Denham Place went on the market for a staggering £75m – and aside from the purchase of a royal palace, there is “nothing of such grandeur or origin so close to the center of London”. Penny Churchill looks inside.
The skies over Denham Airfield will be busier than usual in the coming weeks as some of the world’s wealthiest businessmen fly in to view the majestic Grade One listed Denham Place. Set in 43 acres of Capability Brown-designed parkland overlooking the picturesque Buckinghamshire village of Denham, this home is now listed for sale for an estimated £75 million through co-sales agents Knight Frank, Savills and Beauchamp Estates.
The estate is for sale in its entirety – and yes, that means it includes all furniture and fittings, much of which was commissioned by the current owners or carefully sourced from around the world.
Since Anglo-Saxon times, when Ulstan, the Saxon thane, had only seven owners of Denham Place, he has given Denham Manor to Westminster Abbey. In 1531, Sir Edward Peckham leased the abbey’s land known as Denham Great Park, on which 10 years later, after gaining ownership of the estate, he built a heap which he named Denham Place.
According to the 1905 article rural life (November 18, 1905), Denham Place changed hands after the Dissolution of the Monasteries before being acquired in 1673 by Sir Roger Hill, whose father, “like most civil or Commonwealth officials, amassed a great fortune”. It took Sir Roger the best part of eight years to build his house, which he completed in 1700 for £5,549 in the money of the time. In 1773, Lancelot “Ability” Brown created a Grade II listed parkland.
“A lofty and spacious old mansion” stands “directly above the village on a long flat area at Misbourne Creek, which the house designer, or perhaps his predecessors, dammed where it leaves the gardens, and thus obtained a wide and straight but flowing swath of water. , filled with long beds of aquatic algae combed out by the current … and inhabited by the famous Denham trout.
The “large and imposing” house is described as a “solid whole”. From the basement to the magnificent cornice and up past the dormer windows to the roof, there is no brick or stucco that has been replaced or redone.”
Denham Place, still largely unchanged, remained in the hands of the Hill family and their descendants, during which time it was leased to a number of prominent tenants. From 1834 to 1844 it served as the royal residence of Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte, the exiled former King of Naples, and his brother Napoleon-Jerome, Prince of Montfort and King of Westphalia after the defeat of the French Emperor. From 1853 to 1913 the estate was the English country retreat of the American financier and banker J.P. Morgan.
In 1930 Denham Place was purchased by Lord Robert Vansittart, who was Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1930 to 1938, and his heiress wife Sarita. The couple were close friends with film producer Alexander Korda, helping to support the nearby Denham Film Studios during its heyday between 1936 and 1952. Between 1960 and 1977, Denham Place was rented by Harry Saltzman, co-producer of the first nine James Bond films from nearby Pinewood Studios. After the death of Lady Vansittart in 1980, the house was converted into corporate headquarters until it was bought by the Indian Jatania family, the current sellers, in 2000.
Following an eight-year restoration project led by English Heritage and the Georgian Group led by interior designer Alexander Kravets, who has worked on some of the most luxurious hotels, private homes and estates in the world, the grandiose 28,525 sq. turned into a luxurious private palace with 12 reception rooms, 12 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, family and catering kitchens, and a private chapel.
In addition, the estate boasts 11,199 sq. feet of secondary buildings, including a Grade II listed carriage house with permission to be converted into a state-of-the-art spa, cottages, outbuildings and garages.
Interior highlights include a living room with a hand-painted ceiling mural, silk wall panels and curtains from the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, a hand-knotted carpet inspired by a carpet seen at Buckingham Palace, and chandeliers custom-made by glassblowers. Saint Louis. Also of note is the music room, adorned with ornate gold leaf stucco work, the billiard room with a restored listed mural depicting the village of Denham, and the chapel, now converted into a living room, with panels brought from Hampton Court Palace in west London in time 1700s.
“Apart from the acquisition of one of the royal palaces of the royal estate, nothing like grandeur and origin can be found so close to the center of London,” says James Crawford of Knight Frank, who emphasizes the all-important location of Denham Place, 17 miles from London. from Mayfair, 20 miles from the City, 30 minutes by car from central London and a short drive from Denham Airfield by helicopter or private jet, and Heathrow Airport is 15 minutes away.
Denham Place in Buckinghamshire is up for sale for £75m with agents Knight Frank, Savills and Beauchamp Estates – see more details and photos.
A journey through the archives reveals a real treasure in the form of a 1931 book about Buckingham Palace, which