This elegant four-bedroom apartment occupies the entire top floor of Sutherland Grange, a handsome Victorian riverside manor in Windsor. It was originally built in 1892 by the Duchess of Sutherland and was converted to five apartments in 1959. There are extensive communal gardens that lead to the banks of the river Thames and include a mooring and a launch and a lovely private section of garden as well. This apartment reaches over 2,000 sq ft internally, with views over every aspect of the estate’s gardens and has been lovingly maintained by its current owners. Sutherland Grange is just five minutes’ drive from Windsor’s pretty centre and train station.
Setting the Scene
Windsor, famous for its royal castle, is a historic market town. Its name comes from the old English for Windles-ore or winch by the riverside, and the town and surrounding areas have a strong connection with the river. This advantageous position has been coveted throughout history, and there was likely a settlement there before William the Conqueror’s Motte and Bailey. In the 12th century, the castle and surrounding town were rebuilt and laid out in stone.
Sutherland Grange was commissioned by the Duchess of Sutherland for her own use at a time of significant change in Windsor. The substantial redevelopment of the town in the 19th century, as well as Queen Victoria’s residence at the castle from 1840 and the coming of two railways in 1849, catapulted the town from a sleepy medieval village to an important cultural centre. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Tucked behind a restored red-brick boundary wall, the building is accessed through a set of private automated gates which open to the parking, garages and gardens. Late Victorian residential architecture embraced increasing access to decorative goods and new approaches to ornamentation, thanks to advancing technologies and seismic cultural shifts at the time. Sutherland Grange embodies this mood and is decoratively restrained yet immediately striking; the exterior of the building has been sensitively restored.
The apartment unfolds laterally on the second floor of the building, perching in the eaves to take in views in all directions. It is accessed by a grand communal entrance hall.
The apartment’s front door opens to a bright hallway, from where the plan divides into two clear wings. On the right are the living room, the kitchen and a guest bedroom, arranged around a bright space, currently serving as the dining room, that offers far reaching views towards St Leonard’s Hill. The generous room has plenty of space for a sitting area, and there is currently a library space, too. A 1930s fireplace, a charming later addition, and sloping eaves ensure the room maintains a warm and intimate feel. At the back of the plan is a modern kitchen with a built-in bench, which maximises dining space.
There is one bedroom on this side of the plan, functioning perfectly as a guest suite with an en suite bathroom. Sitting alone from the main wing of bedrooms, this room looks onto the roofscape of the manor, adding to the feeling of privacy.
In the left wing of the house are a further three bedrooms, a family bathroom and a separate WC. The two bedrooms at the front of the plan are south-west facing, so they are illuminated by the afternoon sun. The third bedroom, also a double, is set at the back of the plan. Each of these spaces commands a different view across the mature manor grounds and the river Thames. The current owners have decorated these rooms with a light touch, and they remain calm and gentle spaces.
Along the hallway also is an airing cupboard, a substantial storage room and a laundry closet, as well as a window nook that perfectly fits a desk for home working with a view of Sutherland Grange Park.
Externally, allocated secure parking is available, and the apartment has the use of a private garage.
The Great Outdoors
The grounds of the estate, with 300 feet of river frontage on the Thames, are beautiful. The uninterrupted views across the water from these communal gardens, planted with mature trees and shrubs, make them an ideal setting for watching the rowing boats glide past with a morning coffee. Tucked at the end of these grounds is a private mooring for use of residents.
To the front of the manor house is a lawned private garden for the apartment, enclosed by a flowering hedge.
Out and About
Windsor has many independent retailers, shops, cafes and restaurants, including French restaurant À La Russe, The Screen Cinema, and The Boatman on the waterfront. The area is well-known for the variety and quality of its schools, including ACS International and Windsor Boy’s and Girl’s schools, Eton College, St George’s and St Mary’s, both in Ascot. There are several prep schools nearby, including St John’s Beaumont and Bishopsgate.
Historic sites and landscapes are abundant in the area. The National Trust Parks at Runnymede and Ankerwyke are just over a 10-minute drive away, most notable for the signing of the Magna Carta; the site is also rich with meadows, riverside walks and rolling art installations. Windsor Castle can be visited year-round. A ten-minute drive to the south is Windsor Great Park, once a royal hunting ground; the park is now home to the Savill botanical garden, Virginia Water and the Valley Gardens.
For travel to London, there are two railway stations. Windsor and Eton Riverside is around seven minutes’ drive from the apartment; from here, trains run directly to London Waterloo in under an hour. Windsor and Eton Central runs services to London Paddington and beyond via Slough (which itself is a 15-minute drive away), including the new high speed Elizabeth Line. Central London is around 45 minutes by car, and the apartment is well-positioned for access to the M4 and M25. For international connections, Heathrow Airport is only a 15-minute drive.
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Lease Length: approx. 972 years remaining
Service Charge: approx. £3,660 per annum
Council Tax Band: F
The provenance of Sutherland Grange is steeped in more scandal than the tranquil riverside setting and pretty Victorian architecture would suggest.
Mary Caroline Blair, who became known as the ‘scandalous duchess’ was born in 1848. Her first marriage was to Arthur Kindersley Blair, a Captain in the Highland Infantry, in 1872. Upon resignation from his commission in 1861, Arthur undertook the position of land agent and business manager for George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 3rd Duke of Sutherland. Then one of the wealthiest people in Britain, the Duke owned 1.4 million acres of land and a fine London residence at Stafford House (a mansion so elegant that Queen Victoria is said to have remarked upon arriving there, “I have come from my House to your Palace.”)
Through virtue of Arthur’s position, Mary came in proximity with the Duke, ensuing an illicit affair that continued well after her husband died in 1883 in a suspicious shooting accident. Mary married the Duke in 1889, only four months after the death of the Duke’s estranged wife; the haste of these nuptials caused outrage throughout high society. Mary, the new Duchess of Sutherland, was unwelcome at all society events.
Scandal followed Mary even after the Duke’s death in 1892. She was set to inherit the Sutherland estate, a will contested by her stepchildren. The dispute saw Mary imprisoned at Holloway Jail for six weeks. Upon her release, she was given funds to build Carbisdale Castle outside of the family’s lands. Still, prior to this, she had resided at Sutherland Grange, commissioning the manor that remains today.
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