Architect: Eric Lyons
Rare to the market is this incredibly bright and spacious four-bedroom house located on Templemere, a group of Modern houses designed by the architect Eric Lyons and built in the early 1960s on the former grounds of an historic country estate.
The type-L1 design, of which this is an excellent example, employs large swathes of glazing across its two storeys in response to the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Internal accommodation extends to approximately 1440 sq ft. The ground floor is arranged as an expansive open-plan living and dining room with original wood-block flooring. Sliding glazed doors open onto the rear terraced garden from the dining area and a second reception room. On the left is a large kitchen also with access to the garden, and a guest WC.
There are four bedrooms on the first floor, three with built-in wardrobes, and a family bathroom. The property has recently undergone an extensive and immaculate renovation, with new wiring and double-glazed windows. The property comes with two garages, one access via the garden, the other in a separate block.
Templemere is one of the finest and best maintained of the Span estates and was recently awarded Conservation Area status. Set among 12 acres of gardens landscaped in the 18th century by the celebrated designer William Kent, the estate still retains its own private stretch of river and woodlands. This wonderful setting is keenly appreciated by the residents of Templemere, who often organise summer parties, woodland days and other events.
Templemere is well located between the town centres of Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge. Both towns have great appeal thanks to a combination of their good range of shops, parks, pubs, restaurants, their excellent transport links and outstanding settings. Indeed, Elmbridge borough, in which these are two principal towns, is routinely listed as having the best quality of life in the UK in national surveys. There are a number of ‘outstanding’ state and private schools in the area, including the highly-regarded St George’s College.
Frequent rail services run from both Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge to London Waterloo in under 30 minutes. Templemere, which is located within the M25, is easily reached via the M3, A3 or M25. Heathrow Airport is approximately 20 minutes by car.
Service Charge: approx. £120 per month (includes window cleaning, grounds maintenance, roads, paths and painting of exterior)
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.
The development company Span built 30 housing estates between 1948 and 1984. In his book The Spirit of Span Housing, James Strike says: “Span housing was the inspiration of two young men, who, during the 1930s, met as architectural students at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend both had a keen interest in modern architecture… They believed that there was a market for well-designed houses in carefully designed landscapes for the sort of people who recognised good design when they saw it – and they were right.”
In 2006, Span housing was the subject of an exhibition at the RIBA, and the accompanying book, entitled Eric Lyons & Span (ed Barbara Simms), gives a comprehensive survey of its history. “The work of the architect Eric Lyons,” it states, “is as well-loved now as it was vibrantly successful when first constructed. Built almost entirely for Span Developments, its mission was to provide an affordable environment ‘that gave people a lift’.”
TEMPLEMERE – A Brief History
Templemere stands on land which formed part of Oatlands Chase surrounding the Royal palace at Oatlands in Tudor times.
In 1669, when Queen Henriette, widow of Charles II died, the ruined palace and its land reverted to the Crown. It passed through several royal hands including the 7th Earl of Lincoln who built Oatlands House on the site (now the Oatlands Park Hotel).
In 1730, following the death of his father and elder brother, Henry Pelham-Clinton became the 9th Earl of Lincoln and, in 1768, became the 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyme.
The grounds were altered for the new Duke by landscape architect William Kent to include a circular temple above the original Broadwater lake, based on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli.
The Oatlands Estate was subsequently bought by the Duke of York, son of George III, but when he died later owners sold the land off in various lots. Large houses were built on each lot, on the ridge overlooking the Broadwater, each with extensive grounds. The 19th century Templemere house incorporated the Temple of Vesta.
The house and the temple were still intact in 1928, when it came up for auction by Hamptons and Sons and some time later, the whole of the current Templemere estate came into the ownership of Donald Wilson and later Robert and Ruby Wilson. In March 1961 they sold it to SRL Investments Ltd, who through Span Developments created the present estate.
Having worked for Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry, Eric Lyons (1912-1980) co-founded the development company Span in 1948, along with Geoffrey Townsend and Leslie Bilsby. Lyons’s Span houses are all about space and light, and blurring the edges between outside and indoor space. He paid great attention to the surrounding landscape, designing and building properties around existing splendid mature trees and creating communal areas that encourage residents to mix. An early Span publication summarises the origin of the name: “It spans the gap between the suburban monotony of the typical ‘spec building’ and the architecturally designed individually built residence.” Outside of his Span work, Lyons carried out a number of other schemes, including public housing for World’s End in Chelsea. He was appointed President of the RIBA in the 1970s.