- Exclusive location in a private estate including a private beach
- Impeccably restored period features
- Over 4,232 sq. ft.
West House forms part of the original mansion at Rousdon and was once part of the original reception area to the main house, including the morning room. The property has been painstakingly restored to its former glory, with exquisite period features including cornicing, high ceilings, large windows, Carton-Pierre ceilings and ornate fireplaces. The front door opens into a spacious entrance hall with an attractive tiled floor, exposed brick walls and a high vaulted ceiling. To the left of the entrance hall is a useful boot room from where the large garage/workshop is accessed. The garage has oak parquet flooring, solid oak doors at its entrance and a high vaulted ceiling. A laundry room completes the ground floor, with a butler sink and WC.
A cast iron Victorian spiral staircase leads down to the lower ground floor, where there is a large wine cellar and snug. This room has been renovated by the current owners from the old cellars, which were not previously in a liveable condition, to create an additional versatile living space.
The large kitchen/dining room is located on the first floor. The stylish kitchen is well-equipped with a central island, granite worktops, Brazilian slate floor, a 4 oven Aga, integrated dishwasher, double Butler sink, American-style fridge freezer and a large pantry. There is a cloakroom/utility room accessed from the kitchen. The striking drawing room is also located on the first floor, with an original oak and teak parquet floor, high ceilings, wood panelling and an ornate Carton Pierre ceiling. A solid marble fireplace with a wood burner provides a focal point within the drawing room, with ornately carved detailing including cherubs and two telemons which support the mantelpiece. The marble used to craft the fireplace was salvaged from a ship which ran aground in 1864; Sir Henry Peek ordered the marble to be salvaged and used for construction within the mansion.
On the second floor is the master bedroom and bedroom two; both well-proportioned and spacious rooms. The master bedroom has a beautifully restored Carton-Pierre detailed ceiling, William Morris wallpaper, a window seat and a westerly outlook to the gardens and courtyard. This room also benefits from an en suite bathroom featuring a stylish freestanding bath, travertine tiling, his-and-hers twin basins and underfloor heating. Bedroom two, across the hallway, also has an en suite shower room with travertine tiling and underfloor heating, as well as an ornate decorative fireplace.
There are two further double bedrooms on the third floor. Bedroom three, a very spacious room, benefits from a triple aspect with views of the courtyard and surrounding gardens, and has ample storage space provided within the eaves. Meanwhile, bedroom four features a remarkable fireplace, specifically mentioned in the listing of the house, with De Morgan decorative tiling. A family bathroom serves the bedrooms located on the third floor and a large attic provides plenty of extra storage space above.
The Rousdon Estate:
The Rousdon Estate dates back to the 1870s when Sir Henry Peek commissioned an eclectic Victorian mansion, which is now Grade II* Listed, 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 Regent's 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.
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.
West House is located in an enviable position on the private Rousdon Estate. The estate is approximately 150 metres above sea level and the parkland provides an array of woodland and countryside walks, bordered by a private beach on the dramatic East Devon Jurassic coastline.
Lyme Regis is just 2 miles away and is a gem of a fishing town with its literary and artistic connections. It has a wide range of shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs. There is fresh seafood available at Mark Hix Oyster and Fishhouse overlooking the beach, which has an excellent reputation. For other well-regarded eateries, the River Cottage HQ is approximately 3 miles away and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Canteen is based in nearby Axminster.
East Devon is renowned for its beauty and ample opportunity for a range of outdoor pursuits. The resort of Sidmouth on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, with its Regency seafront esplanade and interesting variety of shops and cafes, is only 13 miles away. There is ample opportunity for walking in the Blackdown Hills, which are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well the South West Coastal Path, which is England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath and a National Trail. It stretches for 630 miles, running from Minehead in Somerset, along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, to Poole Harbour in Dorset.
As well as the Jurassic Coast, there are sailing opportunities from the Axe Yacht Club, Seaton and Beer Sailing Clubs. For the golfing enthusiast there are courses at Tiverton, Seaton, Lyme Regis, Honiton, Sidmouth and Woodbury. There is racing at Taunton, Wincanton, Exeter and Newton Abbot, and the Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks are also within easy reach.
Intercity high speed trains operate from Axminster and Exeter St David's to London Paddington, the Midlands and the North of England, and via Salisbury to London Waterloo. There are also an increasing number of flights to UK and international destinations from Exeter Airport, including a route to London City Airport, with two flights a day taking less than an hour.
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