A three-year renovation programme has seen Munstead Place transformed into a sublime home, where Lutyens design meets with 21st-century style. Penny Churchill takes a look.
Several years before Lutyens completed Munstead Wood — another notable property for sale in the area — the young architect received an early commission to design nearby Munstead Place in Heath Lane, Busbridge, for wine merchant Charles Heatley and his wife, Constance, on the recommendation of Jekyll.
According to listing details based on Pevsner’s Buildings of England: Surrey (1971), the house, listed Grade II and originally known as Munstead Corner, was built ‘in 1891–92, with hoppers dated 1899 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Gertrude Jekyll’.
The two-storey house is described as being built of ‘coursed and snecked Bargate stone below, half-timbered above with rendered infill, plain tiled roofs and tall brick stacks on left and right…’
Recommended videos for you
In his book, Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Arts and Crafts Houses, Australian architect David Cole highlights the appeal of Lutyens’s distinctive design, which is ‘evident throughout, with fine joinery, well-proportioned fireplaces, leaded casement windows set in oak mullions and transoms, together with the main stair, considered to be “one of Lutyens’s finest, of any period”’.
Although no documents survive to confirm Jekyll’s involvement, Mr Cole suggests that she would almost certainly have been a party to it, ‘given her acquaintance with the Heatleys, the proximity of her home and the distinctive Jekyll hallmarks in the beautifully-structured garden design’.
Now, following an extensive three-year renovation programme diligently executed between 2009 and 2012 by the current owners, the immaculate six-bedroom house, set in 7¾ acres of gardens and grounds that include a tennis court, cricket wicket, croquet court and five-a-side football pitch, with planning consent for a swimming pool and pool house, is for sale through Phillippa Dalby-Welsh of Savills, who quotes a guide price of ‘excess £9m’.
Godalming: What you need to know
Location: About 6 miles south of Guildford and just over 30 miles from central London. Godalming train station is located just 1.5 miles from the property, where it runs a regular service into London Waterloo. The A3 provides great access to the M25, and Heathrow, Gatwick and Farnborough airports are all within easy reach.
Atmosphere: Godalming is a bustling market town with a superb array of amenities with many boutique shops, coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and two supermarkets. Nearby Guildford offers a more extensive range of shops as well as sporting and leisure facilities.
Things to do: There are several sports clubs situated close to the property including The Queen’s Sports Centre at Charterhouse and the West Surrey Golf and Tennis Club in Enton. For walkers, riders and cyclists, the Surrey Hills AONB is essentially on the doorstep.
Schools: Plenty of great options in the area with St Catherine’s in Bramley, the Royal Grammar School, Guildford High School, Charterhouse, Prior’s Field, St Hiliary’s and Godalming Sixth Form College