Virginia Woolf’s former home and birthplace of the Hogarth Press has been converted into two exquisite townhouses in the centre of Richmond

13 November 2017

Two painstakingly restored townhouses, Virginia and Leonard, which together form Grade II listed building Hogarth House in Richmond, Surrey, are now for sale through Savills for £3.75m each.

2017 commemorates the 100 year anniversary since the Hogarth Press was founded in this building. A single large house or ‘villa’, it was built in 1750 and lived in by a number of families over a period of some 165 years. In March 1915, the relatively recently married Virginia and Leonard Woolf moved into Hogarth House and, two years later, they purchased a hand press and set up the Hogarth Press in the drawing room. While in Richmond, the Hogarth Press published some 40 books, including works by John Middleton Murray and Sigmund Freud.

Seven years after setting up the Hogarth Press, the Woolfs’ moved to Bloomsbury to be closer to members of the Bloomsbury Group, of which they were part. They sold Hogarth House and in 1934 it became business premises. The building was originally designated with a Grade III listing in 1947 which was abolished in the late 1960’s. In 1968 the building was re-listed as Grade II and in 1976; it received a blue plaque to commemorate the residency of Virginia and Leonard Woolf. From the Seventies until the current owners purchased the building, it was used as business suites.

The Hogarth Press is cited as having made a significant contribution to modernism, publishing what are now considered some key texts in the development of the movement. The association of the Woolfs with the Hogarth Press ended in 1946, by which time they had published 527 titles. The Hogarth Press still continues to thrive today as a literary imprint under the aegis of Random House.

Hogarth House was bought by property company, Berwick Hill Properties, in 2012 and it took around two years before planning was granted to restore the building and convert it back into two Georgian residential townhouses, reflecting its layout during the time of the Woolfs’ ownership. The restoration took around 18 months with highly respected and leading conservation architecture practice, Donald Insall Associates, appointed to design the conversion and assist with the planning process, in particular discussions with the local Conservation Officer. The intention throughout the project was to restore as many of the original features as possible.

Leonard, forming the left hand side, is arranged over four floors and comprises four bedrooms, four bathrooms,  drawing room, kitchen/dining room, family room/bedroom five, a study and laundry room. Significant attention has been placed upon its sympathetic refurbishment. Notable features include an elegant staircase, wall panelling, hand crafted bespoke kitchen and rear garden, designed by RHS Chelsea medal winner, Heather Appleton.

Meanwhile Virginia has also been carefully restored and appropriately decorated. Accommodation comprises four bedrooms, five bathrooms, drawing room, sitting room, kitchen/dining room and study/fifth bedroom. There is also a dressing room to the master bedroom and a laundry room on the lower ground floor. To the rear, sits another Heather Appleton designed courtyard garden.

Interior design firm, The Decorative London Ltd, was appointed to deliver finishes and a decorative specification for both properties where every square foot of the property was considered to make the most of the natural light, high ceilings and large scale rooms. The level of craftsmanship displayed in the original architecture is celebrated, while bespoke furnishings, custom made storage solutions and British hand-crafted kitchens satisfy all the requirements of modern living.  

Of the sale, Jeremy Richardson, Director of Berwick Hill Properties, says: “We knew from day one that this was a very important building. There aren’t many opportunities in life to own such a unique home.”

Daniel Hutchins, head of sales at Savills Richmond, says: “In this centenary year, its significance as the birthplace of the Hogarth Press makes Hogarth House a very special place to call home. Over the past few years, Berwick Hill Properties has carried out a remarkable job in its restoration, creating two glorious properties. Situated in the heart of Richmond, the sale of Virginia and Leonard will present future buyers the opportunity to own a slice of literary history within a truly magnificent architectural building. Alongside its history, given its central position and generously proportioned accommodation, we expect interest to be wide-ranging taking in families as well as downsizers seeking a superbly appointed house that’s perfect for entertaining.”

 
 

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Claire Basing Lawson

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