After spending close to a decade being restored, a 12,000-square-foot home within an English mansion is on the market and asking for offers in excess of £1.5 million (US$1.98 million).
The eight-bedroom East House is the largest of six homes now inside the Grade II*-listed manor house on the Rousden Estate in Lyme Regis, Devon, in South West England. It hit the market about six weeks ago, said a representative for listing agents Strutt & Parker.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) September 23, 2018
The Tudor-style mansion was commissioned in the 1870s by Sir Henry Peek, an importer of teas and spices. Later, from the 1930s until the tail end of the 1990s, the building—still in its entirety—served as a boarding school. But after running into financial trouble, it was bought by a developer who decided to subdivide the house, according to owner Barry Moore, who purchased East House with his wife, Anne, from the developer in 2002.
“The deal was you buy it as is,” Mr. Moore told Mansion Global. “And most of it was a hell of a state.”
Mr. Moore, who has worked in restoration his entire life, embarked on the work himself with help from one or two spare pairs of hands. The project took nine years and four months, and “I loved every minute of it,” Mr. Moore said.
Though the building’s listed status restricts alterations that would diminish its historical character, in this case, that wasn’t a problem.
“It didn’t really affect me that much,” Mr. Moore said. “All we intended to do was put it back as it was. It would be repairing all the damages.”
Adhesives, however, proved to be more of a challenge during renovations. Across some of the home’s original dark-wood floors, hardboard had been stuck firmly in place with the unfortunate pairing of glue and staples.
“Why they did it, nobody could work out,” Mr. Moore said.
While attempting to sand the glue from the floors, “it just melted and spread,” Mr. Moore said. “It was a bloody nightmare.”
Along with the floors, stone work that had been written over was restored, and wood carvings were replaced and recreated by a carpenter. The end result had to be “like for like,” Mr. Moore said.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore will be downsizing, because “there comes a time in life where you don’t need 12,000 square feet,” he said. “Something with two floors [as opposed to East House’s five] would be lovely.”
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