The house built for the Liberty family of Regent Street department store fame is for sale with a £4.95m guide price.

Pipers at The Lee, the village three miles from Great Missenden, is a local landmark. 

The figurehead of Admiral Lord Howe attracts admirers from all over the world. It came from the prow of the last wooden warship built for the Royal Navy in 1860.

For the past 64 years it has stood at the end of the drive of the house built in 1913 by the founder of the Regent Street store Arthur Liberty for his nephew and eventual heir Ivor Stewart-Liberty. 

The figurehead was acquired by the Liberty family nine years after Arthur’s death when they bought the remains of the warship after it had been scrapped by the navy.

The timbers were used to add extra quality to the frontage and interior of the world renowned London store. 

The admiral, who once held pride of place 14ft high on the prow of a ship named HMS Impregnable before it ended its days in the scrap yard, was placed on a plinth in the grounds of the manor house at The Lee where Arthur had lived for 27 years until his death in 1917. 

During his years as lord of the manor he built up his country estate until it covered more than 3,000 acres stretching well beyond the parish boundaries.  

The figurehead remained at the Manor House until 1953 when it was moved to Pipers where it has been ever since and where it will continue to shiver the timbers of passers-by new to the area when they encounter it on a dark night.  

Since 1983 the admiral has been Grade II listed to ensure his survival.

In 1975 the family hoped to move the  treasure they jokingly referred to as “the garden gnome” to London to mark the Regent Street store’s 100th anniversary but experts said it was too frail to make the journey.

Since then the admiral has been restored to full health. The gunk that had built up in his innuds was excavated and replaced with a recommended filler to keep the old boy in good shape. 

Following the sale of Pipers by the Stewart-Libertys in 1998, the current owners have continued to look after him as befits his status.

The pitched roof of the purpose-built structure where he stands sentry has been renewed to keep out the worst of the weather. All his needs have been amply catered for.

The property stands in six acres. The house  has seven bedrooms, four bath/shower rooms and six reception rooms, many of which flow one into the other. 

The two principal bedrooms are in the wings of the house with windows which overlook the 32ft vaulted drawing room. 

Leading off the drawing room is the dining room with a door through to the butlers’ pantry; there’s also the sitting room which is open plan with a study.  

Other than that there’s the TV room and a second study plus the 41ft breakfast/family room/kitchen with Aga, walk-in larder and an impressive range of bespoke granite-topped units at the  food preparation end.  

Play hide’n’seek at Christmas here and you could still be hunting for thin ones when it’s time to welcome the new year.

The grounds include a heated swimming pool, hard tennis court, stable block, barns, paddocks, oak framed triple bay garage block and a heavenly garden complete with Victorian style conservatory.

Pipers is one of the most admired country houses in the area and not just because of the top brass naval gentleman at the end of the drive.

The agents at Savills in Amersham can tell you more.