A magnificent and substantial portion of an elaborate Victorian Mansion
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A magnificent and substantial portion of an elaborate Victorian Mansion with exquisite rooms of elegant proportions, situated on an exclusive 350 acre private estate with its own beach.
West House is situated on the Rousdon Estate, a private 350 acre coastal estate situated in Lyme Bay on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Rousdon Estate dates from the 1870s and belonged to Sir Henry Peek, first baron, and was designed by architect Sir Ernest George who constructed an impressive Tudor style mansion and a fine array of estate cottages and houses. It stands within a
beautiful parkland landscape which includes direct access to the private beach at Charton Bay and the South West Peninsular Coastal Path.Rousdon itself offers several amenities including a popular bakery/café.
A comprehensive range of facilities can be found nearby in the popular coastal town of Lyme Regis approximately 3 miles to the east, or in Seaton which is approximately 5 miles to the west. These include a range of independent shops and boutiques, cafes, restaurants, theatre etc. There are also numerous sporting opportunities including sailing and bowling clubs, golf courses, fossil hunting on the famous Jurassic Coast and walks along the cliffs or the historical Cobb harbour.
West House is within easy reach of both Woodroffe School and the renowned Colyton Grammar School which is regarded as one of the top coeducational schools in England. The market town of Axminster is about 6 miles to the North with a main line rail service to London Waterloo. The Cathedral City of Exeter is approximately 27 miles to the West and provides a main line express rail link to London Paddington and international airport.
West House is an imposing residence forming a substantial wing of this magnificent mid-Victorian Mansion, which is listed as Grade II* due to its historical and architectural significance. The property includes several high status rooms and has an air of the true English Country Manor, exuding opulence in every detail and with many fine, elaborate features. The accommodation is of elegant proportions, being arranged over four floors, and has been meticulously restored in more recent years to an
exceptionally high standard.
On entering the house you are met with a spacious hall with vaulted ceiling and this leads to a boot room and the garage/workshop which has a parquet floor, laundry room and cloakroom. Interestingly this area, which originally ran the entire length of the mansion, was used as a skittle alley by the workers, before becoming the schools Chapel. A cast iron spiral staircase leads down to the lower-ground floor which has been transformed into a snug and wine cellar, known by the current owners as the club. This used to be an engine room to pump water throughout the house and there are still remnants of some of the workings and gearing in places.
From the hallway, an impressive staircase rises through three floors. On the first-floor is a superb kitchen/breakfast room, with its large central island, 4-oven Aga, pantry and granite worktops. Leading from the kitchen is a utility area and cloakroom. Also on the floor is the incredible drawing room which is of excessive proportions and used to be the grand morning room and the first room guests were shown into from their carriages. This is an outstanding room with Carton-pierre ceiling, Versailles parquet floor, timber panelling and ornate marble fireplace with two handsome telamons supporting the over mantle.
On the second floor lies the exquisite principal bedroom which has another glorious part-barrelled ceiling, window seat and William Morris wallpaper. There is also a stunning guest bedroom and both rooms have luxury en-suites with travertine tiles and underfloor heating.
On the third-floor are two further bedrooms. Bedroom three is a fabulous triple aspect room and bedroom four features a charming fireplace with De Morgan decorative tiling. These two bedrooms are serviced by a recently fitted wet room.
THE ROUSDON ESTATE
The Rousdon Estate dates back to the 1870s when Sir Henry Peek commissioned an eclectic Victorian mansion to be built on the land. Sir Henry was an importer of spices, tea and other groceries, as well as a philanthropist, Conservative MP and a Baronet. Sir Henry commissioned the most impressive engineers of the era to design the Rousdon mansion. Its architect was Sir Ernest George, who was responsible for many iconic buildings and structures including the Royal Academy of Music, Southwark Bridge, and Eynsham Hall amongst others. Amongst the students of Sir Ernest was the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, whose work includes Castle Drogo, the Cenotaph in Whitehall and the refurbishment of Lindisfarne Castle. The grounds of the Estate were laid out by Robert Marnock, one of the outstanding English horticulturists and garden designers of the 19th century, who is best known for the gardens of the Royal Botanic Society of London in Regents Park.
In 1937 the estate was sold to Allhallows School, which was founded in Honiton in 1515. In 1970, the public school was one of the first in the country to admit girls and it prospered into the 1980s. However, in the 1990s it went into decline and the school closed in 1998, when it was purchased by a consortium who had a plan to turn the estate into a village of around 100 dwellings. The main mansion was divided into five and sold off in shell form. Other estate buildings were sympathetically converted into residences. West House forms part of the original mansion and includes several showcase rooms.
Today, the estate grounds resemble their original splendour, thanks mostly to a group of resident volunteers who have carefully restored and tended to the trees, borders, pastures and paths. Parts of the estate land are currently let out to a farmer who grazes sheep and cattle, grows some cereal crops and also helps with maintenance around the grounds. There is an active and social community with summer barbeques and Christmas carol singing on the estate.
The estate is managed by Allhallows Ltd which is made up of participating estate property owners. There is an annual maintenance charge of about £1000 and this includes the annual waste water/drainage charge for the communal reed bed system.