Chance of a life­time

Live as if to the manor born with these three sump­tu­ous prop­er­ties

Country Life Every Week - - Property Market -

THE launch onto the mar­ket through Strutt & Parker (020– 7629 7282) of the de­light­ful, late-tu­dor Legh Manor at Cuck­field, near Hay­wards Heath, West Sus­sex —at a guide price of £3.7 mil­lion for the whole or in two lots—high­lights the en­dur­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ar­chi­tect Sir Ed­win Lu­tyens, the gar­den de­signer Gertrude Jekyll and their clients, the bar­ris­ter and phi­lan­thropist Sir Wil­liam Chance and his wife, Ju­lia, a tal­ented amateur sculp­tor and a staunch sup­porter of the Arts-and-crafts move­ment.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion be­gan in the late 1890s, when Sir Wil­liam and Lady Chance were look­ing to build a new coun­try house at Bram­ley, near Go­dalm­ing, Sur­rey, and hap­pened to walk past Mun­stead Wood, which Lu­tyens was build­ing for Jekyll, his in­flu­en­tial pa­tron. Im­pressed by what they saw, they com­mis­sioned the young ar­chi­tect to de­sign Or­chards, later listed Grade I and de­scribed by English Her­itage as the first ma­jor work of his ca­reer.

The gar­dens at Or­chards, planted by Jekyll, in­cluded a sculp­ture by Lady Chance, who went on to cre­ate sculp­tures for other Lu­tyens-jekyll gar­dens, in­clud­ing Marsh­court at Stock­bridge, Hamp­shire.

Twenty years later, it was only nat­u­ral that the Chances should call on their favourite ar­chi­tect to ‘re­con­di­tion’ the rel­a­tively mod­est, 16th-cen­tury manor, built, ac­cord­ing to COUN­TRY LIFE (De­cem­ber 12, 1931), ‘by skil­ful hands of un­ex­cep­tion­able ma­te­ri­als’

for the Hussey fam­ily in the mid 1500s. Orig­i­nally in­tended as the dower house to the main manor, which no longer ex­ists, Legh was later used as a farm­house by the Husseys be­fore be­ing re­stored as a gen­tle­man’s res­i­dence by their suc­ces­sors, the Ser­gi­son fam­ily, who sold it to the Chances in 1917.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, the house had been well cared for by its var­i­ous oc­cu­pants for more than three cen­turies and Lu­tyens was the first to ap­pre­ci­ate the stan­dard of crafts­man­ship ev­i­dent through­out the build­ing.

Coun­try Life ap­plauded his de­ci­sion to ‘leave all ex­ist­ing work in­tact, in­stead adding to the ex­te­rior of the build­ing and on its more hid­den sides as in­con­spic­u­ously as pos­si­ble such mod­ern ad­juncts as were re­quired for bath­rooms, kitchen ser­vice and heat­ing plant’.

Orig­i­nally built on a tra­di­tional H-plan of a cen­tral hall with wings, the main struc­ture has re­mained largely unal­tered apart from the early ad­di­tion of a south porch and the in­fill­ing of the space be­tween the east­ern sides of the H to cre­ate a spa­cious new cham­ber on each floor, with a bed­room above.

A few im­por­tant changes also took place in­ter­nally, prob­a­bly not long af­ter the house was built. These in­cluded the divi­sion of the up­per floor, orig­i­nally laid out as a sin­gle long gallery or so­lar, into two cham­bers and a cen­tral vestibule. Oth­er­wise, the inte- rior has changed lit­tle, although Lu­tyens had the level of the light and airy en­trance hall low­ered to pro­vide more head­room, to dra­matic ef­fect.

Wish­ing to en­sure the per­ma­nent pro­tec­tion of the prop­erty, Lady Chance passed the manor, with its trade­mark Jekyll gar­dens and a use­ful acreage of farm­land, to the Sus­sex Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety fol­low­ing her hus­band’s death in 1935. The house and grounds were opened to the pub­lic in 1936, but were sold off by the so­ci­ety in the 1980s. Since then, Legh Manor, listed Grade II, has had two fur­ther care­ful own­ers, each of whom has im­proved the prop­erty in sub­tle but sig­nif­i­cant ways. In its present in­car­na­tion, the time­less Sus­sex manor house, set in 27 acres of gar­dens, grounds, wood­land and pad­docks, of­fers a re­cep­tion hall, three main re­cep­tion rooms, a kitchen­break­fast room open­ing onto a large wrap­around con­ser­va­tory, six bed­rooms, three fam­ily bath­rooms and sev­eral sec­ond­floor rooms suit­able for con­ver­sion.

Out­build­ings in­clude a gym, a work­shop and a three/four-bed­room con­verted barn with an in­te­gral garage and a games room.

Across the West Sus­sex county bor­der into Hamp­shire, pretty vil­lages within easy reach of Winch­ester are com­ing back into

their own, says Ge­orge Claren­don of Knight Frank (01962 850333), who’s han­dling the sale, at a guide price of £3.95m, of the clas­si­cally pro­por­tioned, Grade Ii*-listed Dymoke House at Eas­ton in the Itchen Val­ley, 3.7 miles from the heart of the cathe­dral city.

Set in two acres of gor­geous gar­dens over­look­ing the church in the cen­tre of the vil­lage, the house takes its name from Henry Dy­mocke, a gen­tle­man farmer who bought the orig­i­nal small tim­ber-framed house in 1662 and whose fam­ily lived there for al­most 100 years. Built in about 1650, it was en­larged be­tween 1784 and 1792 by yeo­man farmer David Harfield, who added an ex­ten­sion in­cor­po­rat­ing two pan­elled rooms and clad the orig­i­nal front and side walls with fac­ing stones from the for­mer rec­tory, de­mol­ished in the 1780s.

In 1819, army sur­geon John Pre­ston bought the house, changed the front to the north side and added the porch and base­ment kitchen. Har­riet Emma Dav­i­son and her fam­ily owned it from 1875 un­til 1927, af­ter which it passed to tea-planter Bache Thorn­hill Heath­cote, who built the ex­ten­sion on the east side. In 1954, Com­man­der Ed­ward Dou­glas Symes RN bought the prop­erty and ex­ten­sively ren­o­vated the house, cot­tages and other build­ings.

Im­pec­ca­bly re­fur­bished by the present own­ers, who have lived there for some 30 years, Dymoke House of­fers 5,425sq ft of liv­ing space on three floors, in­clud­ing three main re­cep­tion rooms, a vast kitchen/ break­fast room, five/six bed­rooms and four bath­rooms. The con­verted Dymoke Barn pro­vides a fur­ther two bed­rooms, a sit­ting room and a kitchen/diner.

Dur­ing their ten­ure, the nat­u­ral am­phithe­atre of the gar­dens has been the venue for the bi­en­nial Glynde Eas­ton opera con­cert in aid of Itchen Val­ley Churches.

Still in the Itchen Val­ley, Grade Ii-listed Mar­tyr Wor­thy Manor stands in 36 acres of lovely pri­vate gar­dens, pas­ture and wood­land, on ris­ing ground to the north of the 12th-cen­tury par­ish church and, over­look­ing the river, four miles from Winch­ester.

Fresh to the mar­ket through Sav­ills (01962 840081) at a guide price of £6.25m, the clas­sic, 7,637sq ft, late-18th-cen­tury house was built in 1790, when it was the com­bined rec­tory and manor house. Two wings were added in the 19th cen­tury, when Sir Henry Rivers was rec­tor, although the ex­ten­sive gar­dens date mainly from the 20th cen­tury and in­clude herba­ceous borders, grass ar­eas un­der-sown with spring bulbs, yew hedges, a swim­ming pool and a ten­nis court.

The manor comes with a well-screened court­yard of tra­di­tional out­build­ings, in­clud­ing a one-bed­room cot­tage and its ad­join­ing two-bed­room coach house.

Re­mod­elled a num­ber of times, the manor has been the sub­ject of com­pre­hen­sive ren­o­va­tion and im­prove­ment by its cur­rent own­ers, who have added a sub­stan­tial Ge­or­gian wing that sits per­fectly with the orig­i­nal house. It now of­fers su­perb fam­ily ac­com­mo­da­tion on three floors, in­clud­ing three/four re­cep­tion rooms, a sun room, a large kitchen/din­ing/fam­ily room, a splen­did mas­ter suite, seven fur­ther bed­rooms and five bath/shower rooms.

Sir Ed­win Lu­tyens was brought in to ‘re­con­di­tion’ the charm­ing late-tu­dor Legh Manor, at Cuck­field in West Sus­sex. £3.7m

In the heart of the vil­lage of Eas­ton in Hamp­shire’s Itchen Val­ley, Dymoke House plays host to its own char­ity opera fes­ti­val. £3.95m

Hand­some Mar­tyr Wor­thy Manor, at Mar­tyr Wor­thy in Hamp­shire, stands in 36 acres of gar­dens, pas­ture and wood­land. £6.25m

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