Rock House Lane, TQ1
This imposing residence has an impressive castellated roof line and large bays, tall windows and particularly light and airy rooms arranged to take advantage of the southerly aspect and views over the impressive grounds to the sea.
We are advised that the present house was built around the middle of the 19th century, with servants’ wing and new apartments being added around the turn of the century and the detached coach house converted during the 1970’s.
Today, the property the property still requires some updating, but in recent times has had major work undertaken to the roof, wiring, external decoration and internal cosmetic decoration. There is still a wealth original features retained and a number of internal art deco influences as a result of the Wills family (tobacco giants of days gone by), who were associated with the property in the 1930’s. Particularly noteworthy are the fine art deco windows to the first half landing and the entrance vestibule, as well as some fine bathroom examples of the 30’s period.
Historically, the property’s real claim to fame is its association with the famous author Rudyard Kipling who decided to settle in the West Country in 1896 after moving back to England from America and lived for a couple of years at ‘Rock House’. An extract taken from the BBC website mentions ‘Rock House’ as his ‘dream home’. The building is thought to have been his inspiration for his book ‘The House Surgeon’ in 1909.
Situation: Occupying a superb elevated private country lane position overlooking its own land across to the sea, above the cliff tops in the hamlet of Maidencombe. Approximately 2 miles from Torquay town centre and 15 miles or so to Exeter, Maidencombe is within the coastal preservation zone and is in an area of great landscape value. There is a pleasant walk through the grounds to the coast path and to Maidencombe beach. There are several other beaches nearby and water sports and boating enthusiasts have a good selection of facilities available, including an excellent marina and harbour in Torquay as well as mooring facilities in nearby Shaldon and Teignmouth.
Entrance vestibule: Period oak panelled entrance door with part leaded light and leaded fan light Two large feature art deco glass windows. Oak block floor. Electric panel radiator. Large oak panelled door with leaded light window and fan light.
Large entrance hall: Feature tiled fireplace. Two shuttered windows. Two double radiators. Staircase rises to first floor.
Cloakroom: Leaded light window. Radiator. Coat/shoe space.
Separate WC: Leaded light window to the front aspect. Low level WC. Pedestal wash hand basin. Radiator. Part tiled walls.
Ball room/Former Drawing Room: Two large full height bays with shuttered windows. Large Minister Stone fireplace. Ornate wall/ceiling plaster frieze. Double and single radiators. Ball room centre floor with oak block flooring around the perimeter. Fine southerly views over the garden and sea beyond.
Morning room: Shuttered folding glass quadruple doors opening to the terrace with views over the garden and sea beyond. Feature stone fireplace. Ornate wall/ceiling frieze. Double and single radiators. Night storage heater point. Telephone point. Part glazed door to entrance hall. double multi paned mirror glass doors open into:
Dining Room: Large full height window with shutters overlooking the garden and sea. Feature tiled fireplace with timber surrounded. Oak block floor to carpet surrounds. Corniced ceiling. Door into rear lobby. Double radiator. Previously mentioned mirror glass doors open to the morning room.
Study: Window to rear with shutters. Corniced ceiling. Feature brick/slate fireplace. Double radiator.
Rear Hall: Double doors to wine cupboard. Under stairs cupboard. Folding door to lobby/serving hall with door into dining room and part leaded light double doors leading to what used to be the back staircase.
Butler’s Silver Room: Two windows. Two fitted glass fronted dresser style display cabinets with shelved space below with additional built in shelved cupboards and top cupboards. A further range of built in cupboards now utilised as an airing cupboard and also housing the twin gas fuelled boilers for central heating and domestic hot water and lagged hot water cylinder. Double radiator. Work top. Towel rail.
Kitchen/Breakfast Room: Full height shuttered window overlooking the garden and sea beyond. Fitted ‘Aga’ presently fuelled by solid fuel with option to convert to gas. Range of basic floor and wall units and multi unit. Stainless steel single drainer sink unit. Plumbing for dishwasher. Pantry. Door to laundry room.
Laundry Room: Window overlooking the garden and sea beyond. Plumbing for automatic washing machine. Pedestal wash hand basin. Quarry tiled floor. Fitted range of fronted display cupboards. Open shelving. Drawers and base cupboards.
Utility Room: Window. Quarry tiled floor. Quarry tiled worktops. Open shelved units.
Landing: A spacious split level area with attractive ceiling and coving. Electric consumer unit box.
Bedroom 2: Bay window with spectacular views over the garden and the sea. Two radiators. Sealed fireplace. Fitted wardrobes. Communicating door to:
Bathroom/WC: Window. Panelled bath with shower unit over. Low level WC. Wash hand basin. Towel rail. Down flow electric convector heater.
Bedroom 3: Large window with great views. Corniced ceiling. Radiator. Electric night storage heater point. Fitted wardrobes.
Lobby: Window to the rear aspect. Doors to bathroom/WC.
Master Bedroom: A magnificent room with large window bays to the south and west aspects. Corniced ceiling and moulding. Fitted range of wardrobes.
Bathroom/WC: Window. Panelled bath with overhead shower unit. Pedestal wash hand basin. Low level WC. Tower rail. Part tiled walls.
Bedroom 4: Window to the rear aspect. Fitted wardrobes.
Bathroom/WC: Window to the rear aspect. Panelled bath. Low level WC. Pedestal wash hand basin. Part tiled wall surrounds. Electric down flow convector heater. Tower rail.
Bedroom 5: Window to the rear. Built in wardrobes.
Outside: In the region of 7 acres.
From the country lane a pillared entrance leads onto a driveway and turning/parking area leading to the rear of Rock House.
The main area of garden lies to the south east of the house which has a wide terrace adjoining the drawing room, morning room and dining room and continues along in the front of this elevation and overlooks attractive and extensive lawned grounds with a sunny aspect and sea views beyond.
The grounds gently slope away from the property and are planted with many specimen trees, shrubs, bushes and conifers etc. To the south is a ‘sunken garden’ with ornamental pond and designated sitting out area with low stone walls and crazy paved terrace. This area overlooks the paddock and benefits from lovely sea views from a peaceful retreat. There are two separate large paddocks which offer access onto a lane and from here onto the coast path to the beach.
A particular feature is the walled former kitchen garden which is quite extensive and along one wall a number of green houses which have fallen into disrepair. Adjoining is an apple orchard.
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