I must go down to the sea again
Little CopseThe first May bank holiday seems to fire the warning signal for all yachtsmen; time to get the boat back in the water, the rigging tuned and the start of another sailing season.  For some this also involves regular weekends spent on the South Coast and the rush to escape from London on a Friday evening, ahead lies two days blissfully trying to outwit fellow sailors, reading the wind shifts and getting every morsel of boat speed.  For others it is simply the sheer joy of mucking about with boats or spending time at the water’s edge watching others struggle to make up against the tide.

Two of the most accessible and popular locations for weekend yachtsmen on the West Sussex coast are Itchenor, just south of Chichester, and Birdham a little further to the east, between 70 and 73 miles south of London.  The sheltered waters of Chichester Harbour and the more challenging waters of the Solent have attracted dinghy and dayboat sailors for over a century.

One family who decided to make their home at Birdham were the Francis’ after an outstanding career.  What child of a certain age has not enjoyed playing Scalextric and meeting with triumph Little Copseand disaster within a blink as their car spun off the track whilst in the lead.  Developed in the 1950 Scalextric was one of Fred Francis’s many inventions.  Others may be similarly unaware that Mr Francis was also responsible for developing the windless winch which became an important piece of equipment on many yachts and most particularly a number of the RNLI’s lifeboats.

The house that enticed Fred Francis and his family to move near Birdham is now being offered for sale.  It is situated in one of the most sought locations with commanding view of the main channel of Chichester Harbour, set in about 1.5 acres, the grounds run down to the water’s edge and include a private slipway.  The house has 4 bedrooms, three bathrooms, 5 reception rooms, an indoor swimming pool and views not just from various rooms but also the roof terrace.  Asking price £2,900,000.

Just under a mile out of Itchenor in a more rural setting and backing onto open farmland is Greenleas.  The house is set in four acres of park-like gardens, which is as exceptional amount of land for a property in the area, and has 4 bedrooms, 2 bath/shower rooms, 3 reception rooms, a conservatory and a first floor annex which provides an additional sitting room, bedroom and shower room perfect accommodation for family, friends or crew.  Guide price £1,850,000.

Sandhead lies to the south of Itchenor and has direct access to the foreshore, a west facing garden of approximately 0.7 of an acre and views over the harbour.  The house is approximately 3.000 sq.ft. is tucked away at the end of a long drive.  Although the accommodation is now rather dated it  provides a future owner with the great opportunity of either modernising it to take account of the glorious setting or, subject to planning, completely rebuilding a 21st century yachtsman’s haven.  Guide price £2,250,000

For more information contact either Jackson-Stops, Chichester 01243 786316 or
Jackson-Stops, London 020 7664 6646.

Dawn Carritt, Director,  020 7664 6646
7th May 2019