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Inside Holmehurst In Loughton: Four Acres Of Seclusion


Nestled in the heart of Loughton is a property like no other, one that has links to WWII, Epping Forest and helicopter travel

Surrounded by Epping Forest on all sides, Holmehurst is a house and country estate that has been tucked away from sight for more than 156 years – until now. “It is very unusual and rare for a house of this stature to come to the open market,” says Tim Phillips, part of the Country Homes Department and Head of Office at Savills Bishop’s Stortford. “It’s one of the last remaining country estates in Metropolitan Essex.”

It’s one of the reasons it piqued our interest when we heard it had come on to the market with a guide price of £13.5m, but as Tim highlights, it has quite a history attached to it. “Holmehurst was built between 1864-65 in the Victorian Gothic revival style for Theophilus Westhorp, a shipping magnate originally from Harwich,” he takes us back. “It has had various owners over the years, but it was during the WWII that it played an important – if not always widely known – role. It was here that in 1940 the Sudetenlanders – who were fleeing the Nazis – met to establish the Loughton Declaration, their plan that following an Allied victory Czechoslovakia should be re-established as a federal state, with Sudetenland as a nation within that federation. Later in the war the property continued to be a safe house for important enemies of the Nazi regime. Between December 1945 and January 1947 it was used by the Red Cross for evacuees and became home to the ‘Loughton Boys’ – a group of young Holocaust survivors. By 1949, the house was back in private residential use.”

Holmehurst Manor Road Loughton
Holmehurst makes full use of its period features

The latest owner has been there for 23 years and much has been improved with the property. Externally, it remains a magnificent sight: it features a stuccoed elevation with tile and gabled roof, delightfully standing in its own grounds, and is entered through its own security gating. Every inch of this house has been meticulously restored to its original splendour with almost all original features in place. Each of the ground floor rooms benefit from ornate cornicing, and many with marble fireplaces and having c.3.5 metres ceiling heights and huge sliding sash windows, allowing plenty of light to flow through. The versatile configuration of this property caters for all of the modern-day requirements of a large family.

“The house is a perfect mix of modern living, but with all the character you would expect in a period home,” Tim adds. “The owner has done a great job in bringing the major internal features to a contemporary standard with its features, including an indoor swimming pool and leisure facilities, as well as a five-car garage that has potential for further development subject to planning. There are also two landing spots for helicopters.”

Unsurprisingly, given its size, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to the accommodation. “Along with ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms, there are a range of reception rooms including an impressive entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, study and drawing room, along with a games room and wine cellar,” Tim lists. “A morning room and kitchen/breakfast room sit at the heart of the house, while a personal favourite is the ballroom, which is very special indeed. The indoor pool complex meanwhile includes a gym, sauna, jacuzzi and two changing rooms. A separate three-bedroom lodge features three bathrooms, a kitchen, utility room, sitting room/dining room and study.”

Holmehurst Manor Road Loughton
There is an indoor swimming pool

The outdoors certainly plays a key role in what makes Holmehurst so special. It is situated within its own private and secluded environment in grounds of approximately ten acres (four hectares) and is boarded on all sides by Epping Forest. “With approximately ten acres of manicured landscaped gardens and pristine woodland, including a beautiful private fishing lake, tennis court, barns and an original Victorian coach house, there is a staggering amount of land surrounding Holmehurst,” Tim adds. “There is also an orchard, organic vegetable plot with fruit cages and chicken coop. In addition, the grounds have planning permission for a four-bedroom property with a separate driveway and garaging.”

Although giving the appearance of being in a rural location, in practice Holmehurst is within easy walking distance of both Buckhurst Hill and Loughton Central line stations giving access to the City and Canary Wharf within 25 minutes. There is also a mainline train station one mile away to gain access to Central London in the same time. There are several good private schools nearby and with access to the M25 and M11 motorways, 30 minutes from Stansted airport and 20 minutes to London City airport, the position of this estate is unsurpassed.

Holmehurst Manor Road Loughton
There is plenty for lovers of the outdoors to enjoy

Holmehurst already has quite a wonderful story attached to it, but the latest chapter it all set to be written. As Tim quite rightly concludes: “This is a property that often only comes up once in a generation.”

Holmehurst is on the market for a guide price of £13.5m with Savills. Find out more by calling 020 7075 2800 or visiting

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Picture of Mark Kebble

Mark Kebble

Mark's career in journalism started in 2001 when he landed a role on a small lifestyle magazine in Angel, North London. Soon enough, the magazine was purchased by a larger organisation and Mark found himself promoted to editor at the tender age of 23. He later became group editor, working on magazines for Angel, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate. He was also involved in a launch in Hadley Wood and a major new group website, later becoming Group Hub Editor. In 2021, Mark joined Zest Media Group and oversaw the launch of many Absolutely titles across the UK. To date, Mark has launched in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Essex, Yorkshire and Cheshire. When he does have some free time, Mark is also the Chairman of an amateur football club in Surrey and is also a fully qualified FA football coach.
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