Category Archives: ESSEX

ARABIN HOUSE

Arabin House 1 (Savills)
The original central entrance, now screened by an extension, has traceried fanlight, pilasters, entablatures and open pediment. (Savills)

In January 2018, Arabin House, a Grade II listed country house set in 11 acres of mature parkland, was valued at £10 million. This house appears to have existed by 1848, underwent extensive alterations and additions during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and was later subdivided. The house stands on what was once the Manor of Woodredon, bought in 1834 by William St. John Arabin and succeeded in 1842 by Richard Arabin (1811-1865), a wealthy landowner, who built Beech House (later renamed Arabin House) at High Beech in 1848. It is attributed to Frederick Octavius Bedford (1784-1858), an English architect better known for his ecclesiastical works, including four Greek Revival churches in South London.

Richard Arabin-by Thomas Richard Williams (NPG)
Richard Arabin (1811-1865). A portrait by Thomas Richard Williams. (National Portrait Gallery)

In 1977 listed building consent was given for major alterations, including the replacement of the old roof with a flat roof. In 1984 the house was split to form two separate dwellings. Beech Hill was created to the west of the three-storey core of the house, and Arabin House was formed from the existing historic central core and later east wing.

Arabin House 2 (Savills)
Arabin House, where Tennyson is said to have stayed with ‘Judge’ Arabin in December 1861. (Savills)

The house today has lost most of its original features and the plan-form has been significantly altered, with most architectural historians agreeing that its current appearance lacks cohesion. It is a far-cry from Bedford’s original design with only the original surround to the front entrance surviving.

After the death of Richard Arabin the property went through the hands of Arthur John Arrowsmith, Arthur Morrison, Frank Pegler, R.T. Stone and others, right up to the present owner who has been able to reunite the original Arabin estate. Planning permission has been granted to bring together the two houses and once more create a single residential property.

Arabin House 3 (Savills)
Arabin house is set in about 11 acres of private mature parkland in Epping Forest. It is an elegant white stucco fronted three story home. (Savills)
Arabin House 4 (Savills)
Arabin House used to be called Beech House, Today it is split into two properties – Beech Hill and Arabin House. (Savills)
Arabin House 6 (Savills)
Planning permission has been granted to bring together the two houses to create an elegant home with bespoke modern luxury. (Savills)

References: –
Arabin House Heritage Statement – April 2015 (Built Heritage Consultancy)

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THE WOOD HOUSE

Wood House 14

This Grade II listed country house is situated on the fringes of Epping Forest. The Wood House was built in 1895 on the Copped Hall Estate, inherited by Ernest James Wythes in 1887. He lived at Copped Hall, the Palladian mansion that was largely destroyed by fire in 1917. He initially moved to The Wood House on a temporary basis but stayed after abandoning plans to rebuild the fire-damaged house. The Wood House was constructed to the designs of Walter E. Tower and Charles Eames Kempe and is said to have been inspired by The Ancient House (also known as Sparrow’s House) in Ipswich, a property which features some magnificent pargetting on its exterior. Kempe was an eminent Victorian stained-glass designer and manufacturer and his studios produced windows for numerous cathedrals and churches. It is believed that the house has had several prominent visitors including Winston Churchill who is rumoured to have stayed during The Blitz. In more recent times it was home to singer Rod Stewart for more than thirty years.

Wood House 1959 (Country Life)
Wood House. Taken from the Archives of Country Life in 1956. (Country Life)