"How Green House employs a ‘Butterfly’ principle, with the wings being angled to take full advantage of the view over the Eden Valley, while orientated to encourage maximum sunlight within."
This light-filled four-bedroom property, with garage, workshop and summer house, constitutes the north wing of what was formerly How Green House, an architecturally important example of the Arts and Crafts movement, designed by Robert Weir Schultz. The house rests among private gardens of just under an acre and was extended in the 1970s by architect Norman Engleback to provide overall accommodation exceeding 1,920 sq ft.
Robert Weir Schultz (1860 – 1951) was a Scottish architect and designer, who worked in the offices of Norman Shaw, and whose later designs shunned the limiting orthodoxy of ‘block-plan’ houses in favour of a more dynamic crescent/winged plan. This is evident in How Green House which employed a ‘Butterfly’ principle, the wings being angled to take full advantage of the view over the Eden Valley, while orientated to encourage maximum sunlight within. The design was shown at the Royal Academy in the summer of 1906, and published in The Builder and Country Life in the same year. On the brink of disrepair, the house was converted in the 1960s to create four individual properties each with their own grounds.
Accessed via a shared driveway which culminates in a forecourt with parking for several cars, this particular house occupies a favourable end position. It is located within what was the billiard/games-room, now a substantial sitting room with inglenook fireplace and Pithers stove, bay windows, oak-panelled walls and parquet flooring, and a separate study. Entry is to the extended ground-floor section from which a foyer leads left to the sitting room, or right past a shower room and separate WC, to a kitchen/breakfast room with sliding glazed doors to the rear garden.
On the first floor are three bedrooms and a family bathroom, with two large attic rooms occupying the second floor. The house would benefit from renovation throughout, with further extension possible subject to the relevant planning permission.
Wonderful gardens surround the property, planted with a mass of spring bulbs and secluded by a number of mature trees.
Edenbridge is the closest town and offers a range of schools, shops and dining opportunities. Further facilities can be found in Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells (both approximately 20 minutes by car). Trains run from nearby Hever and Edenbridge Town stations to London Bridge in approximately 45 minutes. The M25 (junctions 5 or 6) is less than 10 miles away.
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.
Robert Weir Schultz (1860 – 1951) was a Scottish architect and designer, many of whose buildings are now category-A listed, reflecting the high quality of his work. As a young architect he worked in the offices of Norman Shaw, one of a few progressive architects of the time providing an alternative to the oft-vulgar designs demanded by patrons in the opulent wake of 19th-century industrialism.
Following his time in Shaw’s practice, Weir Schultz moved to Scotland where he produced a number of progressive designs for the Earl of Bute. Many of these designs broke away from the conventional ‘block’ plan and experimented with new forms intended to maximise sunlight by spreading the building wings in the form of a butterfly, as in the example of How Green House.
The commission for How Green House came from Mowbray Charrington, of the brewing family, who tasked Weir Schultz to design a ‘small’ country house for his family on the site of an existing farmhouse. It was completed in 1905, at a cost of £5,000 (a typical terraced house at that time would have cost about £100). The Charrington Family lived in the house until the mid-1930s. In 1948 the house was sold to Frederic and Maria Floris, the colourful Hungarian pastry cooks whose well-patronised Soho shop specialised in expensive cakes and chocolates. Winston Churchill was a neighbour and regular visitor to the property during their tenure. The Floris family were the last to occupy How Green House as a single, family residence.
The house then fell into disrepair and was rescued from demolition in the 1960s by a local builder who converted the property into four houses. The house eventually came into the ownership of Norman Engleback, a well-known architect with the LCC and the leading hand in two of the capital’s most distinctive postwar buildings: the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex for the South Bank; and the National Recreation Centre at Crystal Palace (now known as the National Sports Centre).