Date Published 10 February 2022
Catherine Parr is rumoured to have lived in this remarkable 15th century pile – in its former location on the banks of the River Colne…
AGrade II listed Tudor mansion which was once dismantled and rebuilt 90 miles away has hit the market at £12.95m.
Originally built in 1483 on the banks of the River Colne by a wealthy salt merchant, the huge 12-bed pile is rumoured to be the one-time home of Henry VIII's sixth wife, Catherine Parr.
Already that's some heavyweight provenance, but the back-story would take an extraordinary twist in 1910, when eccentric antiquarian Walter Thornton-Smith bought it for £350. He then paid £30k to have it painstakingly dismantled brick-by-brick and transported to a plot of land that he owned on Coombe Hill Road in Kingston-upon-Thames.
Ipswich-based architectural firm JA Sherman was engaged to carry out the remarkable feat, which took a full two years from start to finish.
The roster of subsequent owners includes Lord Crewe, Sir Ernest and Lady Horlick, Major John Hill and Sir Charles Colston, and a new custodian is now being sought via PCL-based agency Rokstone.
Last seen on the market in 2015, the house has recently undergone a full refurb, reworking the layout and introducing a modern twist to proceedings.
Nearly 15,000 square feet of internal space is on offer, with the bulk arranged across two wings – east and west. The suite of grand reception rooms includes the Long Library/Tudor Hall, Morning Room and a 'decadent' dining room, and there's a litany of historic features: notably the exposed timber beams, intricate wooden panelling, ancient flagstones, hunting motifs, and a 'cavernous' inglenook fireplace.
The landscaped grounds measure around an acre. Rokstone founder Becky Fatemi describes the proposition as the 'ultimate trophy home' for buyers in search of space and character – who still want to be within range of town…
Becky Fatemi, founder and managing director of Rokstone: 'Buyers are often drawn to a property because of its historic, character and narrative, as well as its aesthetic appeal and the practicalities, such as size and location. The backstory here is fascinating, but it also has the rigour of being built twice and extensively refurbished very recently, so it really does stand the test of time in so many ways.
'The timing of this impressive mansion coming to market is significant. After the first two years of the pandemic, we are seeing a return in demand to live within Greater London but there is still a focus from buyers on achieving as much indoor and outdoor space as possible which invariable takes them into the leafy super suburbs. This will tick all the boxes for a high-net-worth family who want to buy the ultimate trophy home, steeped in character and history, with plenty of space, close to good schools and within easy reach of central London.'