This is your chance to own a piece of gardening and architectural history.
‘I was always strong and active in my limbs,’ wrote Gertrude Jekyll of her childhood in the village of Bramley, near Guildford, where the family moved in 1848 and where she and her sister were each given their own gardens to tend.
‘I had no girl companions… It was therefore natural that I should be more of a boy than a girl in my ideas and activities, delighting to go up trees, and to play cricket, and take wasps’ nests after dark, and do dreadful things with gunpowder.’
In 1904, her lifelong love of Nature inspired her to commission Sir Edwin Lutyens to build Millmead House, in the same village, with a view to developing the gardens herself. This five-bedroom house, with a hint of early Georgian in its style, has been enjoyed by the current owners for the past 50 years.
The gardens are ‘sensationally laid out,’ say agents, and, covering just over an acre, they include a summerhouse and two pavilions also designed by Lutyens.
Millmead was first featured in Country Life in 1907 — and its timeless elegance once again graces our pages, 115 years later, as it finds itself on the market via Knight Frank with a guide price of £2.25 million.
Designed by the heavyweights of the architecture and gardening world, Millmead naturally packs a (subtle) punch. Formed of snecked Bargate sandstone with red brick quoins under a tiled roof, the house offers ‘the most incredible bones and architectural features in which to create a perfect family home,’ say the agents.
Bramley: What you need to know
Location: About 3 miles south of Guildford, in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are trains from Guildford to London, as well as great access onto the A3. Gatwick and Heathrow airports are also both less than an hour’s drive away.
Atmosphere: The village of Bramley offers everything you need for day-to-day living with a good range of shops, a pub and two churches. Further amenities are available in Guildford, which not only offers plenty of restaurants and shopping options, but a theatre and leisure centre, too.
Things to do: Golf is available at Bramley Golf Club and nearby Guildford offers plenty to do, from visiting the Medieval Castle, art galleries and shopping along its cobbled streets. The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is pretty much on the doorstep — visit Box Hill, Leith Hill, The Devil’s Punch Bowl and Newlands Corner, just to name a few.
Schools: Plenty of excellent choices in the area with St. Catherine’s in Bramley, Charterhouse, Priorsfield and Cranleigh School.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.