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Pond Road, Hook Heath, Woking, GU22


6 Beds 3 Baths 2 Receptions

REF: WOK210069


A major portion of one of Hook Heath's most impressive and prestigious houses, designed by Surrey's famous architect and master builder, WG Tarrant. Total floor area in excess of 4000sqft.

Danes Cross was built circa 1910 and is registered as being of Architectural Significance. The late 19th century and early part of the 20th century was a golden age for domestic architecture in Surrey. The influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement can be found in many of the county's best country houses that still stand today. One locally renowned architect was WG Tarrant who designed on a grand scale with a special focus on bringing light into a house and attention to detail. Born in 1875 Tarrant is probably best known for his houses on the St George's Hill Estate but his early individual houses such as Danes Cross are arguably amongst his finest. When it came to preparing the drawings for a house his starting point was to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside and, in order to achieve this, he prepared a scheme for the garden before starting on plans for the house. It is quite possible Tarrant may also have been responsible for the hard landscaping and planting that can be seen today. In particular the partly walled formal garden, the semi-circular steps leading up to the terrace, and seating area overlooking what was probably once a croquet lawn, all of which are very indicative of his hand. The house itself is solid and impressive yet has a lightness of touch, throughout there is evidence of the impact the Arts and Crafts Movement had on Tarrant; the complex roofline, the magnificent chimney stack and the quality of the materials used throughout the house. Upon entering, on either side of the front door there are windows with square leaded lights bringing more light into the wide entrance. Throughout the house period features are evident such as classic wooden doors, leaded light windows and solid wood floors. In the principal reception rooms the architectural detail is quite restrained and elegant; the drawing room has wood panelling to dado height finished off by a delicate chair rail. The impressive large brick fireplace is both practical and gives gravitas to the room which was clearly designed with entertaining in mind. The square panelled doors, chair rail and skirting are all typical features of the time, as too are the unpainted timber framed windows with square leaded panes. The garden door which leads out from the entrance hall to the terrace has a soft red brick curved archway; just one such example of where gauged brickwork has been used. The exterior is a pleasing mix of brick, part tile hung, and rendered and colour washed elevations under a tiled roof. Danes Cross has stood the test of time, the accommodation is spacious and practical; the quality of workmanship which Tarrant became well known for is still clearly evident today. The current owners have refurbished the house and paid just as much attention to detail as Tarrant would have done and in doing so, they have made this an ideal country house for life in the 21st century. Towards the end of the 19th century land at Hook Heath became available for development. The proximity to Woking railway station and the easy access to London attracted a group of barristers to lease some of land and build a golf course. The Woking Golf Club opened in 1893 and just a few years later the Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was opened. At the same time substantial plots were sold off individually and the prime location, with south facing views of the Downs and the Hogs Back, attracted the great and the good of the time to buy the country house in Hook Heath. Owners included The Hon. Gerald Balfour, brother of the Prime Minister and the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. Later Sir Winston Churchill is said to have regularly stayed with friends in Hook Heath whilst working on his great war time speeches. Woking has the Basingstoke Canal passing around the town centre and nearby Guildford boasts The Wey Navigational Canal, being the first of its kind to be built in this country, both giving the opportunity of long walks through some of Surrey's green belt areas and both having a scattering of waterside pubs. Woking also offers excellent shopping and restaurants, a theatre and multi-screen cinema and award winning gallery and museum.