Visit to Little Thakeham, Surrey
Saturday, 21 May, 2016
By Paul Waite
By kind permission of the owners, we had the great privilege of visiting Little Thakeham, which, completed in 1903, is considered one of Lutyens’s best private houses. Laid out in an H shape using locally quarried coarse stone, the exterior weathered quickly to give the house a 16th-century Cotswolds manor look. The house consists of two storeys plus an attic, with two wings. The central bar of the H runs west to east, and contains the south-facing hall. Further east, continuing the line of the central bar, is an additional wing, originally the service quarters, which contains the only remaining walls of original architect John Hatchard-Smith’s demolished villa. The garden front of the house has four gables, one on each wing and two in the middle; at the centre is a two-storey, mullioned, polygonal bay window. The entrance front of the house has a central porch giving access to an eastwest corridor, south of which are the main staircase and two-storey hall. The hall is lit through a Classical arch by a two-storey bay window. The ground floor of the hall is lined with Classically decorated stonework, with plaster walls above, and is overlooked by wrought-iron balconies.
Southwards from the house’s garden front there are three descending terrace gardens. The top terrace contains a rose garden. To its east are a lily pool and water garden. The third terrace is the main lawn. On its western side, a large oak-beamed pergola projects out from the second terrace. The rain managed to hold off and cleared completely by the end of the day, so we were able to visit both the Lutyens-landscaped garden and the house in small groups.
The owners, who also kindly offered us all tea and coffee, told us they are able to offer other interested groups the opportunity to visit the house while it is for sale. For contact details, please apply to firstname.lastname@example.org. The house is also featured in Richard Page’s property column below.