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Bid for a slice of music history at auction this December

23.11.2017 Site Manager

We’re offering buyers a brilliant opportunity to own a slice of wartime and music history this December. The Grade II-listed Luxford House, situated down a quiet, unassuming country lane in scenic Crowborough, boasts an unexpectedly rich history dating back to 1510.

A dream property

The palatial plot, with substantial lawns and established gardens, consists of a grand 6-bed country house measuring 4,500sqft and a variety of outbuildings, including an attractive Wealden stone gym/studio with kitchen and WC.

It’s not often that a lot like Luxford House comes on to the market. In fact, the house is on the market for only the fifth time in 100 years. This really is a rare gem that we expect will attract a lot of attention.

The Tudor property, which weaves modern restoration work with a wealth of original period features, quickly dispels a common myth that only properties for improvement go under the hammer at auction.

The property boasts light, open rooms that you would expect from a popular recording setting; secret nooks to while away the house and grand features that you can’t find anywhere else.

Timeline

Its timeline is peppered with notable British faces in our modern history. Its rooms and stone walls have graced album covers, autobiographies and seminal records that you might recognise.

1931 – 1967: Sir Hugh Beaver

From 1931 to 1967, the house was owned by the Director General of the Ministry of Works during World War II and founder of The Guinness Book of Records, Sir Hugh Beaver. It was during this time that its enlargements, improvements and extensive gardens took shape, which set the stage for its use as an iconic music studio and getaway for some of the biggest music names on the planet.

1970s: Tony Stratton-Smith

Between 1970 and 1983, the house was owned by Beaver’s daughter Cerise and her husband Rev Christopher Lawson-Tancred.

In that time, the house became a place of residence for Tony Stratton-Smith, founder of Charism Records: an eminent tenant who would pave the way for its musical heyday throughout the ‘70s. The house quickly provided respite for artists and bands, including Leonard Cohen, Van Der Graff Generator, Genesis, Neil Diamond and Phil Collins, and became known as “Stat’s house.”

Its historic stoned wall became the backdrop on Neil Diamond’s ‘Stones’ album cover, which Auction Manager Nick Muston FRICs thoughtfully recreated for your pleasure. The spot still sports the mature wisteria, weaving its way across the cover, which is particularly pleasing.

Songwriter, guitarist and influential musician, Bert Jansch chose Luxford House as the location for his L.A. Turnaround sessions in 1974, using the library as the live room. The atmosphere and grandeur of Luxford is brilliantly captured in this promotional video for the album:

Luxford House on the record

Phil Collins describes Luxford House in his autobiography, Not Dead Yet:

  ‘But here in summer 1971, a year on from my joining Genesis, band life rolls inexorably distractingly on and we decamp to Luxford House in Crowborough.  It’s Strat’s rented home, and also his suggestion: bands getting it together in the country, - that is, writing some songs away from hurly-burly of the city – is very much the in-thing. If it’s all right for Traffic and Led Zeppelin, it’s all right for Genesis. The house is a beautiful Tudor pile, a picture-postcard mansion with a decent outbuilding that will do for the songwriting sessions. We eat great meals prepared by one of the roadies, we drink red wine by the barrel, we repair to the rolling lawns to play croquet.”

Richard Cromelin, Rolling Stone magazine:

“The house must have had a lot of strange stuff coming out of the walls to have been worthy of hosting this new contender for the coveted British weirdo-rock championship.”

Tony Stratton-Smith:

“Genesis went down to Luxford House, my home in Crowborough, Surrey, where they rehearsed for most of the summer. It was a lovely old Tudor house, which was in the centre spread of Van Der Graaf's Pawn Hearts album cover. The sort of house with its sixteenth-century timbers that appeared to have very good vibes for musicians. Many have worked and stayed there - Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen, Van Der Graaf, Bert Jansch, Bob Johnson, Mike Nesmith.”

 

To know Luxford House is to understand Britain’s chequered wartime and music history. To own the property would mean joining its exclusive list of residents, adding your own story to the tale. This is a unique opportunity in any market and we feel very privileged to be able to present it to the public.

Please call Auction House Sussex on 01273 201989 to arrange a viewing and join us on 7th December in Hove to bid! Click here for more information.