At nearly 5,000 sq ft, West House is constructed of flintstone with freestone dressings and forms part of the middle section of the original Victorian mansion house, with the accommodation arranged over five floors, presented in excellent decorative order and the finely proportioned rooms and high ceilings resulting in a most elegant house yet with a surprisingly cosy feel.
The Rousdon Estate is situated on the East Devon coastline about 2 ½ miles from the Dorset border at Lyme Regis. It is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt areas on the south coast designated as Englands first World Heritage Site, the Jurassic coast, as well as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Estate extends to approximately 350 acres, some 500 feet above sea level, and comprises farmland, parkland and extensive woodland, including The Undercliff which was formed by a landslip in early Victorian times and is now a SSSI Nature Reserve managed by Natural England. Each property on the Estate has the benefits of walks within the estate, including access to the private beach, Charton Beach, and access to the coastal footpath between Lyme Regis and the Axe Estuary at Axmouth.
One of Englands top state schools, Colyton Grammar School, is located in the town of Colyton, just west of Rousdon, whilst the state school of Woodruff is located in Lyme Regis. The University and Cathedral City of Exeter is further towards the west along the A3052 and has an excellent range of shopping facilities within the new Princesshay Development and High Street.
The A35 is less than 5 miles to the North providing convenient access to the towns of Axminster and Dorchester. The A303 is within half an hours drive offering connections to the M5 and a direct route to London. There are main line rail links to London, Waterloo from Axminster or to London, Paddington from Taunton. Exeter Airport has expanding regional and European services and flights to London City.
West House forms a significant part of an imposing mid-Victorian Grade II* Listed mansion built for Sir Henry W Peek, (1st Baronet and Member of Parliament for Wimbledon) in 16th century Franco- Flemish style. Having acquired the Rousdon Estate in 1868, which consisted of the entire parish of Combpyne, Sir Henry rebuilt the Church and provided a school before subsequently commissioning Sir Ernest George, architect, to design a mansion house and array of accompanying domestic buildings to take full advantage of the elevated site. Being some distance from the town, the estate was required to be self-sufficient and by the end of the 19th Century, its population had grown to approaching 600. Notably Sir Ernest George is also credited with the design of Southwark Bridge in London with the esteemed Sir Edwin Lutyens being one of his pupils.
In the 1930s the house and Estate was bought by Allhallows School with the mansion and various buildings being converted and a number of new 20th century additions. With a declining number of pupils, the school was closed in 1999 and the site sold. Bringing a new life and purpose to this historical manorial development, the existing buildings have subsequently been reverted to their original residential status providing unique homes of considerable heritage. At the same time, new properties, closely following the architectural influences of the original Victorian design, were built within the grounds to create a varied yet harmonious residential estate.
West House forms part of the middle section of the original Victorian mansion house and as its name implies, is west facing. The accommodation is arranged over five floors, presented in excellent decorative order with finely proportioned rooms and high ceilings resulting in a most elegant house yet with a surprisingly cosy feel. The property is constructed of flintstone with freestone dressings, a refurbished red tiled roof and handsome rebuilt brick chimney stacks.
Approaching 5000 sq ft, West House has undergone a comprehensive and sympathetic restoration by the current owners with no compromise on quality. This is highlighted throughout the house, from the cellar to the charming third floor bedroom with its delightful leaded light windows and views over the courtyard to the parkland beyond.
It is interesting to note the use of structural steel in the property, popularised by Victorian engineers, particularly evident within the basement and lower ground floor as riveted beams, spiral staircase and a restored steel belt drive.
A satisfyingly solid timber door is a fitting start to this impressive dwelling. Entering into the lower ground floor this practical area of the property has a tiled floor, part ceiling arches, boot room, utility, garage and access down the spiral staircase to the basement.
The principal living rooms are situated on the ground floor;
The drawing room is a magnificent room and a centre piece of the house. Formerly the billiard room of the original mansion, a decorative oak and teak parquet floor with ornate painted plaster ceiling and paneled bay window provides a suitably elegant backdrop to a breakfront marble Greco Roman detailed fireplace housing a Clearview wood burning stove and lanked by twin statues of the Greek God Triton.
The kitchen is fitted with bespoke painted units incorporating mahogany detailing, set on a Brazilian slate floor with granite work tops to a large island unit and to the sides of a double French farmhouse style sink. There is a cream four oven Aga for cooking, a built in larder, space for dining and a cushioned window seat for comfort.
On the first floor, the master bedroom resonates with the same reverence as the sitting room, with a half-barrelled ceiling, painted detail, oak panelling, a large window seat set within the bay window and William Morris pattern wallpaper. The en suite is contemporary in style with travertine tiling, double sink, bath, separate WC & bidet. The guest bedroom features an elaborate carton pierre ceiling and carved timber mantel piece. The en suite is a tastefully fitted shower room with large shower and window seat.
On the second floor are a third bedroom with decorative fireplace, storage cupboards, a family bathroom and a fourth bedroom / studio with a bay window overlooking the courtyard and estate beyond, as well as access to the eaves.
Accessed via the spiral staircase from the lower ground floor, the basement has been tanked to prevent damp and is a good blank space for a range of uses, such as a gym, off this is the boiler room.
The garage is located on the lower ground floor and is understood to have originally formed part of a Victorian bowling alley. There are large double oak, arched doors, stone arches and a parquet floor. On this level is an open arch under the house with space for further parking.
The property itself doesnt have the responsibility of any outside space with a right of way across the paved courtyard to the front of the house, archway parking, garage and front door.
The purchasers will have access to the surrounding estate which covers an area of 350 acres owned by several of the 102 freehold properties, including the private Charton Beach and many wonderful walks. There is a large communal parking area close to the property for guests.
The estate charges are currently £300 pa for sewage and drainage with environmentally sound filtration & reed beds, and £350 pa for the maintenance of the driveway and general estate. Charges correct as at printing.
The property is beautifully fitted and furnished with some of the contents being available to purchase. Further information from the agents.
Strictly by appointment only
Take the A3052 from Lyme Regis or Seaton direction until reaching the village of Rousdon. The entrance to the Rousdon Estate is marked by a gatehouse and stone pillars. Follow the drive with the Mansion House directly ahead, turning right and immediately left down the slope into the courtyard.