City & Country acquired Balls Park, Hertford in 2001. The historic buildings on the site date back to the mid 17th Century and comprise the Grade I Listed Mansion House, the Grade I Listed West Wing which designed by Robert Lorimer (the Scottish Lutyens) in 1924, the Coach House and the 1902 Stables. All set within a Grade II registered historic park and garden.
At The Galleries in Brentwood, the meticulous restoration and conversion of a Victorian hospital in the Tudor style, City & Country discovered the original plans including detailed drawings showing formal gardens and “airing courtyards” designed for patients of the hospital.
Gilston Park House is an outstanding Victorian Country House situated in an elevated position with views across the English countryside. The building was originally constructed in 1852 in a Tudor style with Gothic touches, subsequently altered and extended in 1903, and in recent years it had become the offices of a large pharmaceutical company.
Located within a Conservation Area the site for Coach House Mews was also designated as an Area of Archaeological Significance. The development incorporated a strong linear footprint reflecting the historical layout of the former 'burgage' plots. It was constructed using traditional methods and designed to reflect the myriad of styles and materials found in the local 'street scenes'.
The Galleries was originally Warley Hospital and is a magnificent Victorian property which has been standing for well over 150 years. George Myers, the builder of Warley Hospital was a favourite of Pugin`s and was involved in the design and construction of the Houses of Parliament.
St Osyth Priory and its associated parkland possesses a hugely diverse palette of habitats and wildlife, within a unique and spectacular setting adjacent to the River Colne Estuary, an extensive wetland habitat of national and international importance for a wide range of wildfowl, invertebrates and salt marsh plant communities.
The Manor is located close to the Suffolk hamlet of Herringswell. The estate was largely rebuilt in the 1906 for the Balance family, by Ipswich architect John Shewell Corder. It subsequently served as a home to an American school, a religious community as latterly a Japanese school, whose legacy remains in the form of the Buddhist temple, archery court and Japanese gardens.
Russell’s House was originally constructed in the 18th Century for the Dowager Countess of Essex, adjacent to Cassiobury Park, the seat of the Earls 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, with an asymmetrical servants quarters wing. The building is Grade II Listed.
In 2004 we were contacted by a producer looking for a site with ancillary buildings that could be used like a studio, a large, empty historic house with a variety of different sized rooms and spacious grounds. With its Grade I Listed Mansion House, West Wing and 63 acres of ornate gardens and parkland, Balls Park was ideal and was selected as the prime location for the BBC’s adaptation of the 19th century thriller Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
The St Osyth Priory Estate is unique due to the exceptional range and diversity of its heritage buildings, environmental and ecological features. The buildings alone comprise 22 separate Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II listed buildings and a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments together with the registered park and garden.