Country houses for sale

A country house with dour façade which hides some of the most amazing Jacobean interiors you’ll ever see

Reject modernity and embrace tradition on Melbourn Street in Royston.

To Royston, then, where one of the town’s most recognisable homes has hit the market, and what a doozy it is. For sale for the first time in 40 years, this Grade I-listed house has interiors that I am sure a proper architectural historian could describe with intimate accuracy and enthusiasm. I am not a proper architectural historian, so I will instead describe them as ‘extremely cool’.

Step this way, weary traveller…

For sale with Savills for a guide price of £1.85 million, this property was originally conceived in the 1600s as a Jacobean merchant’s home. Set over four floors, the property boasts nine bedrooms, four reception rooms, three bathrooms and some 6,200sq ft of space all on a plot of just over 0.6 acres.

The rear of the house viewed from the garden (0.6 acres).

That is all very interesting, but not as interesting as the interiors. The house itself, from the outside, is typically Georgian in its grandeur. Seven bays wide, two chimneys, and an extremely pleasant portico on the entrance.

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Oh boy.

But stepping through is where the magic happens. Often I like to waffle on about interiors, be they kitchens, bedrooms and so on. I think in this instance, it is better to let the pictures do the talking.

There is wood.

There is marble.

There are exposed beams, no doubt from the original 1600s building.

There is whatever is happening in this bathroom.

There are the Grade I-listed ceiling murals

How about that for a mantelpiece.

And the Grade I-listed mantelpieces, completed in 1635.

Properties such as this one do not survive by accident, and respect and gratitude must go to Emad Borno who spent so much time repairing and restoring the property when he bought it in 1985. He did such a fine job, that English Heritage wanted to take on the house, but were prevented due to a lack of funds.

Outbuildings to the rear of the garden could be converted to ancillary accommodation with the correct consents.

‘Of course, as a family we were horrified when Dad bought the house as it needed so much work doing to it,’ says Borno’s daughter Zahra Akkerhuys. ‘We ended up living on a building site for a couple of years with no heating or hot water which was dreadful at the time, though of course now, with hindsight, I can see Dad’s ambition, vision and appetite for a challenge were quite remarkable.’

One more beautiful room then, as a treat.

‘We are desperately sad to see the house go but it’s time for another family to enjoy it, play hide and seek and run around the garden. The house needs another responsible owner who will care for it and love it as my father did, preserving its unique character.’

This property on Melbourn St is for sale with Savills for £1.85 million. For more information and pictures, click here