York Place in the Lansdown area of Bath is a superb Georgian home with plenty of flair and glorious private gardens.
The instructions were peremptory: the builder of York Place, a Georgian house in Bath’s Richmond Road, was to complete it by 1794 and spend ‘no less than £300’ on the works. Although today’s equivalent (about £48,000) wouldn’t cover a small bungalow, a quick trawl through the National Archives shows that, at the time, it would have paid for about 2,000 days of skilled tradesmen’s work.
The reason for the owner’s lavish disposition, explains Alistair Heather of Savills, is that York Place, now for sale through Savills and Knight Frank at an asking price of £3.95 million, ‘was to be a real signature house’.
It remains so today, thanks not only to its elegant architecture, but also to the extraordinary setting—even the entry for its Grade II listing notes the commanding hilltop position on the city’s northern fringes.
Incidentally, the listing dates the house as early 19th century, a few years after the 1794 deadline, suggesting schedule creep may have been as much an issue in Georgian times as it is today.
For both Mr Heather and Charlie Taylor of Knight Frank, the most striking feature of the 7,309sq ft property is the beautiful garden, which, at about an acre, is a rare find in any urban home and particularly so in Bath.
The interior makes the most of the views, whether from the elegant entrance hall or the first-floor drawing room, which has floor-to ceiling windows. The house also has a sitting room and a formal dining room on the ground floor, featuring fine fireplaces and elegant cornicing, plus a bright kitchen/breakfast room with Aga and a large orangery.
Upstairs, split across two floors, are a television area and six bedrooms. A family could easily live on the ground and first floor, leaving the top one for guests or, as it was originally intended, staff—although perhaps not quite as many as in 1820, when records show that six people attended to a family of four.
Having lived at the property for more than 20 years, the current owners are ready to pass the baton to a new generation.
With Bath in high demand ever since the remote-working boom added an extra draw to the city’s allure, interest in York Place has been predictably high.
Much of it comes from young families, who prize the house’s sense of space and sizeable plot, but also the home office above the garage and the proximity to good schools such as St Stephen’s, Royal High and Kingswood.
And if any prospective buyer is a keen tennis player, so much the better—York Place is on the doorstep of the Lansdown Tennis Club. ‘It’s the house you dream of selling as an estate agent,’ says Mr Heather, before adding (with a touch of wistfulness): ‘I love it.’
Bath: What you need to know
Location: The city lies in a valley near the River Avon, 11 miles from Bristol and approximately 97 miles from London. The nearest train station is Bath Spa, which offers links to London and the north and the town is close to a junction off the M4.
Atmosphere: Bath is the largest city in Somerset, named after the Roman-built baths and is the only city in the UK designated as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Things to do: Bath is a wonderfully diverse, cosmopolitan city that caters to everyone. It seems rather obvious, but visit the city’s Roman baths (which date back to AD43) at the many designated spas and hotels. The cafe culture is unbeatable — and the city is home to a large number of fantastic dining options, from cute and quirky to Michelin-starred fine dining. The shopping is also wonderful — as are the lively bars and nightlife.
Schools: St Stephen Church school, St Andrew’s Church School, Royal High School GDST, King Edward’s School, and Royal High School Bath are all good options.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.