One of Saffron Walden’s most iconic buildings, Hill House, has been converted into 11 luxury apartments with an impressive show home, which was opened to the public on 23rd February 2019. Developed by local housebuilder, Domus Homes, the scheme offers one- and two-bedroom apartments with an expected completion date of May 2019.
The Grade II listed Hill House was once the home of George Stacey Gibson, mayor, banker, philanthropist and botanist, who was an important benefactor in town and highly influential in its development, earning him the title of “Mr Saffron Walden”. This historic building has been beautifully restored to offer light-filled, spacious apartments behind its original, imposing façade. Located in a prominent position on Saffron Walden’s High Street, this stunning early 19th Century listed townhouse, has long been regarded as a landmark to locals and this is the first time it has been opened to the general public since its previous sale in 1934.
Offering modern living within an historic building, the scheme is accessed by two entrances, both of which are served by the original staircases. As with all Domus developments, each of the apartments are finished to a high specification, including luxury flooring, individually designed kitchens with Bosch fully integrated appliances, video entry, efficient gas fired central heating system and high-speed fibre & cable TV. Domus has retained many original features of the building, including four metre ceilings, feature bay and full-length windows, ornate staircases and external period detailing. In addition, residents benefit from an enclosed, private courtyard, a bike store and gated parking is available with some apartments.
Designed with luxury living in mind, the show home is flooded with natural light from the feature, original full-length windows. The apartment flows beautifully and includes a spacious hallway, large open-plan kitchen/living room and two bedrooms, one with an ensuite. In addition, there is a separate bathroom and ample storage space. The show home has been dressed and decorated by local interior studio, The Design House. Emma Folland, the designer, has incorporated features to enhance the unique nature of the property. She comments: “Our treatment of the Hill House Show Flat demonstrates how a beautiful 19th century building with high ceilings and large arched windows can come to life with a more contemporary style of living.
The sleek grey kitchen sits comfortably in the open plan living area; the retro feel of the leather sofa and chair gives a warmth and relaxed feel to the room. Bursts of green add colour - and a very current vibe - to the space without diminishing any of the period features.”
The original house was built in 1821 by Henry Archer, once Mayor of Saffron Walden, on the site of the old Recorder’s House and ancient ducking pond. George Stacey Gibson acquired the building in 1845 and named it Hill House. He extended the house considerably, including its ornate Italianate loggia to the rear, and when completed, it was the largest house in Saffron Walden, with extensive gardens of eleven acres stretching as far as the Audley End estate. Much of the land was sold off at auction following the death of his only child, Mary Wyatt Gibson in 1934. Hill House itself was acquired by the Post Office and converted into a sorting office for Royal Mail during the Second World War. Over time, Royal Mail relocated its sorting office and Hill House stood empty. Subsequently, it was converted by a housing association into flats and had gradually fell into a state of disrepair until Domus Homes acquired the building in March last year.
Darren Mould, owner of Domus Homes, comments: “At Domus we pride ourselves in returning historic buildings to their former glory, and Hill House is no exception. We have brought the internal structure and services up to modern day living standards, but throughout its construction, we have paid particular attention to the building’s past, which was a key consideration during the development of the scheme."
Tim Jones, owner of Domus Homes, continues: “We have tried to incorporate little touches throughout the building to pay tribute to George Stacey Gibson. The new Hill House icon, for example, was designed to reflect his keen love of botany. Also, in homage to the donation of his extensive Hill House book collection and bookcases to the Saffron Walden Town Library, we have donated bookcases to the new residents of Hill House for a book sharing scheme."
Hill House is situated on Saffron Walden High Street and has views over the town to the church and to Saffron Walden Golf Course. Saffron Walden is a pretty, medieval market town, 12 miles north of Bishops Stortford and 18 miles south of Cambridge. Ideal for commuters, it is served by Audley End train station, which offers services into London Liverpool Street in under an hour. Saffron Walden offers fantastic independent and state schooling and is on the edge of open countryside.
Bruce King, Director at Cheffins, the selling agent, comments: “Hill House is the most exciting new development to come to the Saffron Walden market in recent years. The apartments on offer blend the best in contemporary and luxury living within decorative, period interiors. We expect these apartments to be of interest to young professionals and downsizers who look to make the most of the lifestyle on offer in Saffron Walden and the quick commute into both London and Cambridge.”
Prices start from £235,000 and the show home is priced at £375,000 and are available to view through the Saffron Walden office t: 01799 523 656, www.cheffins.co.uk