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High Elms
Laleham, Surrey£2,750,000 Freehold

High Elms

The entire south-facing façade is wreathed in mature lilac wisteria that gives a gentle scent in early springtime

This fine, early 19th-century detached Regency Grade II-listed villa is set in the heart of the pretty Surrey village of Laleham, on the edge of the River Thames. Internal accommodation extends to almost 4,000 sq ft across six bedrooms, with a plethora of original architectural features throughout the home. Brilliantly conceived large mature gardens envelop the house and include additional ancillary accommodations. Access to central London is excellent, with trains from nearby Staines Station taking 30 minutes, while Heathrow Airport is just 15 minutes away. Local day and boarding school options are exceptional, and opportunities for country pursuits, including polo, golf, horse riding and horse racing, are world-class.

Setting the Scene

Laleham village is located beside the River Thames, a riverside community which contains many fine 18th and 19th-century houses. Located in the Borough of Spelthorne, in Surrey, the peaceful hamlet is surrounded by open fields to the north and south, with the Laleham Conservation Area encompassing most of the area.

Village life centres around All Saints Church, directly opposite High Elms. Believed to stand on the site of a former small Roman temple, it dates back to the 12th century, with the tower built later in 1732. High Elms occupies the most prominent position in the centre of the village, set back from The Broadway at the junction of Blacksmith’s Lane, which leads directly to the river and is moments away by foot. The house overlooks All Saints Church and the village war memorial, a beautifully simple stone Latin cross monument. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour

From The Broadway, the house has an imposing presence, set back from the road behind a low wall with spearhead iron railings and laurel bushes. An enormous beech tree stands proudly nearest the brick-paved driveway to the west range of the house, leading to the garage and conservatory. The front garden is wide set and laid to lawn with box topiary balls and a wonderful magnolia tree positioned centrally.

The house is rendered with rusticated quoins up to the second floor, which has a cornice and band. Three storeys high and five bays wide, the elevation is punctuated with white-painted box sash windows, the first-floor fenestration with pretty blind boxes, and the entire façade is wreathed in mature lilac wisteria. The Welsh slate roof rests behind a low parapet wall atop the uppermost storey.

A brick-paved path is set to the east range, leading to the open black and white tiled entrance porch, with Tuscan pillars supporting an entablature and cornice above. Entry is to the side of the house, into the entrance hall featuring a handsome brown marble fireplace and a Greek key plaster cornice with Regency frieze set below.

The spacious drawing room faces south to the front of the house, with a trio of shuttered windows looking out to the church beyond and flooding the room with light. A further canted bay window is set to the rear of the room, looking to the rear garden, and the room has further excellent plaster cornice framing the elevations. The room connects to the vast orangery and sunroom, with a glass pitch roof and built from excellent quality white-painted hardwood. Plantation shutters afford privacy to the front of the house and quadripartite tall windows face the rear garden terrace, with access via adjacent French windows.

The dining room is positioned centrally within the ground floor plan, just off the entrance hall; a glass-paned door with side lights is set in the rear canted bay, opening to the garden terrace. This room is believed to have been the home’s original entrance hall at one time, and carriages would pull up to the rear of the house to deliver guests. The room has limestone flags underfoot and a fine oak bolection chimneypiece grounds the space. This room connects to the spacious kitchen and family room, set within a later single-storey addition that spans the entire depth of the plan. The bespoke wood-panelled cabinetry is by Martin Moore with slabs of granite resting atop. A navy enamel Aga rests in the hearth and a central island unit sits beneath the pitched glass roof lantern. There is a further utility room to the rear of the room, while there is space for dining and further seating beside the French windows, opening to the garden.

Ascending to the first floor and sleeping quarters, the winding oak staircase is set within its own hexagonal tower to the rear of the house, with a decorative oak handrail and barley twist balusters; an original pitched glass cupola set above floods the staircase and landing spaces with light, with two further roundhead windows set at each mid-point. Two spacious bedrooms are set to the front of the first floor, with shuttered windows overlooking All Saints Church, each with a pretty fireplace. A further bedroom and bathroom with subway tiles and traditional design chrome brassware are set to the rear. The uppermost storey is home to three further charming and spacious bedrooms, and an additional bathroom of a more contemporary design, with limestone tiles and modern chrome brassware.

The Great Outdoors

A flagstone terrace spans the width of the entire house to the rear, looking out to a box hedge parterre garden and the expansive lawn beyond. The garden has integrated lighting within the design and looks wonderful when lit at nighttime. The garden is well stocked with a brilliant variety and seasonal shrubs, plants and flowers, and has very mature trees at its end.

An extended pergola runs along the western edge of the garden, festooned in white wisteria and roses in springtime, and leads to a one-time potting shed, cleverly concealed behind yew hedging and now converted to a comfortable home office, with an underfloor heated brick-tiled floor, butt-and-bead panelling-clad monopitch roof and its own WC.

Additionally, there is a large, detached games room adjacent to the rear of the garage and at the west of the garden terrace. Handsome in design, it has a black and white marble tiled floor and oak wainscotting, with a separate bar area. The space could also make for an excellent studio or for occasional overflow guest accommodation.

Further garden structures include a summer house with glass double doors to the rear of the garden, and a charming open seating pavilion to the east of the terrace. Service entry to the garden is either through the garage, or a side path around the west range of the house.

Out and About

Laleham village is brilliantly positioned, with open fields to the north and south, Queen Mary Reservoir to the east and the River Thames to the west, just a one-minute walk from High Elms. The village has two pubs in walking distance, The Three Horseshoes and The Feathers, both also serving lunch and dinner menus. The village also has its own primary school and a very active residents’ association, who have thoughtfully compiled a brilliant guide to historically focused walks in the area. The Laleham Heritage Centre is also just across the road from High Elms. The Thames Sidewalk offers peaceful walks along the river, leading eastward to open water swimming at Shepperton.

Laleham is located near Chertsey, a picturesque town in the Runnymede borough of Surrey, positioned on the River Thames and the River Bourne. The nearby towns of Virginia Water, Ascot and Windsor also offer a further broad range of further shopping and dining opportunities. All three have excellent national and independent provisors, while the university town of Egham has further comprehensive shops, cafes and restaurants, including a large branch of Waitrose.

There are countless outdoor spaces in the area, including Laleham Sports Ground and Laleham Park, both on the nearby river. The National Trust’s Runnymede park and gardens are to the north of Laleham, and the 5,000-acre Windsor Great Park is just 15 minutes’ drive away. It is excellently positioned for horse riding, walking and other country pursuits, with the surrounding area having further opportunities for sports, either participatory or merely spectator. Racing can be found at Ascot, Windsor, Epsom, Kempton and Sandown Park Park, while polo clubs include the Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park itself, The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club is in Winkfield and Cowdray Park slightly further afield. Golf aficionados are also well catered for with some of the best courses in the country, including Wentworth, Sunningdale, Swinley Forest, Queenwood and Foxhills. The Surrey Canoe Club and Littlejohn Sailing Club are also very nearby just to the south of Laleham, along the river.

Excellent nearby schools include the brilliantly convenient Laleham Primary School for under 11’s, as well as St John’s Beaumont Preparatory School, Eton College, St George’s School in Windsor, St Mary’s Ascot, Lambrook School, Papplewick School, Heathfield School, The ACS and TASIS International Schools, Wellington College, Strode College, Salesian School, Sir William Perkins School, Papplewick School, Sunningdale School and Wycombe Abbey for Girls. Royal Holloway University of London, housed in a magnificent building modelled on the French Chateau de Chambord, is also nearby.

Transport links are excellent; High Elms is just five five-minute drive from Staines’s train station, with direct services to London Waterloo taking just 30 minutes. Chertsey, Shepperton and Ashford train stations are also nearby. The M25 is easily accessible, as well as the M3 and M4; central London can be reached by car quickly, around 40 minutes’ drive away. Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 can be reached in just 15 minutes and has access to the Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line, each taking a mere 20 minutes to central London, as well as the Piccadilly Line. Farnborough Airport for private flights is only 30 minutes’ drive and the smaller Fairoaks Airport is even closer and can be reached in 20 minutes precisely.

Council Tax Band: H

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


The toponym ‘Laleham’ comes from lael meaning twig and hamm (land in a river bend) or from ‘Lella’s ham’ (cognate with holm or homestead), meaning ‘farmstead owned by a person’ named similarly to the first syllable. The surrounding area remained mainly agricultural until the middle of the 20th century, though arable land is still in use within moments of High Elms.

The Manor of Laleham was mentioned as one of the four possessions of Staines in the Charter of Edward the Confessor granting and confirming lands to Westminster Abbey. It remained as such until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1802 it passed to the 2nd Earl of Lucan who built the present Laleham House, formerly Laleham Abbey. The house is now split into residential apartments and the grounds form Laleham Park.

Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan bought the manor of Laleham from William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale. The Lucan family name is prominent in All Saints’ parish church, with memorials to various generations of the family. Lord Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan (1800–88), the Field Marshal who reluctantly passed on the order for the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 is buried in the churchyard, along with Charles Bingham, 4th Earl of Lucan, George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan and their countesses. One of the village pubs was called the Lucan Arms pub for many years until it was renamed in the late 1990s.

The Church of England parish church of All Saints dates from the 12th century but was largely rebuilt in brick about 1600 and the present tower was built in 1732. It is a Grade I-listed building. The church has a later stained-glass window by Wilhelmina Geddes, the acclaimed 20th-century Irish stained-glass artist.

High Elms has had several prominent residents in its 200-year history, though most notable is the director of the then-burgeoning South-Western railway, Adolphus Govett and his wife Augusta. Govett was also a respected local Justice of the Peace, whose family had very long ties with the parish. His son Francis became a successful stockbroker, with close links to American president Herbert Hoover through his work in mining. Francis went on to live in nearby Sunningdale. Adolphus Govett and his family lived at High Elms from the mid-19th century through to the early 20th century.

High Elms — Laleham, Surrey
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