magnificent Georgian manor just outside the grounds of Hampton Court Palace has been listed for sale for the first time in 50 years.
The Grade II-listed Ivy House in East Moseley, Surrey, shares boundary walls with Henry VIII’s favourite residence. It’s for sale for just under £6 million.
Its imposing facade, grand stone steps and porticoed entrance canopy would impress any discerning king, while its stately rooms are embellished with plenty of regal details, from parquet flooring to galleried half-landings.
Home to a famous wit
Seven-bedroom Ivy House is the former home of the late BBC comedy writer Ray Galton OBE, who was best known for his professional partnership with Alan Simpson.
Together, they devised and wrote hit 1950s and 1960s sitcom including Hancock’s Half Hour, Comedy Playhouse and Steptoe and Son.
The duo first met as teenagers in a Surrey tuberculosis hospital in 1948, where they were both given weeks to live. Happily, they beat their prognoses and went on to win multiple Baftas.
One of those houses that looks as if it’s been plucked from a leafy village in the heart of the countryside.
Having grown up on a Surrey council estate, Galton often made light of his newfound wealth.
His 2018 Guardian obituary told how he furnished one of Ivy House’s reception rooms with a huge grand piano, on which sat a flamboyant, Liberace-style candelabra. When asked by a journalist who played it, he replied: “The piano tuner!”
It is Galton’s children who are selling the property, which sits in over half an acre of land and is available for the first time in more than 50 years.
Other noteworthy residents have included Lady Ainsworth, the Earl of Ypres and the Countess of Effingham, who was referred to by the writer Horace Walpole as ‘the most talked of in London’ at the coronation of George III.
Thomas Shuttleworth, associate director of Strutt & Parker’s National Country House Department, who is managing the sale, described Ivy House as “one of those houses that looks as if it’s been plucked from a leafy village in the heart of the countryside”.
He said: “The nation’s enduring love affair with Georgian houses continues, thanks to the period dramas that have captivated us all, and Ivy House is an excellent example of the era’s architectural brilliance.
“Beautifully kept features include the fanlights and fireplaces, cornicing and coving, making Ivy House a truly special property.”
Rooms for, renovating?
The four floors of living space offer appealing versatility, allowing the next buyer to use its many rooms however they wish.
There are views across Home Park from the generous sash windows, plus a roof terrace overlooking the Wilderness, a wild meadow which was once Charles II’s formal pleasure garden.
Outside, a doubled-gated carriage driveway offers secure parking for numerous cars. There is also a large double garage below a studio room that could function as an atelier or be converted into self-contained accommodation, subject to the necessary planning consents.
Walled gardens and flower-filled borders evoke quintessential English charm, while the well-maintained lawn is big enough to accommodate a marquee for garden parties or weddings.
Both Home and Bushy Parks are just a minute’s walk away in opposite directions, and the cosmopolitan streets of nearby Hampton Court Village, Teddington and Richmond offer an attractive range of restaurants, bistros and high-end independent shops.
The River Thames is also on the doorstep, with its towpath walks leading down to renowned rowing and cricket clubs.
Transport-wise, trains into Waterloo take just over half an hour, with the West End a similar drive away. The M3 and M25 are easily accessible, as are Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Spacious rooms, high ceilings and plentiful light mean Georgian properties adapt well to modern family living, but Mr Shuttleworth is expecting buyers to be drawn to this particular area for its excellent links to the city, great schools and popular local parks.
“This part of Greater London offers the best of town and country, a village atmosphere but incredibly accessible – a combination that is undoubtedly sought after.”
Ivy House is on sale through Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £5,995,000.