5 bedroom detached house for saleKenilworth, Warwickshire
This iconic 1960s house, set in an idyllic 1.2 acre plot overlooking rolling hills and fields towards Kenilworth, was designed by Robert Harvey, a renowned local architect who was clearly inspired by the American residences of Frank Lloyd Wright. It has been recognised as an exceptional example of 20th century design by Historic England, who have highlighted (amongst other things) Harvey’s “considerable attention to detail”, the “use of high quality materials” and his “well-considered plan” in their Grade II listing.
The accommodation is principally arranged across the first floor to make the most of the exceptional views. All rooms are south facing and have access to a terrace overlooking the gardens. There are five bedrooms in total, two of with have en suite bathrooms, with the master suite also having a dressing area. The eastern end of the house is largely taken up by an impressive living / dining room. Lined with exotic woods including rosewood and teak, the interior of this area displays some masterful joinery. The exposed joists of the ceiling are also tropical hardwood.
Off the dining area is a kitchen that leads out to a small balcony with steps leading directly down to the parking area in front of the house. A winter garden room on the south facing side is one of many demonstrations of Harvey’s desire, in line with the ideals of Lloyd Wright, to integrate the inside and outside and to create a building that sits within, rather than on, the landscape.
Spectacular spiral stairs lead down to the ground floor and a wonderful entrance hall that exposes the rich colours of the Horton Cotswold stone that forms the basis of the building’s construction.
As Historic England have pointed out, this was a dream job for Harvey as he was given “a generous budget” and “no interference in the design”. His client, a wealthy engineer and businessman, asked for “a house that would be noticed” and “that would still look Modern in twenty years”. Now, over half a century on, it is still strikingly Modern and the quality of the design and build is still strongly apparent. The majority of the original features and detailing are still in place, making this a rare example of an almost original Mid Century masterpiece.
One of the most amazing features of the house is the circular indoor swimming pool on the ground floor. This displays tiling to Harvey’s original designs. Historic England’s extensive description of the house can be found on the History section.
The extensive landscaped gardens were also conceived in part by Harvey and consist largely of open lawn with some distinctive planting and, at the bottom, a tennis court (not currently in use).
Planning permission was granted in 2004 to significantly extend the house (potentially taking it to approximately 7,500 sq ft in size) and we are advised that strip foundations have been dug out for this purpose and approved by the council's buildings control department. It is understood that because this this preliminary building work has been done the permission will last in perpetuity. Details of the application can be seen on the local council website (application reference R/2004/1892).
The property can be found on Cryfield Grange Road, one of the most sought-after residential addresses in the Midlands. Although it is more rural than urban in character, the area is just two miles south of the centre of Coventry and close to the University of Warwick. The town of Kenilworth, with its celebrated castle is also nearby. Trains run from Coventry to London Euston with journey times of just under an hour.
Property ref: 121_2280_3967383
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