The sale of the £22,500,000 Clarence House in Richmond
Built in 1696 for a haberdasher merchant named Nathaniel Rawlins, Clarence House in Richmond was subsequently extended by his daughter, Elizabeth, before it became a Catholic school in 1792.
One student at the various schools that were subsequently run from the house was Bernardo O’Higgins, the liberator and founding father of Chile. Famous for his orders, which included such statements as: “Lads! Live with honour, or die with glory! He who is brave, follow me!” during the battle of El Roble, O’Higgins held office from 1817 to 1823. He was deposed by his former “closest ally” Ramón Freire in a conservative coup in January of that year, exiled to Peru and died due to cardiac problems in Lima in 1842.
Between 1941 and 1947, Clarence House became a storage house for Fortnum & Mason. Their plans in 1943 to demolish the building and to replace it with a bakery, chocolate manufactory, store, tailoring shop and rooms for packing tea and coffee were not executed and in 1967 the house was purchased by the actor Brian Blessed.
Blessed, known for his “sonorous voice and hearty, king-sized portrayals,” is a prolific performer who has appeared in Z-Cars, The Avengers, Lovejoy and Flash Gordon. After a successful campaign on the social network Facebook, Blessed became a voice option for TomTom’s satellite navigation devices in 2010 and he also holds the record being the oldest man to trek on foot to the magnetic North Pole. Married to Hildegarde Neil, an actress who appeared alongside Roger Moore in the The Man Who Haunted Himself, Blessed subsequently moved to Windlesham, also in Surrey.
Considered “one of the finest houses in South West London,” Clarence House has been restored by Taylor Howes Design, who also designed the Hotel Meyrick in Galway, Ireland. It now includes 6 reception rooms, a master suite of bedroom, sitting room, dressing room and bathroom and 5 further bedroom suites. An indoor swimming pool with an infinity style design, gymnasium, 2,000-bottle wine cellar, artist’s studio and 1 bedroom guest cottage complete the offering whilst landscaped gardens by Ross Allan boast magnolia trees, a terrace and water features.
Priced at £22,500,000, whoever buys this fine residence will indeed be blessed with more than 10,000 square foot of accommodation. The price, however, is a far cry from the £25,000 Blessed paid for it back in 1967.
Clarence House is for sale through the Richmond office of Savills. Contact Patrick Glynn-Jones for more information on +44 (0) 20 8614 9100 or email him at [email protected]. Further details can be viewed at: http://residentialsearch.savills.co.uk/property-detail/245686
Follow Savills on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/savillsuk