A striking Grade II-listed country pile with a design inspired by an Art Deco wristwatch has been listed for sale in one of Britain’s most exclusive enclaves.
In eight acres of landscaped grounds and overlooking a private golf club, the concave Hamstone House is part of the prestigious St George’s Hill estate in Surrey – a regular fixture on lists of Britain’s most expensive streets and where residents have included Elton John, John Lennon and Tom Jones.
The 10-bedroom mansion, now for sale for £16 million, was built in 1937 for construction tycoon Peter Lind and his wife who sought a country home within easy reach of central London.
With its curved and segmented façade, it is uniquely designed to resemble the inner workings of the 1931 Reverso wristwatch, made by Swiss company Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The Linds’ son-in-law was part of the watchmaking Jaeger dynasty with links to Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Fans of the Art Deco watches have included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Charlie Chaplin and the Queen, who wore one at her coronation in 1953.
In 1943 Lind, who designed the floating concrete structures called Mulberry Harbour Phoenix Caissons used in the D-Day landings, hosted a meeting at Hamstone House for Winston Churchill and members of his wartime Cabinet.
The second of only three owners to date, a Saudi prince bought Hamstone House in 1984 and embarked on a renovation thought to have cost over £2 million.
As well as restoring the Art Deco interior features, works included installing an 8ft Venetian glass chandelier and converting the bomb shelter into a games room.
Sold in 2001, Hamstone House is now home to a member of the Deripaska family — linked to Russian aluminium-to-vehicles oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Hamstone House’s current owners have completely refurbished the property over a number of years: laying English oak flooring throughout reception rooms; installing family and catering kitchens; constructing an indoor swimming pool complex and, more recently, an outdoor tennis court.
“Hamstone House is located on arguably the finest plot on St George’s Hill in Surrey,” says Paul Finch, director at Beauchamp Estates who is marketing the property.
St George’s Hill is described as “an internationally renowned, 964-acre private estate masterplanned to provide important country houses and landscaping complete with an 18-hole golf course, private tennis and squash club, health spa and security personnel.”
There are just over 430 homes on the estate, where access is monitored by uniformed security, number plate recognition and automated security tag barriers.
Local legend tells of the time a barrier on a nearby estate rose up through the engine of a visitor’s supercar – to the horror of the impatient driver who had attempted to tailgate at the exit.