Trow Hall is steeped in Edwardian splendour and style, set in 33 acres of gardens and woodland, and located two and a half miles from the beach. It also has sweeping views across the Devon countryside that will undoubtedly grab the attention of buyers from near and far; Penny Churchill takes a look.
The Jurassic Coast resort of Sidmouth lies at the mouth of the River Sid in a picturesque valley between Peak Hill to the west and Salcombe Hill to the east, surrounded by the East Devon AONB.
Although its origins predate recorded history, Sidmouth remained a village until the expansion of coastal resorts in the 18th and 19th centuries saw it established as a fashionable seaside retreat of international renown.
Wealthy patrons built grand Georgian and Victorian houses in and around the town. However, in the early 20th century, a triumvirate led by Colonel J. E. H. Balfour of Balfour Manor, with his solicitor W. H. Hastings and the architect R. W. Sampson, changed the face of Sidmouth.
Thanks to a number of early commissions initiated by Colonel Balfour, who as lord of the manor was extremely influential in local affairs, Sampson quickly established his architectural practice in the town.
For a period of more than 40 years following his arrival in 1891, Sampson was responsible for almost the entire architectural layout of early-20th-century Sidmouth.
A prodigious design portfolio included residential and commercial projects, great and small, among them the town’s flagship Victoria Hotel. Over the years, he designed hundreds of houses in and around Sidmouth, at least six of which were built for his own occupation.
Many of Sampson’s grandest country houses were built in his favourite Arts-and-Crafts style, among them the classic Edwardian Trow Hall, 2½ miles inland from Sidmouth, and 16 miles south-east of Exeter. Built in 1902, it is now on the market through Knight Frank at a guide price of £3.3 million.
Although unlisted, the imposing 10,243sq ft house, which stands on high ground overlooking the Sid Valley, has retained its Edwardian splendour, thanks to a sympathetic programme of modernisation executed by its current owners and the privacy and protection provided by its 33 acres of established formal gardens, parkland and woodland.
Approached up a long drive through banks of mature woods, the hall enjoys far-reaching westerly views and an abundance of natural light. It comes with garaging for five vehicles, outbuildings, a stable and some disused farm buildings.
The impressive reception hall sets the tone for the rest of the house, its centrepiece the grand Edwardian staircase with its double-height ceiling and dramatic, leaded-light window rising to the galleried first-floor landing.
The ground-floor accommodation includes three large reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room and snooker room that leads through to a palatial indoor swimming pool and seating area.
There are six bedrooms, five bathrooms and a large home office on the first floor, which also boasts a conservatory and roof terrace, plus two self-contained apartments, one on each floor, each having its own separate entrance.
Sidmouth: What you need to know
Location: On the south west Jurassic coast, approximately 14 miles from Exeter. Exmouth is located to the south along the coast, and Seaton to the north. Honiton is the nearest train station, which has fast links into London Paddington.
Atmosphere: Think quaint seaside charm mixed with a flourishing rural atmosphere. It forms part of the UNESCO world heritage site on the Jurassic Coast, and has a sprawling range of shops, cafes and restaurants along the busy high street.
Things to do: Head down to the beaches, which are flanked by the iconic red cliffs to really take in the historical landmark. The south west coast path leads all the way along the coast, where you can explore further afield and soak up the sea air. There are a number of water sports on offer during the summer months for those eager to stay salty, or visit one of the many Regency buildings within the town.
Schools: Sidmouth Church of England (VA) Primary School, Sidbury Church of England Primary School and Sidmouth College are all rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.