Back on the market for the first time in five years, the 1930s Gradna House coastal art deco property near Looe, Cornwall is still a stunner.
Want some history? I have it. Gradna House was built for the Wills Tobacco family in the 1930s as a holiday getaway, passing into the ownership of Lord Bath in the 1940s.
It continued as a residential home for some decades after that, but for reasons that aren’t clear, stood empty for around 20 years. Can you imagine a house like this standing empty? No, me neither.
But it did until a local businessman saw its potential around 1990. I suspect the two decades of emptiness took its toll because it took architect Stan Bolt a further decade to restore this one to pretty much the state you see now. I would guess considerable expense too in light of the finish.
Were changes made? I don’t know for sure, but I would guess so, with the words ‘renovation’ and ‘re-styling’ used when the house last went up for sale. But the end result of that work is still pretty magical and very much in keeping with the original era.
More work has been done since it last went up for sale too. Nothing radical as far as I can see, but the agent mentions that Gradna House ‘was improved even further with bespoke and highly curated furniture, bespoke kitchen, bathrooms and lighting to create a truly world-class home’.
In other words, a freshening up of the interior. The interior was already modernised, so it seems to be a case of changing things around really. Talking of changing, the previous five bedrooms have now been reworked into three bedroom ‘suites’. So quite a radical overhaul on that front.
The house is, of course, the headline grabber, but the location of this place runs it a close second. A cliffside property, it has sea views over Looe Bay taking in West Looe, St. George’s Island and up the coast towards Rame Head, which separates Looe Bay from Plymouth Sound. If that’s not enough, Gradna House also comes with 1.7 acres of land, with its own private access to the beach and foreshore.
If you want to go inland, the 1.7 acres includes lawns, cliff top terraces and meadow garden in what looks like a fairly isolated setting. So privacy in both directions.
As for the interior, it still has the ‘grandeur’ of the original design, as well as a number of fixtures and fittings that are in keeping with the original design. Some drama too, courtesy of the panoramic views through the windows looking out over the water.
But overall this is a contemporary finish due to the renovation work of successive owners and although it tries to remain in keeping, this is very much a premium modern house with character.
A sizeable one too, as you might have guessed. There are three floors here, but the first of those is effectively the ‘entrance’ floor with a huge oak pivot door, a double-height entrance hall, utility and the staircase to the middle floor.
That floor contains one of the improvements, which is a new bespoke kitchen. Also on this floor is the dining room with one of those amazing bay windows, as well as the sitting room with terrace space beyond.
Head up a further level and you access the bedroom floor, which has those three individual bedroom suites I mentioned earlier, another wonderful bay window for the master bedroom and a dressing room, also for the master suite. A further terrace too.
That’s not quite all as a ladder presumably still takes you up to the copper roof. It isn’t mentioned in the details, but I expect that is still in place. It’s a key design feature, so unlikely to have been lost.
The garage is worth talking about too. Previously described as ‘an architectural masterpiece in its own right’, it has a convex copper roof, folding cedar doors and glazed rear elevation. Yes, it’s a double garage, but it is also a full-size studio with a workshop basement. So no need to worry about any ‘work from home’ space.
A dream of a house for someone, but that ‘someone’ will need something in the region of £3,000,000 to secure it.
Images and details courtesy of Shore Partnership. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.