Orwell House: A sophisticated series of seamlessly linked modern spaces


In splendid contrast to the abundance of historic buildings, Orwell House, named after one of the village’s appreciators, was designed and built by highly regarded local designer Andrew Herring in 2007/8.

To quote Herring, “The design concept for this house was to create ‘organic modernism’, utilising natural materials including plants, water, thatch, oak and stone.

“These play against more modern materials such as glass and polished concrete with crisp, fresh, light-reflecting walls and ceilings.

“Internal floor surfaces carry into the external spaces, encouraging use of the outdoors to a much higher degree than the mainstream home. Glass is used to such an extent that the gardens are invited into the living space to create a feeling of well-being.

“The images should speak for themselves… a deliberately understated arrival, security, seclusion, peace, sophistication and most importantly, fun”.

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Approached along a private, shared lane Orwell House is entered through a Corten steel electric entrance gate to ample gravel parking in front of the property, where there is also a triple-aspect open-bay garage.

The gardens, designed by Herring and Sarah Eberle, winners of gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006 and 2007, have been further enhanced by the current owners and are well established.

Modern in design, providing privacy and numerous outdoor spaces, features and specimens include Willow trees, long grasses, bamboo, silver birch and tulip trees, water features, agapanthus flowers, log walls, Corten steel garden area with fire pit, olive trees set by a decking terrace and Japanese slate heated swimming pool.

The pool house with a first-floor bedroom and shower room doubles as a studio annexe, depending on the owner’s needs.

Situated near the banks of the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, Sutton Courtenay has a rich history. With an attractive village green, many of the houses date to the 16th century and earlier. Fine period properties include the Grade II* listed Manor House, The Abbey and the Norman Hall.

With a vibrant community, amenities in the village include the Sutton Courtenay C of E Primary School, the church of All Saints, a post office/general store and four public houses, including the popular pub-restaurant The Fish. More extensive amenities are found in Abingdon, Didcot and Oxford.

Communication is good with the A34 connecting M40 and the M4. Didcot Parkway station is approximately 3 miles away and operates a 40-minute intercity service to London Paddington.

Notable past and current residents are numerous and include former Prime Minister HH Asquith and Eric Arthur Blair, alias George Orwell, who is buried in the churchyard.

The area is well served by an excellent selection of state and independent schools in and around Abingdon and Oxford. Orwell House owns part of All Saints Lane over which other dwellings have right of way.

Orwell House is on the market at £4.5m with Savills.

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