Russell’s House was originally constructed in the 18th Century for the Dowager Countess of Essex, adjacent to Cassiobury Park, the seat of the Earl of Essex. The Georgian house was constructed of solid red brick below a low pitched slate roof and is reportedly an important example of the development of the “villa” style of house. The building is Grade II Listed.
The house was completely devastated by fire in 1988 and had been placed on the Council’s ‘At Risk’ register for Listed buildings. It remained derelict for almost 10 years progressively deteriorating being open to the elements without a roof and having extensive wet and dry rot. There was even the possibility that it would be demolished until purchased by City & Country. Great emphasis was placed on the reinstatement of the original features lost by the devastating fire. Wherever the original layout has been retained unusually spacious rooms result benefiting from the original high ceilings and full height windows.
Within the grounds, City & Country created “The Mews” a new build residence in a traditional style in keeping with the architecture and Listed building status of 18th Century Russell House.
The conversion won a number of prestigious awards including:
- What House? Awards Bronze Award for ‘Best Development 2000
- Evening Standard New Homes Award, Winner of the Best New Development 2000
The judges commented:
"The key to the success of this unusual development has been the skillful integration of the new buildings with the sensitive refurbishment of an 18th Century Grade II listed House. Unlike so many other schemes, this development has been designed with well proportioned elevations and plans In addition, the use of quality materials, good workmanship throughout and attention to detail ensured that this project stood out from the crowd; the developer and their consultants should be congratulated on producing a highly commendable scheme on a potentially difficult site"