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Inside A £75,000,000 Countryside Estate From The 17th-Century

Today Architectural Digest brings you to Denham Place, a 17th-century country estate situated just 30 minutes from central London. Built in 1688, this historic property is on the market for £75,000,000 and has just completed an extensive 8-year restoration. An incredible 12 reception rooms, 12 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and grounds inspired by Versailles, make this stately home palatial–and with past residents including the Bonaparte Imperial family, it is a house truly fit for royalty.

Released on 07/06/2023


Located only 30 minutes from Central London

Denham Place is one of the UK's

most important country houses.

Built in 1688,

its owners have included be Bonaparte royals,

American Banker JP Morgan,

Harry Saltzman, the Bond producer,

an eclectic but important mix.

After an eight year restoration completed recently

the estate now includes 12 reception rooms,

12 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, family and catering kitchens

a private chapel, a cinema, the grounds laid out

with inspiration from Versailles.

And it's on the market for 75 million pounds.

I'd like to introduce you to Alex Kravetz,

lead designer on the restoration,

a fount of knowledge about the property.

[lo-fi piano music]

So welcome to the Great Hall,

the main entrance to the house

where people would normally arrive

from the magnificent drive we just came through.

When I first arrived at this property

it was actually an office building.

Plenty of things were not in existence,

or were completely covered up.

As an initial layer to begin the design

we had to study all the archives

and understand what was here before.

This room was significant in a sense

that it had the monogram on the ceiling

of one of the original owners.

So Reginald Hill, he was the original mastermind

behind this house when it was built in 1688.

So we proceed to the drawing room,

the main reception of the house.

In the old days where the entrance used

to be opening up right here.

So imagine arriving in this room

when it was still an office block

and you see all the walls painted completely white

and all of a sudden you start uncovering

all the layers after layers.

There is so much history

in this place that you really need to go

on a treasure hunt and reconstruct

what every generation contributed.

Benjamin Way, the later inheritor of the house,

he actually changed the entrances

from what was customary at the time.

And from the grand reception, this becomes a drawing room.

It's for the entire family to come together.

In terms of restoration, it's a beautiful room in yellow.

It was quiet, significant at the time

to make things very happy.

Every single piece here was restored

to its original grandeur.

What you see here on the walls today is silk fabric

that comes from archives of the only remaining

silk manufacturer in England to actually restore

and produce them again in this beautiful yellow color.

The main music room comes from the musical instruments

right in the center of the ceiling.

As you can see, is almost like another drawing room,

but of a different type.

It's less formal, it's more for entertainment.

That's where music comes into play.

So we have this beautiful Bechstein old piano

which was also totally restored.

And you can just see this incredible ceiling,

which we had to do full restoration on.

It was actually sinking

under the weight of the floors above.

And this was all done at the time by the English craftsman.

And you can see a French influence

that comes from historical connotation

of the Napoleon Bonaparte family staying at Denham.

The wool lights were actually produced

by a French company that's responsible

for the restoration of the Louvre as well as Versailles.

And they were brought to the house

to bring their expertise as well.

A large part of the design brief was not only

to restore this amazing property, but also to create a home.

That was the most challenging part,

to create the home within the palace.

From the 1920s, this room was actually used

as a billiards room and our tribute

to that was to reinstate that feel.

Beautiful tapestry and this room

is actually called tapestry room

because historically that's where you would hang your

most prized possessions, like the tapestries

that were only fit for the king.

Beautiful ceiling work and that is completely different

to the music room next door.

This one is very primitive in its style

by the local English craftsmen in the 1700s.

And that tells us the story of Denham Village.

You can actually see the bridge going over the river

which is still there today.

Part of our work was also to peel

off all the historical layers of paint

and by chemical analysis do a complete reproduction

of what was there at the time.

So the color is as restored

as they were originally produced.

One of the most impressive

and beautiful rooms in the house is the library.

It's actually one of the most original interiors

still preserved as it was built in 1688.

You can see it's a magnificent space, beautiful

as a private office, also amazing as a meeting room.

And on the ceiling you can see the fresco

that is taken tribute to Paolo Charles Battle

of Sanjimenjana, which is in the National Gallery in London.

We also have the original cherub.

And this space is just incredible.

It was so incredible that it was used

for filming one of the James Bond films

when Harry Saltzman was in residence.

He actually reproduced this library back

at the film studios next door for the film.

And the floor is made from leather,

hand and boss produced in Florence

specifically for this house.

[lo-fi piano music]

This is the cinema room. We're in the lower ground floor.

This room also doubles up as a function room

so you can take away all the seats and put banqueting-style

tables and chairs, and effectively serve 80 guests

for dinner with full entertainment.

We've all also done is decorated the vaulted ceilings

with the 24 carat gold frescoes.

We had a team of artists working here

for five months, all hand painted.

And this ceiling was actually one

of the most amazing features

up on the completion of the house.

Here's another unique space, and that is a bond bar.

We've created this space specifically for the entertainment.

And from here on you can connect

to other spaces like the bond bar lounge

and it's a very informal, very speakeasy environment.

Think of it as a music room for the new generation.

The vaulted ceiling comes here

from the old house architecture.

This room used to be a store room

and we thought converting it

to a bar will be a great addition

to all the more formal spaces at the top.

We are now in the chapel

and normally you would find the chapel

in much more significant palatial residences

as a private chapel of the king.

And here we actually have it also as a feature in the house.

Today it's repurposed as the champagne bar.

It's a great place to contemplate

and gather as a family, friends

and enjoy a beautiful evening together.

In terms of restoration

this was the most interesting part of the project.

So it was all painted completely white

with a green carpet on the floor.

No marble floors as you see them today.

The paneling allegedly comes from Hampton Court.

So as part of the restoration, I had to go

to Hampton Court and pick the right color for all

this beautiful detailing on the panels you see today.

We are now on the great staircase,

the oak paneled most significant staircase in the house

leading to the principal suites and other bedrooms.

The most interesting part

of the staircase is the coat of arm of Sir Roger Hill.

Again, you can see his family crest.

And this is one of two staircases

connecting all the levels in the house.

And there is also a lift that was integrated

within the fabric of the building

to connect all the four floors.

And here we are in the principle suite of Denham Place.

A magnificent lounge fit for a king

with the gorgeous ceilings, all original,

all restored to its prime glory.

And we have wonderful space full of paneled walls,

silk curtains, and the view overlooking the champagne garden

and the sunken garden below.

Moving on to the principal bedroom, four poster bed

which was carved in the region of Venice,

especially conditioned for this gorgeous bedroom.

Beautiful ceiling. More examples of fantastic plaster work.

When we started the restoration,

you could not see any of this beautiful work.

All the beautiful panelings, ceilings, frescoes

and plasterwork is in its original state,

meticulously restored.

Gold leaf applied quite generously

on all the panels, fully integrating air conditioning

all the new mods and cons, audio visual system.

It features an incredible bathroom setup

and one of the bathroom has its own jacuzzi space.

The wardrobe of the suite is also a double volume space.

You have effectively two levels

of hanging space with its own private study, dressing room.

Two volumes accessible by the spiral staircase

handcrafted specifically for this project

in an empire style.

There are 12 bedrooms in Denham place.

They're all similar in their facilities but differ in style.

All of them have beautiful marble bathrooms

and wonderfully appointed wardrobe rooms.

[electric piano music] [birds chirping]

And here we are

in the most beautiful part of the gardens of Denham place.

Behind me is the sunken garden that was constructed in 1920s

as part of the renovation that was done

just to introduce something very new to the landscape

that was originally done by Capability Brown.

When we first arrived,

it was very important to understand

how the houses were catered and what the orientations are,

and digging into history of where the entrance used to be.

Because today the entrance is through the village center

but the old entrance used to be

on the opposite side over the river.

Restoring that was the fundamental part

of reconstruction of this history.

Every time you exit the house

you are somewhere unique, somewhere beautiful

somewhere totally different to the other spaces.

It's a paradise to be in.

Dating from the 17th century,

this property is important to our history

and its legacy will continue for years to come.

It's a country house virtually in London it's so close.

Steeped in history, it's a unique estate

with an impeccable provenance.

It's a work of art

and it's on the market for 75 million pounds.

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