Anyone looking for a very large country house?

Blaisdon Hall (Image from The Times)Blaisdon Hall (Image from The Times)

An example of just how cyclical the housing market – particularly for country houses – a house which 60 years ago might have been at risk of demolition is now a trophy purchase.

Blaisdon House, in Gloucestershire, was built in the 1870s for Edwin Crawshay, a local ironmaster, by a Gloucester architect, F.S. Waller.  Currently for sale, it includes a convenient 85-acres, sauna and gardens. The house was rescued from the threat of the 1950s when it was converted into a school but has now been skilfully converted back to family home with no trace of it’s former institutional use.  One can only hope that more of these houses are rescued.

Full story: ‘The grandiose Victorian country house is back in vogue‘ [The Times]

So if I won the lottery…Dowdeswell Court

Dowdeswell Court (Image from Savills)
Dowdeswell Court (Image from Savills)

Although many of the stories in this blog are about houses at risk, it should also be noted that, should funds permit, many a fine country house comes up for sale every week via the big agencies such as Knight Frank, Savills, Chestertons etc.  Whilst for most the dream of the large country house is out of reach, the sumptuous photos allow us a brief glimpse of these beautiful buildings. So, watch out for postings of the best of the country houses which have been advertised.

Dowdeswell Court, situated just outside Cheltenham, is an elegant essay in ne0-Classical style.  The estate had been in the Rogers family since 1582 but by the early 1800s the house was so dilapidated that it could only be replaced.  The new house was built in 1833-7, and was designed by a well-respected architect, Charles Paul of Cheltenham, who incorporated the distinctive Corinthian orders and cornicing.  Interestingly though, the final design owes much to the master mason, Thomas Denley, who altered the plans.  The interiors are to the 1830s but have been sympathetically restored.  The house was then sold the now Coxwell-Rodgers family in the 1900s and it then went through a succession of owners and uses including as a school and residential home.  It was from this latter fate that the house was rescued in 2005 and has since been carefully restored.  This truly is a stunning house – a great example of it’s type and conveniently sized and located.

So if you have the requisite £7.9m please do contact Savills and ask for a viewing.  And if you would like someone to carry your bag or something while you do so, please just let me know.

Full details: Dowdeswell Court [Savills]

Lost Country House Reborn

Proposes new house
Proposed new house

The site of a country house demolished in the 1930’s has been proposed as the location for a new country house designed to be “the closest thing to an original stately home that it’s possible to build”.

The design of The Ridge in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire is inspired by the original 19th-century house, built in the 1820s, which was demolished in 1936 after a decline which saw the house ending it’s days a nursing home.

The creation of a new house on this scale is certainly to be welcomed – especially in any location where the essential components of the lost house still remain.  However, it’s important that the new house is not simply a modern patische of the original.  This clever approach, by Yiangou, a Gloucestershire-based architectural practice, not only follows the long tradition of re-building country houses but also makes it more likely to get through the modern planning process.

Full story: ‘Brand new ‘stately home’ planned for the Cotswolds‘ [The Telegraph]

Spectacular new £10m mansion in the Cotswolds‘ [Country Life]