Thursday, 23 September 2021

A home on Henley‘s fringe to put a smile on your face

Did you catch any of the acts who took part in the recent Henley Fringe comedy

Did you catch any of the acts who took part in the recent Henley Fringe comedy shows? Dan Clark, who you might have seen in

The Mighty Boosh
, and Sophie Pelham, who you might have spotted in

, were particularly fine. Standard Property found her own kind of Fringe — in the form of this wonderful country house on the outskirts (‘fringe‘, geddit?) of Henley...

THE Henley Fringe may have got you laughing but if you‘re on the hunt for a country residence of character — and are lucky enough to have five or six million to spare — then this magnificent Grade II listed mansion six or so miles from Henley could really put a smile on your face.

The Hyde is possibly the most quintessential of all quintessential country estates, pretty much bursting at the seams with personality and history.

“The property is thought to have 16th century origins,“ said Tim Peers of Peers & Hilton, which is marketing The Hyde.

“Parts of it show exposed beams and stained glass windows, which attest to its past. However, construction is predominantly brick and flint — the main building having been extended twice in the early 1900s.“

More importantly, the current vendor‘s grandfather, Major George Howson MC (1886â??1936) founded the Royal British Legion‘s poppy factory while he lived at the house, in an effort to raise funds for members and veterans of the British armed forces.

(Today, the factory in Richmond is said to make approximately 36 million remembrance poppies each year.)

The house has remained in the family‘s ownership for almost 100 years, so the fact that it is for sale is a big deal for locals.

“Very few principal houses within the valley, such as The Hyde, have come on to the market in recent years,“ said Tim.

Being positioned on the eastern side of the Hambleden valley, the house gets sunshine most of the day — which also means the gardens and grounds can be enjoyed fully.

There is a mixture of lawned and formal gardens, and just in front of the house is a “cloisters“ parterre.

Behind the house, an ancient beech wood hides the paddock and old timber stables below it.

But if horse riding is not for you, the grounds also offer a tennis court as well as a garage and several buildings and stores — perhaps spot on for the creation of a gym or indoor swimming pool (subject to consents).

In fact, The Hyde is a property that is ripe for change.

Although it is in good shape, it would benefit from an update and a new lease of life. At the moment, accommodation on the ground floor comprises an entrance hall, library/reception hall, garden room/conservatory, drawing room, kitchen/breakfast room, sitting room, dining room, utility room and laundry room.

On the first floor there is a master bedroom with en suite bathroom, six further bedrooms and three bathrooms.

There is also extra accommodation in the form of a timber-framed barn from the early 1900s, which is connected to the house via a loggia and is surely suited to a guest annexe.

This is the location of those aforementioned beams, stained glass windows and a beautiful stone fireplace.

For more accommodation, there is also a separate cottage.

On top of all its history and potential, it is the location of this remarkable retreat that makes it so appealing for those with the notion and the means to live in the area.

Tim said: “The Hyde is approximately a mile away from Hambleden village, which is known for its picturesque cottages, 12th century church and unspoiled rolling hills — and the setting for many a TV show and film, as those who live here well know.“

It also means The Hyde sits in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ensuring the whole area is safe from real estate developers. On top of this, there is a National Trust covenant in place, giving an extra layer of protection to the area.

Tim said: “It is this that has been partly responsible for the unspoilt nature of the surrounding Hambleden landscape which is so attractive — and will remain so.“

Yet despite its rural setting, The Hyde is only a 10-minute drive from the centre of Henley, with its restaurants, pubs, shops, cinema, theatre and so on — as well as assets such as a mainline train link to London Paddington and Reading via Twyford, a community hospital, great private and state schools, and easy access to the M4 and M40 for Heathrow and London.

With this in mind, the new owner of The Hyde will have another reason to smile.

The Hyde is for sale with Peers & Hilton for a guide price of £5,750,000. Call (01491) 411066 for more information. Joint agents with Knight Frank.

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