Country houses for sale

A grand Victorian home between Guildford and Dorking, full of delightful 19th century touches

The Croft occupies an idyllic plot in the North Downs, with space, seclusion and just enough room to roam.

Victorian values underpin the appeal of The Croft in the historic village of Gomshall at the foot of the North Downs, roughly halfway between Dorking and Guildford, within the spectacular Surrey Hills AONB. Built by City stockbroker Charles Waithman in 1889 at a cost of £3,000, it’s now for sale through Savills at a guide price of £3.85m.

The Croft has remained largely unaltered since then – at least in spirit – apart from a period during the Second World War, when it was home to a small London prep school, and later, when it served for a time as a residential care facility.

For the Victorians, the family home was the base on which the British Empire was built and everything about a Victorian house projects an image of grandeur, strength and stability. The present owners of The Croft have clearly bought into the the era’s ideals of tradition and continuity, retaining its essential 19th-century characteristics, as well as maintaining and upgrading it for 21st-century family living.

The house offers some 9,800sq ft of impressive living space on three floors, starting with a grand reception hall showcasing a magnificent staircase lit by a large stained-glass window – a device much beloved of Victorian and Edwardian architects. Three principal reception rooms offer bright and easy living space and access to the terrace and gardens.

However, the real surprise lies beneath the terrace, where the owners have cleverly installed a luxurious leisure area and indoor swimming-pool complex, with full-width glass doors opening onto a sunny lower terrace leading up to the gardens.

The first and second floors are equally grand, the focal point being the light and airy master suite with its massive dressing room and roof terrace. Six further bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus an office and a home cinema, complete the upper floors, with most rooms enjoying lovely views of the grounds and the surrounding countryside.

The Croft occupies a delightfully secluded position at the top of a semi-rural country lane, surrounded by its 3½ acres of gardens and grounds – the perfect acreage for a busy commuter who prefers not to spend every weekend hoeing and weeding.

That said, there is scope for the green-fingered: a spur off the drive leads to a well-laid-out and productive kitchen garden. Meanwhile, to the west and south of the house, the remaining grounds are mostly laid to lawn on two levels, one of which is set up for croquet.

The Croft is for sale via Savills at £3.85m – see more pictures and details.