Built on Tea and Biscuits …..

A gloriously restored Victorian water garden in a secluded 9.41 acre valley overlooking the coast near Lyme Regis is for sale through Symonds & Sampson in Axminster. Angela Gillibrand has researched the fascinating history of the man who created it.

Built on Tea and Biscuits …..

How does the world see us:  afternoon tea, glorious country gardens and a culture rich in history and pageantry, reflected in period dramas such as Downton Abbey? We know today’s reality is very different from this stereotypical view of heritage England – a fantasy forever trapped in time, but beloved all over the world. 

Sir Henry Peek’s family fortune was built on the tea trade and latterly Peek Freans, the largest biscuit manufacturer in Europe.  They pioneered the modern biscuit, introducing the familiar Garibaldi, Bourbon and Custard Creams to generations of appreciative consumers.  Sir Henry, a benevolent Victorian with an interest in nature, was pivotal in preserving Wimbledon Common and Burnham Beeches for posterity. In his later years he created a model estate in Rousdon, Devon, with pleasure gardens designed by the renowned landscape designer Robert Marnock. 

Over time the Victorian water gardens which cascade down the hidden valley to the sea were reclaimed by nature and forgotten like the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  The current owners have lovingly restored the series of four descending pools interconnected by spillways.  The surrounding woodland has a variety of deciduous trees both mature and recently planted, with drifts of snowdrops and bluebells in season. Paths wind down the valley on each side of the water garden, leading to a small timber woodsman’s hut and a log store, as well as access to the private beach. 

Occasionally reality and the romance of our past do intertwine.  So as you relax on a bench gazing over the pools stepping down the valley to Charton Bay beyond, with only the sounds of birds and the breeze in the beeches, you can almost picture the glimpse of liveried footmen discretely serving refreshments to Sir Henry and his guests. 

Symonds & Sampson are excited to offer this unique opportunity to acquire this tranquil retreat, a haven for nature lovers seeking to enjoy the changing seasons in this secret valley. In all 9.41 acres of broadleaved woodland.  The Guide Price is £145,000. For further information please contact Ross Willmington or Angela Gillibrand on 01297 33122

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