The Ruckmans Estate, Okewood Hill, Dorking, Surrey
In 1894, Lutyens, aged 25, was commissioned by the Lyell family to extend and remodel an existing 17th-century farmhouse. This resulted in one of the first houses to show the distinctive Lutyens style, his grasp of form and Surrey building traditions. The original building, with its Horsham stone roof, was retained but extended by the same size again to the southwest, together with a new kitchen wing to the northwest with tiled roofs and tile hanging and massive chimney stacks. Of particular note are the strongly horizontal windows on the southwest elevation, which run along the three gables oversailing a ground-floor verandah.
Lutyens returned in 1902 to add a music room which, as described by architect Roderick Gradidge, “stands proudly from the main house and is in a different style with tall, arched, many-paned sash windows which contrast with the horizontal leaded windows of the earlier house, but the simple hips of the roof marry perfectly with the earlier roofs. Thus, although he uses a completely different style for his additions, the whole hangs together to make an entirely cohesive design.”
Today the house forms the centrepiece of a 507-acre estate which includes the 10,600-sq ft, eight-bedroom, seven-bathroom main house with four reception rooms set in Jekyll gardens. The estate also incorporates seven cottages, a dower house, four-bed farmhouse and two traditional barns with planning potential, as well as some excellent farm and commercial buildings. Guide price: £12m through Savills.