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Superlative Stedcombe

Superlative Stedcombe – Stedcombe House, Axmouth, Devon, EX12 4BJ, United Kingdom – For sale for £4.5 million ($5.6 million, €5.1 million or درهم20.6 million) through Savills – Stunning Grade I listed symmetrical William and Mary country house in Devon with slave trade links for sale for £4.5 million.

Stunning Grade I listed symmetrical William and Mary country house in Devon with slave trade links for sale; Stedcombe House for sale for £4.5 million

An “outstanding” William and Mary country house built with the profits from the slave trade by one Richard Hallett (died 1747), whose “Black Negro servant called Ando” was accused of rioting in the streets of Lyme Regis in December 1702, has come to the market for £4.5 million ($5.6 million, €5.1 million or درهم20.6 million).


Standing on the site of a manor house destroyed in the Civil War in 1645, Grade I listed Stedcombe House was built in 1697 by the Hallett family on their return from Barbados. It was occupied by them until their bankruptcy in 1889 and passed to the Stephens family, whom remained resident until 1960.


The house in 1961; note the 19th century porch (which was later removed). The house has the typical William and Mary look; we featured another example of such when we featured the sale of Oswaldkirk Hall in Yorkshire in October 2013.
The front elevation of Stedcombe House, Axmouth, Devon, EX12 4BJ, United Kingdom today (without the porch).
A painting of Richard Hallett at Stedcombe House with his black servant Ando by Julie Hine (painted 1992).
A birthday party with “exotic performers” at Stedcombe House in March 1907 (again, note the later removed 19th century porch).
This grand reception room in the house provides indication of the quality of the refurbishment carried out since 1988.

Left vacant and rotting subsequently, the house became infected by “serious dry rot,” but upon purchase by the current owner it was subject to a “meticulous and sympathetic renovation” according to selling agents Savills.


Described as a “large house overlooking the Axe valley” of “red brick in Flemish bond with Beer and Portland stone dressings” by Historic England, Stedcombe is a four storey symmetrical residence with a belvedere crowning its pinnacle. It is grand yet manageable and features 4 reception rooms, 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and comes with a 3 bedroom gate lodge, a stable block and “numerous outbuildings” requiring renovation also.


Standing on a plot of 20 acres that includes three walled gardens, pastureland and woodland, the only limitation of this home is that its once vast estate is now separate from it. Otherwise, here is probably the quintessential example of one of Britain’s most stunning homes.


Of the 8,039 square foot main house, Savills note: “Several things about it are unusual, but its most significant characteristics are its easy flow of rooms and the quality of design. In keeping with its era, all the rooms benefit from high ceilings and excellent proportions.” Pevsner and Cherry (1988) add: “[Stedcombe House is] an exceptionally fine and complete example of this type of small late 17th Century country house, the compact and centralised plan being an early example.”


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The house viewed from the garden elevation; the grounds are laid out formally, but plainly are ready for a new owner with deep pockets to lavish attention on them.
The decorative style of the current owner is simple, but tasteful.
A room for reflection.
The dining room.
A more informal sitting space is to be found at basement level.
One can imagine hosting similar kitchen table suppers in this room very easily.
One of the grand bedrooms of the house.
Guests would not fail to be impressed by this canopy.
Even the bathrooms at Stedcombe House are grand.
The outbuildings at Stedcombe provide potential for conversion to other uses; office space, staff or guest accommodation or for use to provide a cinema room, games room or gym perhaps.
The sale price includes this gate house. It was built at a much later date, but is of a reflective architectural design.
The setting is unspoilt and the gardens roll into the countryside beyond.
Stedcombe’s acreage is split into gardens, woodland and parkland.
The entrance to the property is simple, but could be improved by a new owner.
A site plan of Stedcombe indicates its proximity to a neighbouring farm and other properties.
A glorious view of this stunning house from its gardens.
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