DINMORE Manor, a premier Herefordshire estate owned jointly by former Carphone Warehouse director Martin Dawes and his son, Paul, is on the market for an undisclosed sum widely considered to set a new county record.

The Grade II listed manor with its 1,500 acres and 21 residential properties is listed by top end estate agents Savills as having “probably the most magical setting of any country estate”.

But prospective buyers will have to dig deep as local speculation puts the price tag at more than £20 million.

Savills remain tight-lipped on the asking price, but it is certain to run into multi millions.

The high-profile sale has prompted much bandying about of figures, though according to experts in county property circles, the figure has been rumoured to be in excess of £20 million.

Dealing with the property for Savills, Crispin Holborow said the owner of Dinmore Manor was “very private”, and would not want any “screaming headlines”.

Mr Dawes’ original investment in the mobile phone business, founded in Manchester in 1995, attracted considerable publicity over the years.

Now believed to be living in Australia with his wife, he sold his business to BT in 1999 for £70 million.

Three years later he received £83 million when Carphone Warehouse agreed to pay for his fixed-line business.

One Herefordshire property expert, Brightwells’ director Michael Rose, responsible for the company’s property valuations, said the estate could fetch one of the highest prices in the county. He pointed out that the speculated figure was not on a par with Herefordshire Council’s £40 million smallholdings’ sale.

Said Mr Rose: “Dinmore Manor is an outstanding property and it has been modernised to a superb standard.”

With spectacular views from its hillside location, the building has an important history with connections to the Knights Templar who founded their 12th century Commandery on this site. In the sale brochure the estate is said to have productive arable land, pasture and woodland, a “magnificent” shoot, a cattle breeding operation specialising in Limousins and a world class equestrian facility. Surrounded by landscaped grounds, the refurbished manor is said to offer “complete privacy and seclusion”.

Said Mr Holborow: “Dinmore is also offered for sale in a condition most property owners can only aspire to.”

In the early 20th century, the manor might well have been the setting for an invention of global importance.

Percy Shaw was acknowledged for designing cats’ eyes, the reflecting lens in the middle of the road, but it was developed by Richard Hollins Murray - who lived at the manor - eight years earlier in 1927. His patent was sold to the US, but never properly recognised in this country.