6 bedroom detached house for saleAyot St. Peter, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6
Guide Price £8,950,000
- 6 Bedrooms in main house
- 5 Reception rooms
- Gardeners cottage
- 2 flats
- Swimming pool
- Formal gardens
- Lake with boat house
- Parkland fenced paddocks
Ayot Montfitchet is superbly situated in some of Hertfordshire's finest cou ntryside, but is only about 28 iles from central London. It is about half a mile from the hamlet of Ayot St. Peter and close to the picturesque village of Ayot St. Lawrence, made famous by George Bernard Shaw who lived at Shaw's Corner between 1906 and 1950. The town centres of Welwyn Garden City and St. Alban's are within easy reach (3.5 miles and 8 miles respectively) and both provide comprehensive shopping and travel facilities.
Communications in the area are excellent. The A1(M) is about 2.5 miles away. From Welwyn Garden City there are frequent trains to London (Kings Cross) and the City, taking about 30 minutes, and from Harpenden (about 6 miles) to London (Blackfriars) taking about 40 minutes. Major airports are very
accessible with Luton about 10 miles away, Stansted 30 miles and Heathrow 38 miles.
There is a fantastic selection of golf courses in the area including
Brockett Hall with its superb Auberge du Lac restaurant, Knebworth, Mid Herts. at nearby Gustard Wood and the challenging course at Hammonds End, Harpenden.
Good schools are numerous and include Haileybury College and
Heath Mount Preparatory School, both in Hertford, Aldwickbury
Preparatory School and St Hilda's Girls school at Harpenden, and St. Alban's High School for Girls and the St Albans Boys at St. Albans.
Originally known as Ayot Place, Ayot Montfitchet is typical of the best English country houses - it has a timeless quality, occupies a magical setting and is of the highest architectural standard.
Ayot Montfitchet is approached from a quiet country lane, through impressive wrought iron gates with magnificent brick pillars, along a lengthy tree-lined carriage drive. Sweeping up to the front of the house, the drive passes an ornamental lake and boathouse, before rising up to the front door. The house is
surrounded by its own beautiful grounds, which give the house great seclusion. Over the years, successive owners have provided great care and attention to the house, allowing it to adapt to the needs and desires of its occupiers. Today it is
an unreservedly comfortable and gracious house, providing the perfect country retreat far away from the demands of the outside world. It is said that it was built on the site of an earlier monastery, but the origins of the present house are
probably from the 15th Century. Much of what we see today probably dates from the early 17th Century when a wing was added. Further changes were made in the 19th and early 20th Centuries to transform the property into a Tudor style mansion. By the mid-1990s, the property needed modernising and it was remodelled under the supervision of the architect David Postins. Very extensive works were carried out and as it is a Grade II listed building, the greatest care had to be taken to ensure that the new works were complimentary and satisfied the heritage bodies. Indeed, it is now very difficult to distinguish the recent works from the original. Each room has its own character, from
the soaring great hall with its Tudor arched fireplace, linenfold panelling and minstrel's gallery, the classicism of the 18th Century breakfast room with its wainscoting and marble fireplace, to the crisp modernity of the principal bedroom suite with its Edwardian style bathroom and Biedermeyer dressing
room. The kitchen/breakfast room and servery were remodelled in a traditional style featuring bespoke cabinets and a comprehensive range of integrated appliances complemented by a large walk-in pantry.
The house is full of charming architectural details with some highly important fireplaces, stone arched doorways and decorative screens. The contrast between the original elaborately carved oak staircase, the more recent stone staircase and the painted staircase with its delightful trompe l'oeil mural is fascinating. There are surprises, too, with a bathroom concealed by a hinged bookcase and an early
well hidden under the floor of the library. There is something special about every room. We have not described each one in detail, but the layout of the wellproportioned accommodation is shown on the floor plans.
To the south of the house is the Gardener's Cottage, which is suitable for either guest or staff accommodation. It is constructed of brick and tile and comprises a kitchen with a range of fitted units, flagstone floored dining room, sitting room with fireplace and a family room. On the first and second floors there are 3 bedrooms, 2 loft rooms and a bathroom.
The impressive courtyard buildings date from about 1890 and are arranged on three sides around a gravelled yard with a charming small dovecote and clock tower in the middle. The
dovecote is listed Grade II in its own right. Part of the western side of the courtyard has been converted into a large home gym and has lapsed planning permission for the installation of an
indoor swimming pool. In addition there is the following accommodation: -
Courtyard Cottage - this is arranged over two floors and comprises kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, bathroom and 2 bedrooms.
Ground Floor Flat 1 - kitchen, sitting room, 2 bedrooms and bathroom.
First Floor Flat 2 - kitchen/breakfast room, 2 bedrooms and bathroom.
The courtyard comprises : 4 garages - one with heating and inspection pit, ideal for the most avid car collector, an estate office with shower, gardener's office leading into the greenhouse, potting shed, 6 store rooms and WC, gardener's workshop, stabling with 3 loose boxes, tack room, laundry room. Above there is a substantial hay loft.
GARDENS AND GROUNDS
The gardens and grounds are beautifully looked after and, like the house, have changed over the years, so it is now difficult to tell when the different parts were laid out. They are divided into formal and less formal areas, becoming less formal as one progresses away from the house. Beside the drive is a natural ornamental lake with an Arts & Crafts boathouse. Leading from the boathouse, a path takes you through the 'Romantic Garden' and past the majestic lime tree cathedral. The drive continues to the front of the house and in the centre of the circular
drive is a flagstone terrace, topiary yew hedging and trimmed lavender beds with stone steps down to the 'sundial' lawn. To the south of the house, across a flagstone paved terrace, lies the formal lawn with a box hedge and lavender parterre. Stone steps lead up to the croquet lawn, flanked by two 17th Century
walls, listed Grade II, with hot and cool coloured herbaceous borders. A gate in the wall to the west leads to an area with eight rose beds and a central fountain. An ancient avenue of yew trees leads to an arch in an old yew hedge, beyond
which is a reflection pool enclosed on three sides by pleached limes. Beyond again is an orchard, with apples, pears, plums and cherries.
To the east of the croquet lawn, through another wrought iron gate, past a wild flower meadow, is an Art Deco style mosaic tiled heated swimming pool. This is enclosed within a clipped yew hedge and red brick wall with two pavilions, one with shower, WC and changing room. Beyond the pool is an arboretum with
Japanese maples, magnolias and some fine specimen trees.
Beside the Gardener's Cottage is a rhododendron walk leading to a large, traditional kitchen garden with paddock beyond.
Surrounding the formal gardens there are extensive mown parklands. These have notable specimen trees under-planted with spring bulbs.
An irrigation system has been installed to ensure that, regardless of the climate, the gardens can be maintained to their best.
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Square Footage: 12,906 sq ft
Acreage: 27.31 Acres
Leave London on the A1(M) and turn off at Junction 6 (signposted A1000, Welwyn). At the exit roundabout turn immediately left onto the B197. After just over 1 mile turn right (signposted Ayot Green and Ayot St. Peter). Pass through Ayot Green, keeping right at the crossroads. Continue along
the lane and through the hamlet of Ayot St. Peter, passing the church on the left hand side. About half a mile beyond the hamlet, the gates to Ayot Montfitchet will be seen straight ahead on a right hand bend.
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