This mansion is one of Edwin Lutyens’ most renowned private homes.
Years before turning his attention to war memorials, Edwin Lutyens built an Elizabethan manor house in Thakeham, a village in West Sussex. It is regarded as one of the most architecturally important in the county.
On sale through Strutt & Parker for £6 million, the grade I listed manor house, built in vernacular style, extends to 12,480 sq ft, includes nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms, and comes with 15 acres of land. The six reception rooms have fireplaces, original wood flooring and stone mullioned windows, plus a Juliet balcony and oriel window in the double-height drawing room. In the western end of the house a kitchen and a utility room are located beside a sitting room, forming a neat family wing.
The owners, Nick and Ashleigh Wigley, bought the house in 2000 and raised two children there, but they are looking to downsize. Interest in the property has been wide-ranging, but one factor unites prospective buyers: an awareness of its illustrious status, says Nicola Craddock, of Strutt & Parker.
Its structural beauty was in fact the result of a blazing row. In 1901 Ernest Blackburn, a prep-school headmaster, commissioned J Hatchard Smith, a London architect, to build his dream country home — a picturesque place where he could cultivate his love of gardening. He loathed the banal brick house he saw evolving, so he turned to Lutyens, who advised that the house should be demolished and rebuilt.
A furious Hatchard Smith accused Lutyens of poaching his client; the dispute was made public in the pages of Building News.
Little Thakeham’s landscaped gardens include a grade II listed garden house also designed by Lutyens. Modern additions include a heated swimming pool and a pool house. There are views across the South Downs.