PROPERTY SUMMARY When it comes to property descriptions, words like outstanding, magnificent and impressive are often over used, however when it comes to Brankesmere these words can only be used to describe both a notable property with an interesting history and a rather grand local landmark. The features, that over our Directors career (the last 35 years locally) he has not seen before in any individual home. This interesting and impressive façade is matched internally with some truly magnificent wood carvings, cornicing, coving, woodwork, windows, architraves and doorways. With a duty to retain and maintain the character, the current owners have not disrupted any of the original property or features. Describing a property like this is always difficult as there are an abundance of features, clearly the former owners had both the quality and desire to impress when designing and building this home. It was the former home of the Brickwood Brewery magnets before becoming the Social Services office, probably one of the most handsome Social Services offices in the Country (as described in a newspaper in 1983). The property was formally used as the Police Headquarters, during the investigation of the disappearance of Commander Buster Crabb a famous naval diver, with meetings between the Chief Constable and MVD known later as the KGB, taking place within Brankesmere or Byculla House as it was known at the time.
Situated in the heart of the oldest conservation area in Southsea, the house is tucked away behind high walls and gateway with mature trees, yet it has the convenience of being within easy access of local shopping amenities, the Victorian waterfront, and within the Golden Triangle located between highly regarded schools such as St Johns College, The High School and the nationally acclaimed Grammar School.
There is an abundance of history linked to this property and its many users over the last century, one of the most prominent owners of the period was Sir John Brickwood, who moved into the new house in 1896, the Brickwood family were the largest brewer and public house owner in the area from the mid 19th century, he was also Chairman of the Portsmouth Football Club which was founded in 1898. At the outbreak of the first World War, Sir John generously placed the house at the disposal of the Red Cross for the use of the relief hospital. In 1923 the house name changed to Byculla and became Byculla School for 'daughters of officers and professional men', in 1940 the property became the temporary headquarters of the Portsmouth and Southampton City Police Forces where they formed the present Hampshire Constabulary. During this period, there were references to MI5 and the mysterious disappearance of Buster Crabb at the dockyard, we understand in the mid 1970's Hampshire County Council and Social Services moved in and remained as tenants until 2004. At this stage the property was bought by a local architect and separated it to form three individual units, the primary unit being Brankesmere, which overlooks the private fresh water swimming lake and walled gardens.
Brankesmere provides 3922 sq ft of living space arranged over three primary floors with three bedrooms, a large feature en-suite bathroom and a shower room on the first floor, with a kitchen/breakfast room, drawing room inc. dining area and study on the reception level with four further reception / bedrooms / inc. a gym / cinema and games rooms along with utility rooms on the lower ground floor. Early internal viewing of this impressive home is strongly recommended in order to appreciate both the accommodation and location on offer.
When you invest in a Listed character property you are buying more than just a family home in an enviable location you are also preserving a little slice of history for the next generation. It has Grade II Listing which protects the traditional way of living and being in a conservation area your surroundings are also protected.
DIRECTIONS Travelling along Southsea seafront in a westerly direction, continue along
South Parade into Clarence Parade, bear right into Western Parade, on reaching junction, bear right again into Kent Road and take the second road on the left hand side into Queens Crescent, where Brankesmere can be found immediately on the right hand side on the corner of Queens Crescent and Kent Road.
ENTRANCE Security operated gates leading to front door with plaque over depicting house name, video entry phone system, high gate leading to garden and lake, high fence panelling to one side, resin based shingled area with stone steps leading to red tile raised terrace, low retaining walls and bollards with steps leading down to primary garden, stairs with twin glazed doors leading to:
PORCH Glass panelled roof, high level leadlight window, windows overlooking garden with low shelving, tiled flooring, two further internal glazed doors with panels over leading to:
DRAWING ROOM 29' 4" x 17' 9" (8.94m x 5.41m) increasing to maximum 26'2", ceiling height 11'10". To either end of this room are centralised chimney breasts with ornate surround fireplaces both with black canopies, tiled inlays and hearths, ornate ceiling cornicing and coving, feature architraves and cornicing to walls, high skirting boards, two false doors with matching architraves over with mirror panels, two roll top radiators, stripped and stained floorboards, picture rail.
Music room area; cornicing to ceiling, substantial bay window to front aspect overlooking the lake and garden with roll top radiator under, stripped and stained floorboards, high skirting boards, cast iron supports with trellis work over, doorway leading to kitchen and one wing and study to the other.
STUDY 17' 11" x 13' 2" (5.46m x 4.01m) measurements do not include recessed area with feature turret and spiral staircase leading to lower ground floor, central ceiling rose and coving, feature dark wood painted skirting boards, architraves, window overlooking terrace and lake with roll top radiator under, central chimney breast with feature dark wood surround fireplace with green tiled inlay, blue and green tiled hearth, stripped and stained skirting boards, power points, ornate ceiling coving and cornicing.
KITCHEN 18' 6" x 20' 10" (5.64m x 6.35m) 18'6" maximum decreasing to 15'2" x 20'10" decreasing to 17'11". Window to front aspect overlooking terrace and lake with roll top radiator under, 'Anaglypta' wallpaper under dado rail, feature cornicing and coving, square bay overlooking garden and lake with radiator under, stripped and stained floorboards, glazed panelled door leading to hallway, central chimney breast with surround fireplace, cast iron grate with turquoise tiles and living flame coal effect gas fire (not tested), balustrade staircase rising to first floor, ornate ceiling coving, high level window to side aspect. Kitchen area; comprehensive range of cream fronted wall and floor units with work surface over, space for free standing range style cooker with sunken shelf and lighting over, corner display shelving with eye-level microwave, inset 1½ bowl sink unit with mixer tap and cupboard space under, integrated dishwasher with matching door, space for American style fridge/freezer, central island with range of drawers and cupboards under with breakfast bar area to one side.
HALLWAY Staircase leading down to lower ground floor, door to:
CLOAKROOM Low level w.c., pedestal wash hand basin, skylight window, radiator, built-in cloaks cupboard with hanging rail and shelf, panelled door.
LOWER GROUND FLOOR Second entrance from garden with an external vestibule, glass roof, high level leadlight stained glass panelling, doorway with window to either side leading to:
VESTIBULE 11' 4" x 5' 1" (3.45m x 1.55m) Internal door with leadlight panel over leading to hallway with staircase rising to reception level, staircase leading to lower ground floor.
LOWER GROUND FLOOR Radiator, door to:
T.V/GAMES ROOM/BEDROOM 5 17' 10" x 14' 9" (5.44m x 4.5m) measurements do not include recessed area with windows overlooking the garden with roll top radiator under, wooden parquet flooring, ceiling height approximately 8'2" with inset speakers, ceiling coving, wall uplighters, radiator, cast iron fire surround with tiled hearth.
GAMES ROOM 17' 9" x 10' (5.41m x 3.05m) ceiling height approximately 8'0". High level window, spiral staircase leading to study, two radiators with covers over, parquet flooring, ceiling coving, wall lights, range of built-in cupboards to one wall housing electric meter, water stop cock and range of electrical supplies for surround sound and security system, further cabinets with wiring for computer and internet.
INNER LOBBY 11' 9" x 5' 8" (3.58m x 1.73m) Parquet flooring, ceiling coving, work surface with built-in wine cooler and storage.
STORE ROOM Fully tiled to walls, range of shelving.
LAUNDRY ROOM 10' 3" x 5' 5" (3.12m x 1.65m) Wooden flooring, work surface with sink unit and mixer tap with cupboards under, washing machine point, wall units, ceiling spotlights and coving.
BOILER ROOM Wall mounted boiler with free standing hot water cylinder and pump system with thermostat for underfloor heating.
GYM 16' 11" x 17' 10" (5.16m x 5.44m) maximum. Wooden parquet flooring, low level built-in storage cupboard with shelving over, interlinking door to games room, ceiling spotlights and coving, door to:
ENSUITE SOWER ROOM Fully ceramic tiled to walls and floor, concealed cistern w.c., corner wash hand basin with cupboards under, shower cubicle with drench style hood, speakers and jet stream control system, chrome heated towel rail, panelled door.
BEDROOM 4/HOME OFFICE 12' 8" x 8' 10" (3.86m x 2.69m) Wood laminate flooring, ceiling coving and spotlights, high level window with built-in wardrobes under with hanging space, panelled door, power points.
FIRST FLOOR Landing with balustrade, passage way providing access to primary rooms, radiator with cover over, cast iron surround fireplace, window to side aspect overlooking garden.
FEATURE ENSUITE BATHROOM 15' 1" x 10' 6" (4.6m x 3.2m) Dual aspect windows overlooking lake and garden with roll top radiator under, low level w.c, double ended bath with central mixer taps, mosaic tiled surrounds, shelving, wooden flooring, raised plinth with radiator, shower cubicle with glazed panelled door, ceiling speaker, high ceiling with ornate coving and cornicing, cast iron surround fireplace, door to hallway.
BEDROOM ONE 19' 5" x 13' 0" (5.92m x 3.96m) Twin doors with central windows leading onto balcony, radiator, wood laminate flooring, central chimney breast with surround fireplace, green tiled hearth and inlay, ornate ceiling coving and cornicing, high level picture rail, door to hallway, door to ensuite, door to:
WALK IN WARDROBE 11' 4" x 4' 7" (3.45m x 1.4m) Comprehensive range of hanging rails and open shelving, shoe rails, large mirror, matching flooring.
SHOWER ROOM Fully ceramic tiled shower cubicle with drench style hood and separate shower attachment, wall mounted wash hand basin with mixer tap, ceramic tiled to half wall level with tiled flooring, low level w.c with twin flush, heated towel rail, extractor fan, ceiling spotlights.
BEDROOM TWO 18' 0" x 13' 6" (5.49m x 4.11m) Window to side aspect, twin windows to front overlooking lake and garden with radiator under, central chimney breast with surround fireplace, brick tiled hearth and inlay with mirror over, ornate ceiling coving and cornicing, picture rail, opening leading to turret style window with windows to three aspect overlooking driveway and garden, wooden flooring.
BEDROOM THREE 14' 4" x 10' 3" (4.37m x 3.12m) Twin windows to front aspect overlooking garden and lake with radiator under, wooden flooring, central chimney breast with surround fireplace, brown tile inlay and hearth, high ceiling with ornate ceiling rose and coving, access via rope ladder leading to hidden children's sleeping area.
OUTSIDE From the car parking is a tall security gate with entry phone system, leading to a resin based shingle area with high fencing and trellis over leading directly on the lawn, further steps leading to raised terrace with red tiling and steps leading to porch, the garden wraps around the house on two sides and is enclosed by a brick retaining wall with raised area to one corner, enclosed by mature trees, evergreens and bushes.
Central to the plot is a large fresh water swimming lake with water fall and irrigation system, bridge leading to sun house, the lake is surrounded by reeds and shingle with a circular resin patio area with central steps, to the side of the property is a further door leading to vestibule and access to the lower ground floor, external BBQ chimney with slate inlay, fence panelling to one side with mature hedge, to the left hand corner of the plot is a pedestrian gate leading onto Kent Road, hidden behind the maturing hedge is a wooden built shed/garden storage area.
Overlooking the lake opposite the house is timber framed garden room which is open on three aspects with lighting, pitched roof, wooden flooring, folding Perspex sides, directly to the front of the building access via a pillared gateway are twin wooden remote controlled gates providing access onto tarmac drive with off road car parking for numerous cars, soldier style wrought iron fencing between houses with shrub borders to either side, mature trees, external lighting, & security entry phone system.