Architect: McLean Quinlan
Described by the author Alain de Botton as “one of the more beautiful things I’ve ever seen”, this five-bedroom house can be found in a magnificent rural setting close to the town of Totnes.
Set in approximately four acres of idyllic landscaped gardens, the house was designed by the highly-regarded architect Fiona McLean of McLean Quinlan as a replacement for a farmhouse that stood on the original site. The retention and re-use of the coloured stone from the original structure gives the building a timeless quality that belies the fact it was completed in 2002. Shuttered concrete detailing and floor-to-ceiling glazing are among the more contemporary aspects of the home, as is the largely open-plan interior layout. The architectural writer, Cathy Strongman, has described the house as “sturdy and yet elegantly transparent in places, contextual but also contemporary… a Devonshire farmhouse that takes full advantage of its setting without diminishing any of its beauty”. For more images and information about the house on the McLean Quinlan website, click here.
Perhaps the most notable space in this secluded house is the wonderful master bedroom suite that occupies the entire second floor of the house. Entirely glazed at one end, it has spectacular, uninterrupted views down a steep, wooded valley. Exposed green oak beams run throughout the space continuing into a large ensuite bathroom and a walk-in in wardrobe ( fitted with bespoke joinery). Accommodation on the first floor includes three double bedrooms (two with en suite bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes), and study. Each of the bedrooms have glorious views of the gardens and hills beyond.
The ground floor is made up of a large reception room, a kitchen / dining room and with utility room off it. Sliding floor-to-ceiling glazed doors run the entire length of the ground floor, giving access and wonderful views to the terrace and gardens. The ground floor is accessed via an entrance hall with a glazed roof.
Beside the main house is second building, a converted barn, that houses a double-height reception room (currently used as a cinema / games room), bathroom, sauna and mezzanine bedroom. There is also a double garage at the property.
The house is hidden away at the end of a long private drive which opens into formal gardens, partly walled, with a large lily pond. Steps lead down through exquisite terraced gardens over a small moat and through a stone and glazed entrance hall to the oak front door. Behind the house is the main lawn which leads to a wildflower meadow and a further area of lawn. Beyond this is a small ancient woodland with a stream running through it. The property borders entirely on open farm land. The gardens and outside space are an integral feature of the property and the house has been designed as a contemporary structure that sits entirely comfortably in what is a timeless landscape that has hardly changed over the centuries.
McLean Quinlan are a long-established London-based architectural practice that specialises in residential projects of outstanding quality. Space, light and exceptional finishes are key focuses of their designs, as is evidenced in the house at Washbourne.
Washbourne is a tranquil rural hamlet found amongst the rolling hills of south Devon. The area is much sought after thanks to its natural beauty, proximity to an outstanding coastline and surrounding market towns such as Totnes. Totnes has a train station that runs services to London Paddington in approximately 2 hours 50 minutes. Washbourne is four miles from Totnes and seven miles from Dartmouth.
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.