By Ruth Doherty
A pristine example of Modern Victorian style, this apartment, which is situated within a sprawling country manor, has gone on sale for £1,275,000. The 3,100sq ft home, called The Gosling, is located in Hassobury Manor – a fantastic piece of Victorian Gothic architecture constructed in the mid-19th century.
Hassobury Manor estate is nestled in the historic medieval village of Manuden, in Bishop’s Stortford, England. The manor and its surrounding land were part of the historic route to Cambridge, so were of great strategic importance during the Saxon and Norman eras. It remained an important piece of land through the Early Modern period and mentions of it can be found in texts prior to the Domesday Book.
See: World's best homes – tour the globe’s most beautiful houses
The Gosling takes its name from Robert Gosling, a partner of Goslings Bank (later incorporated into Barclays) who commissioned renowned architect Phillip Charles Hardwick to draw up plans for a new house at Hassobury Manor. Hardwick was an eminent public architect, most notable for his designs at London's Euston Station, who adapted the architectural tropes of Classicism and Gothicism to forms suitable for 19th century Britain.
Constructed over a period of two years, beginning in 1866, Hassobury is one of the few private commissions taken on by Hardwick; it allowed him to create an English country house of fine proportions, featuring opulent detailing and exemplifying the engineering expertise so associated with the Victorian era.
The home boasts four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a palpable sense of grandeur throughout in both its proportions and decoration.
Take a look inside the property below and see how you can bring a little Modern Victorian drama into your own home, too.
1. Let original features sing
If you're investing in a period property, always try to restore the original features where possible. This will add character and authenticity to the home. Here, gothic arched fenestration extends across the southern façade and bathes the space in light.
See: Living room ideas – clever ways to decorate living spaces
An original fireplace with a wood and marble surround is the focal point of the room; this was installed at the time of construction by specialists W. H. Burke & Co. The heavily moulded ceiling has classical cornicing and strapwork, drawing influence from the Tudor and Jacobean periods, and lends the space an air of subtle splendour.
Between the ground and first floors is a mezzanine level, home to a dramatic dining room that overlooks the living room below and boasts the beautiful cornicing.
2. Add checkerboard tiles for a heritage feel
Checkerboard tiles were particularly popular during the Victorian era, and are on-trend to this day. Using them in the entryway and bathroom adds a classic look that's elegant and timeless.
Pair with modern finishes to create a contemporary look, and introduce luxury items like a rolltop tub for that classic yet indulgent aesthetic.
See: Bathroom ideas – stylish decor ideas for all bathrooms
3. Introduce panelling on the walls
Elevate your living space with stylish wood-panelled walls for a members' club feel. Wood panelling is a very effective way of adding grandeur yet is easy to achieve. Paint it in a rich, deep hue for added verve. Think moody greens, blues, purples, grey or black.
4. Bring in botanical art
Botanical art exploded in Victorian times, and are a pertinent and beautiful way to add a Modern Victorian look to your home now. Use them in a gallery style for subtle and pretty look that still makes a statement. Gothic architecture itself was informed by nature, with those leaf-shaped arches. And Victorian homes were often adorned with floral wallpaper, botanical prints, and plant shapes and forms.
See: Bedroom ideas – designs and inspiration for beautiful bedrooms
5. Add books and busts
There were many busts created of Queen Victoria, and a bust sculpture is an easy way to add a little drama to a bookcase or shelves. The evolution of the novel began in earnest in the Victorian era, thanks to the likes of Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot and Charles Dickens, and reading was an extremely popular past time. Showcase your books for a sophisticated addition to any room.
The Gosling is listed for sale at £1,275,000 via Inigo.
What is Modern Victorian?
Modern Victorian is about taking a classic Victorian space, with all its recognizable architecture – from intricate mouldings and door panelling, original period fire surrounds and wooden or tiled floors – and giving them a contemporary update that is sympathetic to original color schemes, materials and decor.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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