Marquis of Anglesey's Regency dream in Gosport fulfils all modern demands
Wakefield House, Crescent Road, Alverstoke, Gosport
A 19th Century scheme to create a new marine town in Gosport that never really got off the ground is proving extremely popular almost 200 years later.
The Marquis of Anglesey was behind the scheme to realise his dream of ‘Anglesea’ at the end of the Regency period and, while never accomplished, the houses that were constructed now form a Grade II-listed enclave, part in the shape of a spectacular crescent and the rest as individual properties.
The first of these is Wakefield House, eventually named after Lord Wakefield, founder of the Castrol Oil Company, although it was built three decades before his birth.
The wealthy peer donated the property to the National Children’s Home in 1931 but modern times have seen it brought back into use as a family home.
Sensitive restoration and updating reflect both modern tastes and the original intentions of its architect, Thomas Ellis Owen, who also created some of the most outstanding properties in nearby Southsea.
‘It’s a fascinating area and I have recently sold three of the properties in The Crescent itself,’ says Colin Shairp, of Fine and Country Southern Hampshire.
‘You can see why Lord Anglesey thought this area would be perfect for his scheme. There’s a magnificent outlook to Stokes Bay and, built at a time when such houses needed to accommodate extensive staff in addition to the owner’s often large family, there was a huge amount of space.
‘Wakefield House as it is now consists of the central part of the original building with almost 6,000 sq ft of space across four floors.
'There are five bedrooms and seven reception areas taking full advantage of the setting.‘The entrance is at what would be the rear of the house but is still impressive for all that as it’s 27 ft long and has a superbly stylish staircase leading to the first floor.
'In fact everywhere you look in the property it is finished to the highest of standards, whether it’s the three bathrooms, the kitchen, or the bedrooms and living areas.
‘There’s currently a gym on the lower ground floor which also accommodates the kitchen / breakfast room and separate dining room. The ground floor is dominated by the drawing and sitting rooms looking out over the gardens and Crescent Road while immediately above them is the luxurious master suite. It would be hard to find a better Regency house.’