outbuildings that have been converted into guest houses, event space, a gym, stables, a greenhouse and even a soap-making space.

The historic home was once a school building, with the original bell still in place and able to be rung from a rope in the kitchen. In total, there are four livable dwelling spaces on the property with the outbuildings ranging from one to three bedrooms. The estate was most recently renovated in 2017, according to the property’s listing agent Lavinia Smerconish, a broker with Compass Real Estate.

According to property records, the owners are Christopher and Kristina McCausland. They purchased the property in 2015 for $2.5 million, records show.

Smerconish said the owners planted thousands of trees, some of which were propagated in the commercial-grade greenhouse on the property. The properties includes 190 ornamental trees.

The greenhouse is one of several outbuildings with modern high-end features on the historic property. A stable was converted into a full gym. A barn and silo were turned into what essentially amounts to a duplex, with two separate guest spaces attached by a door. Buildings also include a bank barn that can open up into an event space, a standalone office and a log cabin guest house.

The elements can all serve as “an escape” Smerconish said, or they could be used to house and sustain operations on the farm. Cattle and chickens are currently kept on the property.

Included in the 2017 renovations were two additions onto the main house, one for a family room and another for a glass-enclosed space that “feels like a conservatory,” Smerconish said, adding that it could be a second living room but was built to support an expansive primary bedroom. Exposed beams run throughout the house with reclaimed wood floors and exposed stone on the main level.

“For a fancy property it feels very homespun, very carefully collected, thoughtfully put together,” Smerconish said.

Smerconish has brokered a number of sales of expansive farm properties similar to this one. One of the most recent was Kirkwood Farms, a 210-acre Chester County property bought by filmmaker M. Knight Shyamalan. She said one of the distinguishing features of the Swedesford Road property is the comprehensive modernity across the 10 structures on the land and how they are “maximized to their potential.”

“I think they kept the feeling of the authenticity of the farm, but this has a very modern usage,” Smerconish said. “Sometimes too many structures complicate a property, not so in this case. Every structure they thought about is very current to people’s usage, whether it’s an office or [space for] other hobbies. You don’t have to propagate your own Sweetgums but [the property] gets you outside, you can get your hands dirty with activities that truly step outside of your door.”


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