Rod Stewart sells his 'forever home'

Wants to be nearer childrens' school

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Aerial view of the Wood House
Recently-knighted Sir Rod Stewart is selling his home of 30 years - the house that he once said he'd live in for the rest of his life.

Set at the end of a long, tree-lined drive, the Wood House, near Epping, sits in 25 acres, including tennis courts, a swimming pool, a boating lake, stables and a separate two-bedroom cottage.

There's even a full-size football pitch on which Newcastle, Liverpool and Celtic have all trained.

The six-bedroom, four-reception home is Grade II listed and is up for sale with Savills for £7.5 million.

Sir Rod is said to have paid £1.2 million for the Wood House in 1986, and commissioned decorator Nicky Haslam to do it out in flamboyant style, with friezes, oak panelling and elaborate plaster ceilings, as well as plenty of gold leaf.

He's also filled it with art - particularly from the pre-Raphaelite school - although this certainly isn't included in the sale.

It features dramatic stained glass windows and intricate pargeting, or plasterwork, on the facade; Winston Churchill is believed to have stayed here during the Blitz.

The main reason for the sale is believed to be that the singer, 71, and his 45-year-old wife Penny Lancaster, want to cut down the school run for their sons Alastair, 10, and Aiden, four. They are currently renovating ten-bedroom Durrington House in Essex, which they bought in 2013 for £4.65 million.

The 18th-century mansion has a swimming pool, five bathrooms and four Grade II-listed cottages in the grounds - but, says Sir Rod, will still be cheaper to run than the Wood House.

Plans include a football pitch here, too, along with a 20-space car park - indeed, he even wanted to install floodlights for evening matches, until the council refused permission. Other improvements include new entrance gates, doors and windows, and a new breakfast wing.

He also owns a 28,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills, which has a mirrored bar, a home cinema and a room devoted to model trains. And as if that weren't enough, he has another house in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as a London flat and a villa in Cannes.

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