Julian Hill House is an exceptionally handsome Grade II-listed Regency house, set in around an acre of glorious south-facing gardens on the southside of Harrow-on-the-Hill. Built in a wooded glade in 1817 for the father of Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, the house has five bedrooms and remarkably elegant proportions; internal accommodation extends to over 4,000 sq ft. Countless original architectural features have been carefully preserved, including exquisite chimneypieces, joinery, plasterwork, and fenestration. Connections to central London and Heathrow airport are excellent, while Harrow on the Hill village has wonderful pubs, restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Setting the Scene
Dominating the house’s façade is the grand entrance porch, a Victorian addition built in 1899. The house comprises the original Regency house and Victorian extension, which blend wonderfully. The principal elevation of the house is set within the gardens; encompassing a pleasing sense of symmetry, there are rounded bays at both the east and west ranges. These ranges, and the central section of the house, each have three sets of French windows.
The double-height entrance porch features classical stucco work with Ionic columns; a slim architrave supports a hooded stone canopy with an oculus set within. A black-and-white marble floor leads to the grand doorcase, with a companion oculus above the intricate transom light. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
The house is approached from Sudbury Hill, along an enchanting driveway shaded by mature trees leading to a private parking area for several cars.
The front door opens to the capacious entrance hall via interior steps. Sisal runs underfoot, and plasterwork is painted in a rich Indian Yellow; the space is defined by a series of elegant architraves and a remarkable statuary marble chimneypiece at the rear, with an overmantel resting atop two classical female figures. The ground floor is brilliantly designed on a circular plan, with all principal rooms connecting to one another and the hallway, which leads to the elegant cantilever staircase with an oculus roof lantern.
The kitchen and dining area is set within what once was a vast Victorian sunroom. The room is flooded with light by a large, pitched roof lantern and windows that surround the room. A handsome oak chimneypiece has exceptional neoclassical carvings. A working fire has Breche Violette marble slips and hearth, while walls feature complementary fine classical mouldings. A generous island is positioned centrally with separate gas and induction hobs by Miele, set into thick slate below the oak worktop; further units and a full-height dresser offer additional storage. The four-door black enamel Everhot range cooker is complemented by additional appliances, including a Miele electric oven; the remainder are cleverly concealed behind cupboard doors. The current owners have created a dining area set into the bay, overlooking the glorious gardens.
Oak wedding doors open to the sitting room. There is parquet flooring here and in all principal reception rooms—tripartite French doors open to the garden terrace from here. A versatile space, the room is currently used as an informal sitting room with two partition screens that lead to an area currently used as a study.
The drawing room opens from the base of the stairwell and is informally known as the ‘oval room’ due to its shape—three further French windows set into the bay open to the gardens. A central chimneypiece has a laurel design and an open fire. The elevations feature fine mouldings, and the cornice is made of exquisite, gilded spheres. Wedding doors at the rear of the room open to a study and library, with both rooms separable if required. A separate laundry and utility room is positioned off the main hallway.
Ascending the winding cantilever staircase to the first floor, the spacious landing is lit by the oculus above and leads to five generous bedrooms.
The main bedroom suite is spread over three rooms, with one adjacent room used as a walk-in wardrobe — though this could easily be used as a fifth bedroom if required. The elegant bed chamber overlooks the gardens and trees through a large, canted bay window and, as with the oval room below, has particularly fine plasterwork. The en suite bathroom is painted a very deep blue, with a freestanding bateau tub by Victoria & Albert and rainfall shower; there is a charming antique marble washstand.
The guest bedroom suite enjoys the morning light. It has a beautiful en suite bathroom with a black and white Zellige-tiled floor; the tiles were handmade in Morocco. As with all bathrooms on this floor, there is traditional Lefroy Brooks nickel-plated brassware. Two further bedrooms are beautifully decorated, each in their own unique style and share a spacious bathroom encased in limestone, with a large clawfoot rolltop bath and separate shower enclosure.
The Great Outdoors
All principal reception rooms open to a York stone terrace that wraps itself around the house. South-facing and exceptionally private, the gardens form a series of shallow tiers near the house. Low Buxus hedging is relieved by seasonal flowers, including exquisite peonies, alliums, hydrangeas, and roses. Three hundred tulips were recently planted, creating an amazing scene in Springtime. The gardens are surrounded by mature trees and woodland, with an extraordinary and ancient Rowan tree set in the middle of the grounds.
A vegetable plot and pergola to the west of the gardens lead to a covered winter garden and outdoor living space, with a brick chimney stack for an outdoor wood oven.
An expansive open lawn leads to a summer house. Tucked away in the south-westerly corner of the grounds, it comprises two separate rooms and is connected to mains electricity. This would make a brilliant home office or a quiet retreat away from the main house.
A set of gates adjacent to the main driveway opens to space for overflow parking and a large garage. Discretely clad in weatherboard to blend with the surrounding woodland, it is currently used as a home gym and for additional storage.
Out and About
Julian Hill House is close to Harrow on the Hill village and the greater amenities of Harrow town centre and Sudbury Hill. Westway Cross retail park has further local provisors, including Marks & Spencer, while a large branch of Waitrose is just five minutes’ drive away in South Harrow. Noted local bars, restaurants and cafes include Coffee to Cocktails, The Grove, Eighty-Six, The Connoisseur, The Doll’s House and Battels art and coffee shop. The nearby favoured pubs are The Castle and The White Horse; both serve delicious food.
Harrow school’s sports facilities are available at special membership rates for residents and include golf, tennis, the gym and a swimming pool. There is also a David Lloyd health club nearby. There is a wonderful sense of community locally, and the Harrow Hill Trust looks after the people, the conservation areas and the green spaces in the area.
Schools are excellent. Pre-prep and prep schools include Roxeth Mead, Orley Farm, Edge Grove and Quainton Hall. Local senior schools include Harrow school and John Lyon school, while schools easily accessible on the nearby Metropolitan underground line and Chiltern train line include Westminster School, Merchant Taylors, Queens, UCS and South Hampstead.
Transport options are excellent, with the Metropolitan line from Harrow on the Hill reaching Baker Street in 20 minutes. The Chiltern train line reaches Marylebone from Harrow on the Hill in just 15 minutes. The Piccadilly line runs from Sudbury Hill, and Heathrow Airport is just 35 minutes’ drive away. The M40, M1, M25 and M4 are all also easily reachable by car.
Council Tax Band: H
Harrow on the Hill dates to medieval times and was built around the 11th century St Mary’s Church. The area is defined by Harrow School and its ancillary faculties and boarding houses, set within beautiful historic buildings. During term time, the pupils can be seen around the village in their distinctive ‘Bluers’ (jackets) and ‘Greyers’ (trousers), worn together with straw hats.
Julian Hill House is positioned on the village’s south side and hill. It is one of the earliest houses in the area, built when Harrow was still mostly farmland. The house is essentially a country house in origin and remains secluded, surrounded by woodland; Harrow School golf course and playing fields are set discreetly to the rear.
The house was, at one time, the famed school’s headmaster’s home, who lived here with his wife and ten children. Originally it was the childhood home of chronicler of upper-middle-class life, Anthony Trollope, built by his father for the Trollope family in the 1810s.
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