SELLERS: Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster
LOCATON: Epping, Essex, United Kingdon
SIZE: 10,119 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 full and five half bathrooms plus numerous outbuildings
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: A late-night missive from London-based celebrity real estate snitch Flower Perfectbush let us know iconic rock star Rod Stewart hoisted his bountifully appointed estate just outside the historic market town of Epping — in the County of Essex about an hours drive northeast of Buckingham Palace — up for sale with an asking price of £7,500,000, an amount equal to US$9,932,700 at today’s rates according to our currency conversion contraption. Mister Stewart, now in his early 70s and with his 29th studio album “Another Country” released in October last year, acquired the estate in the mid-1980s and the sprawling 24.8-acre spread is anchored by Wood House, a meticulously restored and expensively maintained three-story mansion widely reported to have been home to renown British statesman Winston Churchill who, so the stories go, holed up on the property during the Blitz in 1940 and 1941.
Wood House, an imposing and essentially Jacobean style sort of thing, measures in at 10,119-square-feet according to online marketing materials and a careful perusal of floor plans shows six generously proportioned en suite bedrooms that include a master suite with fireplace and humongous dressing room, a total of six full and five half bathrooms, and at least half of a dozen fireplaces. Plush and sumptuously decorated public entertaining spaces include: a grand reception hall that stretches nearly 45-feet with handsome carved wood staircase; a 30-foot long drawing room with elaborate plaster friezes atop antique oak paneling and a stone fireplace with carved wood overmantel that dates to the early 15th century; an intimately proportioned sitting room plus a snug study; and a paneled dining room with gold-leafed ceiling detail. Family quarters are well separated from public rooms and include a sky-lit family/breakfast room where the vaulted and sky-lit ceiling is, much to this property gossips decorative chagrin, painted to resemble a cloudy sky. The fancily outfitted Clive Christian-designed kitchen gives way to an extensive service wing with walk-in pantry, refrigerated flower room, and a half bathroom while the mansion’s lower level features a 30-foot long library/media lounge, a slightly larger games room with fitted bar area, a walk-in wine cellar.
numerous outbuildings sprinkle the estate and include: a four-car detached garage topped by a spacious and self-contained one-bedroom and one-bathroom staff apartment; an 1,871-square-foot Tudor-style guest cottage with two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, complete kitchen and roomy sitting room; a small pool house and an all-glass summer house positioned at an angle next to the heated outdoor swimming pool; a couple of barns; and an extensive stable block that incorporates a gym with changing room and bathroom plus a two-story groomsman apartment with one bedroom and one bathroom. Wood House sits on a high point of the property that affords sweeping vistas over formal gardens with clipped boxwood hedging and manicured lawns that roll gracefully down to a picturesque boating lake surrounded by weeping willows. There’s also a walled rose garden with topiary and fountain, a wisteria draped pergola, open meadows and thick woods, a tennis court, and a full-sized soccer pitch.
Mister Stewart and his much younger third wife, model Penny Lancaster-Stewart, maintain a small but impressive portfolio of high-maintenance estates homes in both the U.K. and the U.S. of A. In 2013 the May-December couple shelled out about £4.65 million, roughly US$6.25 million at the time, for Durrington House, an imposing 18th-century Palladian-style manor, also in the Epping area, with 10 bedrooms and at least five bathrooms set on 46 pastoral acres where he recently received approval to build a full-sized soccer pitch. On this side of the pond the Stewart-Lancasters have long resided in an opulent and decadently decorated mansion of nearly 19,000-square-feet in the storied Beverly Park enclave in the mountains above Beverly Hills — it was featured in Architectural Digest in 2007 — and they additionally maintain a 1.49-acre ocean-front estate with a 12,340-square-foot mansion in Palm Beach, FL, that property records and other online resources suggest was acquired by Mister Stewart in 1995 for $7.2 million.
Listing photos: Savills