Read ’em and weep.
London NW3– £7.95 million
Skeel Library, part of the Grade II-listed Hampstead Manor heritage conversion by Mount Anvil, was originally commissioned for the bluestockings of Westfield Women’s College.
Completed in 1904, it’s being reimagined as a four-bedroom residence, with a galleried former reading room with a mezzanine level as the main reception room, and will be ready for occupation next year. Residents of the Hampstead Manor site enjoy a spa complex with a pool, sauna, hammam and gym, as well as manicured gardens, a 24-hour concierge and town-car service.
Hertfordshire – £1.75 million
Agents describe Home House, by award-winning architect Platform 5, as a creation of ‘contemporary rustic outside-inside living’.
In secluded 1½-acre grounds just outside St Albans, the main house is made up of layers, courtyards and walkways, with both indoor and outdoor living spaces, using light to maximum advantage. Including the separate Little House, there are four bedrooms.
Home House is for sale via Strutt & Parker (01727 738298)
Devon – in excess of £7 million
There are 22,000 books in the Great Library at The Chanters House, Ottery St Mary, and it’s not unreasonable to assume that many of them were thumbed through by, and perhaps inspired, Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose family had the house for 200 years.
Grade II-listed, Chanters is considered to be of ‘national historic importance’ and has 10 bedrooms, a Victorian conservatory, ornate wood-panelling, a palm house, kitchen garden and separate lodge and coach house. Extensive lawned gardens, with woodland and parkland, incorporate 21½ acres.
Staffordshire – £5 million
The library at moated Caverswall Castle has an original Wedgwood ceiling, added by the Wedgwood family, who owned the Grade I-listed medieval castle on three separate occasions.
Built of red sandstone, there are 18 bedrooms, an octagonal gatehouse, an orangery and a dungeon. Outside, there are 19th-century pleasure gardens and you can fish for trout in the lakes.
The library at Chanters House was designed for Lord Coleridge’s 18,000 books.
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