An exquisite Queen Anne country house with a long
and distinguished artistic heritage.
Reddish house is an exquisite example of the English country house. Constructed of mellow red brick under a clay tile roof it exhibits a number of classical features including two Corinthian pilasters carrying a pediment and entablature over the front door and a bust (reputed to be of Charles II) and angle quoins.
There is a rich historical archive, curated by Sir Cecil Beaton, perhaps Reddish House’s most illustrious occupant. The deeds relating to the house between 1599 and 1823 survive complete and from the abstracts made by the county archivist it is possible to trace the outline of the properties descent over a period of about 380 years. The house was largely rebuilt between 1717 - 1720 by Jeremiah Cray, Clothier and John Coombs a Mercer
In the 1930’s it was the home of the parents of British artist Christopher Wood, recognised now as one of our leading 20th century artists. It has twice featured in editorial pages of Country Life, firstly in 1957 and the garden most recently in 2019.
A spacious and light filled entrance reception hall with working fireplace (working shutters are a feature throughout many of the rooms)and marble Italianate columns gives an impressive first impression. A sitting room/study is situated to the right with working fireplace.
The kitchen is fully fitted with a four door oil fired Aga, Miele four ring conductor hob and double oven, sub zero fridge freezer.
The Carriage room works very well either as a library, home office, media room or further bedroom.
A shallow rising staircase from the ground floor reveals a mezzanine floor with a spacious library/landing which in turn leads to the large drawing room. This beautiful room has been extended and enhanced with a gently curved wall and pillars. Working fireplace.
The conservatory/winter garden leads off the drawing room back into the dining room which is also close to a Butlers pantry with dumb waiter.
A bedroom and bathroom is also on this floor.
First floor pricipal bedroom suite with large bathroom and dressing room. A staircase leads to the attic floor which could be used as an occasional bedroom and has a bathroom situated in the original cock fighting cages.
Formerly two cottages which have been sympathetically restored to allow for single or multiple occupation. Currently arranged with kitchen drawing room and dining room with four bedroom suites large utility snug gym and excellent storage
Garden and Grounds
The nearly 6 acres of grounds and gardens at Reddish present a romantic garden in the classic English style combining expansive lawns and ancient trees with a variety of sheltered walled garden rooms.
The house is framed by ancient yews to create in a cloud fashion a screen for the garden. Along with a thatched cob chalk wall this makes for a very private and sheltered space.
The topography of the grounds means from the highest point there is a fine prospect over the house towards the next valley and downs beyond. The steeper parts of the grounds offer a fantastic background to an array of bulbs in spring and grasses in summer.
To the west of the cottages in the most sheltered corner is a rose and peony garden originally planted by Cecil Beaton along with a large greenhouse and kitchen garden. The fruit cages protect any number of berries including white and red currents, pink and green gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries. There is also an incredibly productive and much admired asparagus bed.
The garden affords any number of quiet seating areas giving different perspectives of the house and garden be it from one of the terraces by the house or cottages to the summer pavilion for evening drinks.
In 1971 the meadow in front of the house was re-created as a water garden. This Elysian field with meandering walks is an enchanting spot as well as being an adventure playground for children along with a summer house that would lend itself very well to summer lunches or dinners.
The property is situated in the lovely Wiltshire village of Broad Chalke set amongst totally unspoiled countryside in the Chalke Valley.
The river to which the property has frontage, is a tributary of the River Avon which it joins just south of the Cathedral city of Salisbury. Salisbury is 8 miles to the east of the property and offers a very wide range of recreational and educational and cultural amenities as well as first class shopping.
The village of Broad Chalke has a church, vibrant community shop and cafe and Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ local primary. The area is renowned for an excellent choice of schools includes Bryanston, Clayesmore, Sandroyd, Canford, Knighton House, Hanford. Godolphin, St Swithins & St Mary's Shaftesbury
Local sporting facilities including horse racing at Salisbury, golf at Rushmore and water sports along the Dorset coastline. Local hunts include the Wilton, Portman, Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, South & West Wilts and Cattistock, among others. Surrounding estates all offer shooting on a commercial let-day basis, and the Chalke Valley is well known for its chalk stream fishing and annual history festival.
London is 92 miles and is easily reached from the A30, A303 and M3 whilst by rail there is a good service of trains to Waterloo from Salisbury in approximately one hour 30.
Acreage: 6 Acres
Beaton is best known as a photographer, in particular of the Royal Family over several generations. He was also a set and costume designer, most famously for the glorious costumes in My Fair Lady. As such Reddish House was a regular backdrop for numerous fashion shoots for Vogue and other titles.
Beaton was introduced to the possibility of buying Reddish House in 1947 by the writer Edith Olivier, she knew of it having stopped outside previously with the artist Rex Whistler who had drawn it.
Beaton was enjoying a period of great prosperity following successes on Broadway and a new contract with the filmmaker Alexander Korda and consequently readily agreed to purchase the house for £10,000. He set about undertaking a number of improvements at a time when postwar austerity meant that materials were in short supply. Using his theatrical talents he created a supremely comfortable house much of which is recognisable today.
For more than 30 years Reddish was to be Beaton’s home in the country and was host to a succession of visitors from the world of high society along with leading artists of the day. A single page in the visitors book shows both James Pope Hennessey (author of the widely applauded biography of Queen Mary) and Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) staying at the house. Other visitors include David Hockney & Francis Bacon. One of the longest stays was the six weeks Greta Garbo spent at Reddish. Ms Garbo is considered one of the most iconic and glamorous actresses of the 20th century.
Beaton’s reputation in America also brought to stay any number of America’s high society, most notable among them Mr Charles B and Mrs Jayne Wrightsman of New York. Mrs Wrightsman, (much photographed by Cecil) who died in 2019 was a major benefactor to the Metropolitan Museum, New York City.