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Two $12M English Mansions Duke it Out in the Deathcage

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Imagine you have about $12M to spend on a home and you've narrowed it down to two English vacation mansions, one with glorious seaside access just right for boating and a swim, the other a true English country home—one just perfect for all of your ponies. So how do you choose? The answer is simple: you shove them into a metaphorical cage and let them battle it out until one emerges victorious. Yep, that's right: it's time for a Real Estate Deathmatch.

Left: The Tides; right: Graffham Court

Here are two proper English mansions, one in the seaside town of Poole, the other in the sweeping countrysides of Cobham. Both spreads offer stately amenities and lots of potential for a warm, fuzzy family memories. The Victorian/New England-style beach house has doorstep shore access, but Graffham Court offers "delightful grounds" with a barn and tons of gardens—not to mention the fact that it actually has a oh-so-British estate name. There's much to consider, but before yet another pair of homes gets thrown into the cage, here's a side-by-side stat comparison:

Title: The Tides Graffham Court
Price: $11.64M $12.66M
Size: 6 bedrooms 12 bedrooms
Outdoor Bonus: Private jetty with boat shed Polo grounds and stables

? The Tides, in Poole, sits on the Sandbanks Peninsula, right on the English Channel. Per the brokerbabble, the home not only boasts "some of the best sailing and coastline right on your doorstep," but also a huge outdoor deck, heated pool, five reception rooms, and a boathouse with power. It totals to about 7,000 square feet of living space, all for about a million less than its competitor.

? In the other corner of the ring is Graffham Court, a country estate with a main house plus two additional cottages, a pool and poolhouse, stables, polo grounds, and extensive woodland, coming in at about 132 total acres. The main house includes seven bedrooms, as well as wine storage and a drawing room. Oaklands cottage has three bedrooms plus a potting shed and garden, while the Chercot cottage has two bedrooms. Outside: a workshop, a well, a modern barn, and lots of open space—both woods and lawn. But, let's get real, the true bonus: getting to pretend you are Mr./Mrs. Darcy living at Pemberley—yes, this house is probably not nearly as lavish as his, but whatever, it's called imagination.

Poll results

· 6 Bedroom Detached House, Panorama Road, Poole [Sotheby's International Realty]
· 8 Bedroom Detached House, Graffham, Petworth [Sotheby's International Realty]
· All Real Estate Deathmatches [Curbed National]