The Street, Wonersh
Green Place is one of those rare and captivating properties that envelops you in its history while providing all the finer comforts of the present day.
The Grade II listed home has been a landmark in the picturesque Surrey village of Wonersh for centuries. It boasts medieval origins, impressive Tudor and Georgian additions and some distinguished owners and visitors, including a celebrated collector and Winnie-the-Pooh illustrator E H Shepard.
Green Place sits behind a stone wall in a gloriously secluded two acres opposite the church, with the idyllic backdrop of Chinthurst Hill rising up behind. It benefits from all the refinements of a classic English country house and more with lawns and herbaceous borders, an orchard and wildflower meadow, an attractive courtyard with stylishly converted one-bedroom coach house, a stunning one-bedroom loggia/pavilion, a new tennis court and a beautifully secluded swimming pool with sun deck.
It is a property that entices exploration both inside and out revealing its many charms as you meander around it.
The original and oldest portion of the house is a timber-framed, two-storey dwelling which was home to Thomas Elyot, High Sheriff of Surrey in 1437, and his wife Alice. The property was inherited by the couples son Henry, who married Joan and had 23 children. At this point in its history, there must have been 25 people sleeping upstairs beneath the rafters in what is now a beautifully appointed cinema room.
The ground floor today serves as a games/family room, with the characteristic low beams and lime-plastered walls of the period.
After the Elyots left, the two-storey dwelling was extended at some time during the Tudor period, and this part now houses the boot/hat room and Smallbone-designed laundry as well as the back staircase, which leads to bedrooms above.
By the 17th century, Green Place is recorded as being in a state of dilapidation, until it was bought by local landowner Richard Sparkes in the mid-1700s, and a Georgian farmhouse built on, which now comprises a well-equipped Smallbone kitchen with a glass extension that brings light flooding into the room, and a fabulous dining room with original flagstone floor.
The house remained in the Sparkes family and in the early 1800s another Richard added a new symmetrical Regency wing, followed by an extension at the rear.
The enlarged Regency entrance hall incorporated an archway to frame the impressive curved staircase up to the first floor. Broad and statuesque, with an elegant, slim, polished mahogany handrail, this staircase is widely believed to have inspired the illustrator E H Shepherds depiction of Winnie the Pooh laying at the top of the stairs and Christopher Robin Halfway Down in A A Milnes poem.
The Georgian part of the house is classically proportioned and elegant, with high ceilings, large sash windows and feature fireplaces. Downstairs, the music room and drawing room with original shutters overlook the lawns. To the rear is the study with shuttered doors opening to the garden, plus a cloakroom. Upstairs the peaceful and private master bedroom suite has a Smallbone dressing room with charming window seat, large en-suite and a separate cloakroom.
There are four more bedrooms and two bathrooms in the Georgian wing and a further two bedrooms and shower room in the Tudor section.
It is little wonder that this rambling property with its many outbuildings attracted notable collector Reverend C J Sharp in the 1950s. He had plenty of space to fulfil his lifelong ambition of creating a private museum. Rev Sharp became renowned for his fine collection of more than 350 teapots, as well as for his domestic antiques, including furniture and household goods. More than 160 of his agricultural tools and items used in cheese and butter making are now owned by the Museum for Rural Life.
Although still a property of many parts, Green Place is certainly not museum-like today. Theres a tangible connection with the past but this is very much a home for the present, a place indeed that is like no other.
- Beautifully appointed drawing Room, dining room, sitting room & study
- Bespoke Small Bone fitted kitchen with breakfast room and modern family room
- Rear lobby, utility/ laundry, games room and cinema room
- Master bedroom suite with dressing room and opulent en-suite bathroom
- Six further double bedrooms and six bathrooms (two en-suite)
- Converted coach house with living room, fitted kitchen, double bedroom and bathroom
- Two coach house style garages and one detached tandem length garage block
- Detached pavilion with an open plan living space and fitted kitchen, double bedroom with dressing room and luxury shower room
- Extensive walled gardens with an array of seating areas
- Heated swimming pool with Millboard sun terrace, Tennis Court
- In all approximately 1.43 acres