A curved 1930s country mansion in Surrey, England, with a design based on an Art Deco wristwatch and 8 acres of grounds, is on sale for $21 million.
Hamstone House at St George’s Hill, whose contours takes its cues from the 1931 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso wristwatch, was Wallis Simpson’s favourite home and was used by Winston Churchill to plan the D-D landings during World War II. It was built by construction tycoon Peter Lind whose son-in-law was a relative of the Jaeger family of the Swiss watchmaking firm Jaeger-LeCoultre who have made timepieces for the Queen, Wallis Simpson, and Charlie Chaplin.
On sale for $21 million, the 10-bedroom Grade II listed property is a mini country estate within St. George’s Hill, a private gated estate in Weybridge 23 miles from central London, which is known for its expensive homes. It was created in the 1920s and 1930s and featured Arts and Crafts-style houses, most of which have been replaced by mega-mansions that attract London’s superrich.
Forming one of the largest plots on the estate, Hamstone House was built in manor house style in 1937, with a concave neoclassical facade, long drive, a gatehouse, and 8 acres of landscaped grounds. Set on the edge of St George’s Hill Golf Club, the house has the feeling of being in the middle of the countryside, according to Paul Finch of Beauchamp Estates, the agency selling the property.
Lind, who worked on the construction of the present Waterloo Bridge, hired local architect Ian Forbes to create Hamstone House, which features a semi-circular plan centring around an oval forecourt. Built from honey-coloured hamstone sourced from Devon, which earned it its name, architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner called it “the best country house on St George’s Hill”.
Inside it has curved ceilings and windows, a grand sweeping staircase, and polished wood paneling, which are inspired by Art Déco design. The dining room floor is said to feature elm planks, which were reclaimed by Lind from the old Waterloo Bridge. From above, its segmented, circular floorplan resembles the inner workings of the Art Deco wristwatch.
On the market for the third time in its history, the 20,400-square-foot main house has five bedrooms, sweeping reception rooms, and a lower-ground floor leisure suite with an 18m indoor pool and spa facilities including a sauna. On the grounds, there is a 3,000-square-foot five-bedroom lodge house with parking, and a tennis court.
In 1984 it was bought by a Saudi Prince who carried out renovations including the installation of an 8ft drop Venetian glass chandelier and Lalique light fittings. The house was refurbished in 2006 by its present owner, a relative of Russian oligarch and billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who bought it in 2001 and has now decided to move on.
The property is on sale with Beauchamp Estates