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Cavernous, contemporary house is perfect for modern family life
Published 21/01/13



IT was the unusual design and the views that first attracted the Grimdrod family to Beaver House.

The modern five-bedroom, architect-designed family residence offers more than 3,000 sq ft of living space with magnificent country views over fields and Drawback Hill in a highly sought-after location.

But it was perhaps the living room that really had the “wow” factor for the family when they first viewed the property. This contemporary living space is an impressive 38ft long, and has a vaulted ceiling clad in wooden beams.

The design of this room is simply stunning, and the fact that the living space is on the first floor, rather than the usual ground floor, means that the unusual “inverted” design takes full advantage of the house’s location and far-reaching views to the open countryside, particularly as the open-plan living room has access out on to a decked balcony.

The house is located at the top of a quiet residential road within comfortable walking distance of Gillotts Secondary School and Henley town centre — perfect for a young family.


The house is thought to have been developed from a Seventies-style bungalow which has had various additions over the years.

Peter Grimdrod, a professor at Reading University and his family moved into the property in 1993.

“It was in a great location as three of my children went to Gillotts and the views over open fields were just stunning,” he said.

“We had lived in four other properties in and around Henley, moving and upgrading as our income increased but this is the home we have stayed in the longest. The design is really unusual and it worked well for us as a family.

“Although we have done some work over the years, adding a fifth bedroom with en-suite, we didn’t want to mess with the original design too much. The living room has huge picture windows providing plenty of natural light and stunning views with a balcony you can walk straight out on to.”

To the rear of this room is a bedroom with en-suite shower room.

The remaining accommodation is set on the ground floor. Of particular note is the master bedroom, which has a luxurious marble en-suite bathroom, separate dressing area and an adjoining study/bedroom which is reached via a pine-and-glass staircase.

There is a modern kitchen with white units providing a light, bright entertaining space with a large utility room. There is also a second family room on the ground floor, currently used as a games/music/television room.

Two further bedrooms have interesting mezzanine suites with large first-floor areas — perfect spaces for teenage children — and there is another ground-floor bedroom with access to the garden.

“The children’s rooms are great with a downstairs study area and cabin-style sleeping decks on the first floor level,” he said. “It really has been a wonderful home for them to grow up in.”

However, Professor Grimdrod’s 88-year-old mother is now coming to live with them and with his four children now grown up — the youngest is now 21 — he felt it was time to move on to a more practical home for their needs.

“It was a good place to raise our family providing the perfect solution for all our needs at the time but as families grow and evolve their needs change. We shall be sorry to leave but we are planning on staying in the Henley area.”

Outside the lawned gardens are delightfully set out with mature borders interspersed with mature trees and a relaxing ‘al fresco’ decked dining area between the dining and sitting rooms.

The property is available through Peers and Hilton for a guide price of 1,050,000. For more details, call (01491) 411066.

An unusual home just on the edge of Henley town, and with stunning panoramic countryside views, has been the perfect home for a university professor and his family. He talks to JACKY HAYLER about life at Beaver House.

Published 21/01/13

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