Weston, Lulworth Cove, Dorset
Weston, which has come to the market this autumn, is a stone’s throw from the picturesque Lulworth Cove, a World Heritage site. Designed by Lutyens in 1927, the house was built as a retirement home for surgeon Sir Alfred and Lady Fripp. Alfred Fripp had a distinguished medical career as a surgeon at Guy’s Hospital and as Chief Medical Officer of the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, Deelfontein during the Boer War. He became “Surgeon in Ordinary” to the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and to King George V. He was knighted in 1903 for instigating reforms within the Army Medical Service which were to prove life-saving during the Great War. When he retired from Guy’s in 1925 he received an inheritance from lifelong friend Sir George Holford, and had Lutyens design a house for him on the coast at Lulworth. He named it Weston after Holford’s country house, Westonbirt in Gloucestershire. Lutyens himself consulted Fripp: in a letter to his wife Emily he wrote “I have a threatening of the old duodecimal tummy trouble so am resigned to hot water and Fripp’s magic pill”.
As a side note, in July 1930 Laurence Olivier and his first wife, Jill Esmond, spent the first night of their honeymoon in the house at the invitation of Lady Fripp. The following January, Olivier and Esmond appeared together on Broadway with Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence in Coward’s play, Private Lives.
The three-storey, Grade II-listed Weston is built into the hillside on a “T” plan and has brick elevations under a tiled roof. It occupies a wonderful clifftop setting with coastal views east towards the Isle of Purbeck and west towards the Isle of Portland and has direct access to the South West Coastal Path.
Extending to 5,413 sq ft, the house, which is in need of updating, has a reception hall, drawing room, library, sitting room, kitchen, breakfast room, cellar, principal bedroom and bathroom and several other bedrooms and a bathroom. The house has a double and single garage and a 0.86-acre hillside garden.
Available through Savills. Guide price: £1.75m.