Iconic Gothic Clock House, Burton St Leonards, East Sussex


5 Bedroom Detached House For Sale in Iconic Gothic Clock House, Burton St Leonards, East Sussex

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A once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase this versatile, spectacularly restored, well loved slice of English History. The Jewel in the Crown of Burtons St Leonards, a magnificent, remarkable 4/5 bed Family home. Secluded, private grounds, unsurpassed character and style. A real English Rose.

HISTORY Step inside one of the first buildings constructed in the exclusive purpose built seaside resort of Burtons St Leonards, "The Jewel in the Crown" of St Leonards On Sea, and be taken back to a time full of Romance and Splendour! A once in a life time opportunity to own this stunning Ecclesiastical Gothic Revival Style Villa, available to the market for the first time in over 21 years. Set over three floors this glorious family home is nestled into the edge of a cliff with views overlooking St Leonards Gardens and within a minute's walk of the sea. One could not wish for a more dramatic and romantic movie style setting... It is the heart of fashionable Burtons St Leonards adjacent to the trendy arts district of the Norman Road area with its art galleries, The Kino Teatro, antique shops, cafes and restaurants.

Designed in 1828 by the famed Architect James Burton and later developed by his equally famous Architect son Decimus who was responsible for the recently renovated Glass house at Kew Gardens, Regent Square and many other landmark buildings. Burtons St Leonards was created as a purpose-built sea side resort to entice the Wealthy, Fashionable and Famous of London Society, to take the curative properties of the sea air and water. Today, almost 200 years later, the charm of St Leonards on Sea is experiencing a most wonderful revival. Both James and Decimus Burton would be proud�

The Gardens today offer a tranquil oasis in the Maze Hill area of St Leonards, with views to the sea. The scheme has been designed to provide colour all year round with a mixture of herbaceous plants, shrubs, bulbs and trees clustered together. A central feature is the ornamental pond with water lilies. The park is also rich with wildlife.

The villas surrounding the gardens, in Regency Gothic and cottage styles, were integral elements of the landscape, with key buildings such as Allegria Court, Gloucester Lodge as well as the Clock House, all still prominent within the gardens.

Many well-known people have been linked to the houses and the gardens, including the young Princess Victoria, the writer H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines) who lived in the North Lodge, Alan Turing and various distinguished visitors including Rudyard Kipling.

Several renowned and prestigious schools are within easy reach, notably Battle Abbey School, Buckswood, Vinehall, and Claremont. Warrior Square Mainline Station is within walking distance of the property, offering frequent trains to London. 

DESCRIPTION Beautifully restored to the highest standards by the present owners, the Clock House nestles seamlessly into St Leonards Gardens. This former Gothic clock tower (which is crowned with 4 finials and battlements) is now a fabulous family home. Pugin once quoted that 'Gothic architecture signifies a more pure society' and 'appeals to evoke dramatic emotions'. Built in 1830 when the grounds (now St Leonard's Gardens) were first laid out, the building was originally designed as a clock tower but later enlarged into a stunning ecclesiastic Gothic revival style villa, with views over the park like setting, and full of features such as huge arched Lancet windows. The Clock House building was restored in 1976 and has been fully renovated and further enhanced again by the current owners. The clock in the Clock House tower was used as the St Leonards official time piece during the early days of the town and the various areas such as Lavatoria and Mercatoria would set their trading hours by the famous clock.

The villa is laid out over three floors with two entrances, one on road level and one on the ground floor in the park. There is still further access into the clock tower but this is not used for residential purposes. On the ground floor is the suite of cellar rooms, with a perfect climate for use as wine cellars, or ideal for storage or as a workshop. Adjacent to these is a large ante room which has become a lovely seating area full of plaster mouldings and Lyncrusta panelling, and a large laundry/utility room with plenty of storage and adjoining a cloakroom with an original toilet system by Mr Crapper. On the other side of the hallway is bedroom 4 with views of the parkland, a fully equipped bespoke kitchen with island feature and the real jewel in the crown on this floor, the formal dining room with tall Gothic arched windows and door that open onto the terrace at the rear.

The first floor hosts bedrooms 2 and 3, both with fitted wardrobes and with views of the park beyond. The family bathroom with claw foot bath and dual 'His and Hers' sinks serves both of these bedrooms. Across the hall is the stunning drawing room with feature fireplace and decorations, plus an ante room that leads to the drawing room.

The second floor is all about the master bedroom suite with a boudoir style en-suite bathroom to one side. The main bedroom area has glorious views form the tall Gothic arched Lancet windows and just oozes glamour. You also have your own sitting room on this floor too. The main entrance from the roadside is at the rear and the entrance lobby has the most wonderful nave like ceiling. The entrance hall has the main staircase leading down as well as a door with the stairs into the tower itself.

Outside you have private gardens that blend seamlessly into the parkland setting of St Leonards Gardens beyond. There is a botanical feel to the gardens with a feature octagonal shaped pergola style summer house on the rear terrace, which is raised and has views over the gardens and out to sea in the distance.

There are pathways leading to both ends of the gardens and a private staircase leading down into the public area. To the side are raised sandstone walls and feature bamboo plants as well as another patio area leading to the main lawn. The garden is a very tranquil place to be.

The house as it is currently laid out and used, is to the choice of the current owners, but the house is very versatile in that the principal reception rooms and bedrooms can be swapped around. In fact the current owners have previously used all of the rooms for different purposes over the years. 


ENTRANCE VESTIBULE Original heavy oak door leads into the entrance. Arched window to the side. Lovely gilded 'nave' style ceiling. Decorative plaster work. Door leading to the stairs that lead up to the clock. Staircase leads down to the first floor with an arched window to the side. Feature high skirting boards. Stripped wooden flooring. Feature doorway with decorative architrave leading to the master bedroom suite. 

MASTER BEDROOM A stunning room incorporating part of the clock tower itself. Feature double arched church style Lancet windows with stained glass tops look out over the rear along with an archway leading to the tower, with matching multi paned double arched windows to the sides and rear of this section offering stunning views out over the grounds and out to sea. Feature high ceilings with highly decorative plaster moulded cornice and further ceiling decoration. Very high skirting boards and decorative architraves to the adjoining rooms. Feature fireplace with wooden art nouveau style surround, brass inset back and tiled hearth. Stripped wooden flooring. Doors lead to the en-suite and private sitting room. 

EN-SUITE Boutique style bathroom. Arched multi paned window to the side. Decorative moulded plaster cornice and decorative patterned ceiling. Freestanding claw foot bath with Victorian style fittings. Doorway leading to a separate W.C. and wash hand basin. Feature decorative cast iron fireplace with cast iron grate and tiled hearth. Fitted bookcases to either side of the fireplace. Stripped wooden flooring. 

PRIVATE SITTING ROOM Feature multi paned casement window to the side. Decorative wooden panelling to one wall. Feature open brickwork and open fireplace with wooden mantle over, cast iron fire grate and brick hearth. Built in shelving to the sides of the fireplace. Large feature cupboard to one side. Decorative plaster moulded cornice and further decorative features to the ceiling. Stripped wooden flooring. 

FIRST FLOOR LANDING Feature window to the side. Staircase has smooth wooden handrails with turned spindles. Feature Lyncrusta panelled walls with matching dado rail run at half height down all of the walls to the stairs and landings. Deep architrave to doorways to the inner hall and ante room. Painted wooden stairs with deep pile carpet runner. 

ANTE ROOM Located at the side of the principal drawing room with a fitted sky light for natural lighting. Decorative plaster mouldings to the ceiling. Radiator and decorative cover. Stripped wooden flooring. 

DRAWING ROOM Multi paned casement window to the side and further window to the rear. Feature fireplace with decorative wooden over mantle and matching surround in a neo-classical style. Open grate with cast iron back and tiled hearth. Feature shelving to one side that is reported to hide a hidden doorway. Feature decorative ceiling with moulded plaster cornice and further decorative plasterwork to the ceiling. Stripped wooden flooring. 

INNER HALLWAY Steps lead up to the inner hallway. Fitted with Lyncrusta panelling to the lower walls and matching dado rail. Decorative plaster moulded cornice and ceiling. Stripped wooden flooring. Doors lead into bedrooms 2 & 3 and the family bathroom. 

BEDROOM 3 Multi paned casement window to the side. Decorative coved ceiling with matching picture rail. Heavily flocked wallpapered walls with hidden cupboards to either side to the bed. Stripped wooden flooring. 

BEDROOM 2 Pair of arched casement windows overlook the rear. The room is built partly into the tower which provides fitted wardrobes with a seating area. Decorative patterned ceiling with matching plaster mouldings. Stripped wooden flooring. 

FAMILY BATHROOM Frosted window to the side and further high level window to the front. Feature claw foot freestanding bath with Victorian style fittings. Matching freestanding washstand units with fitted wash hand basins. Victorian style low level W.C. Highly decorative plaster moulded cornice with decorative ceiling. Period style radiator. Door to the airing cupboard. Inset niche. Tiled flooring. 

RECEPTION HALL Stairs from the first floor lead down to the reception hall on the ground floor. Part feature flagstone and part chequerboard tiled flooring. Half panelled Lyncrusta walls with matching dado rail. Under stairs cupboard. Leads through to the laundry and through to the sitting area. 

SITTING AREA Archway leads from the hall to the sitting area for bedroom 4. French doors fitted with decorative grills open onto the terrace at the side. Further window to the rear. Door to bedroom 4 and door to the suite of cellar rooms. Decorative Lyncrusta panelled walls with matching dado rail. Highly decorative crown moulded plasterwork cornice to the ceiling with ceiling rose. Flagstone flooring. 

BEDROOM 4 Multi paned casement window with decorative grill to the side. Wooden panelled ceiling. Decorative flocked walls. Period style radiator. Carpeted. 

EXTENSIVE CELLAR SUITE Door with cast iron grate leads into the first cellar room with decorative alcove to the rear. Door to the right hand side leads to a store room, while the archway to the left opens into a painted store room with feature barrel ceiling constructed from brick and sandstone, with flagstone flooring. This would make an ideal wine store. Further feature alcoves and door leading to the workshop. Original brick and sandstone walls with feature barrel ceiling. The cellars have the perfect climate for use as a wine cellar. 

INNER HALLWAY Leading from the reception hall is the inner hall leading to the laundry and cloakroom. Two sky lights for natural lighting. Door to the garden with windows either side. Flagstone flooring.  

CLOAKROOM Wooden door leads into the cloakroom with wooden panelled walls and slate flooring. Original high level Victorian W.C. by Mr Crapper himself. 

LAUNDRY/ UTILITY ROOM Fitted butler style sink to one side. Run of tiled work-surface with space for a washing machine and tumble dryer underneath. Large expanse of fitted shelving. Access to further built in storage cupboards and storage area. Painted brick walls with barrel ceiling. Flagstone flooring. 

KITCHEN/BREAKFAST ROOM Casement window to the side with decorative grill. Range of fitted cream coloured bespoke units with turned spindles, arched doors, glazed display cabinets, plate racks, corner display units and a large kitchen island with breakfast bar. Matching cream coloured tiled work surfaces. Feature fireplace with sandstone surround housing a Rayburn cooker. Fitted gas hob and double oven. Decorative plaster moulded cornice in 'Dentil' style. Spotlights. Flagstone flooring. 

DINING ROOM One of the feature rooms of the house with the same use of the tower as the master bedroom. Decorative archway from the kitchen opens into the formal dining room. Decorative moulded plaster cornice and matching ceiling. Pair of arched church style lancet windows flank the entrance to the tower. Feature stone Adams style fireplace and stone grate. Arch leading into the tower, with tall arched windows to the sides and opening French doors with arched glazed panels above. The doors open straight out onto the terrace beyond. Currently used as a garden room with decorative cast iron grills and chequerboard tiled flooring. 


REAR GARDEN The gardens to this house once formed part of St Leonards Gardens, so have that almost regal, botanical feel to them and they gently slope away into the public gardens beyond. To the rear of the house is a lovely stone terrace that leads to the octagonal pergola/ summer house. There is a water fall feature to one side with walkways and paths among mature plants, ferns, evergreens and trees, creating a tranquil feel to the gardens. To the other side of the house is the main terraced patio with lovely views out over the lawned garden beyond and a glimpse of the sea through the mature plants and trees. This side of the garden has raised sandstone walls to the cliff edge with terraced beds of mature bamboo. There is a staircase leading up to the street level and a further unused staircase and path leading into the public gardens. The whole area is securely fenced to make a private garden for the clock house. 

PARKING There is a private courtyard to the front of the property on the street level that is used for parking, with room for 2 cars. 

Property Features

  • Gothic Revival Style House, breath taking views
  • Extremely versatile, Designed by James and Decimus Burton
  • Spectacularly Restored Throughout
  • Master Suite with 3/4 Further Double Bedrooms
  • 2 Reception Rooms/2 Bathrooms
  • Beautiful Entrance Vestibule
  • Formal Dining Room with Bespoke Kitchen
  • Landscaped Gardens of over half an acre
  • Extensive Cellars, Workshop and Wine Store
  • Secluded, no Adjacent or Adjoining Properties.



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