“So happily placed is the house that the views on all sides can only be described as magnificent” was how Breach House was described in Buildings of England: Small Country Houses of Today, 1910. Today little has changed. Passing through a pillared entrance with wrought iron gates and along a majestic Lime tree avenue which turns a corner leading into the forecourt, this magnificent Edwardian gem is revealed. Designed by the British architect Edward Prioleau Warren in the style of Sir Edward Lutyens, only two families have occupied Breach house, the former owners until 1979/80.
In its early years, the house was frequented by various artists, writers, socialites and members of the Bloomsbury Group. Most notably Lady Ottoline Morrell (Great Niece of the Duke of Wellington, Cousin to the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and sister-in-law to Edward P. Warren the architect). Lady Ottoline as a friend of D.H Lawrence was reputably the inspiration for D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley. Morrell had many affairs, including a long affair with philosopher Bertrand Russell, with whom she exchanged more than 3,500 love letters. Some letters reference their planned meetings at Breach House. Within the National Portrait Gallery Collection there are several photographs taken by Lady Ottoline herself at Breach House.
On entering the house, the beautiful marble floor reception hall gives a wonderful sense of arrival and grandeur. The attractive hand carved staircase ascends from the right and a fire place to the left with an inset landscape scene, present a welcoming scene. The principle reception rooms include the Drawing room and Morning room which are arranged directly off the reception hall suggest that this is a fabulous section of the house for entertaining. The south easterly positioned Morning room, with Doric columns provides direct access onto a south easterly terrace where views across the gardens and countryside can be enjoyed. The elegant drawing room has two working fireplaces, triple aspect windows and French doors opening onto the formal Sundial Garden. The dining room is well proportioned and features a stone fireplace and bay window overlooking the dining terrace. Opposite the dining room is a study as well as access to the cellar and a cloakroom. The kitchen/ breakfast room is fashioned in a country style with Wenge wood work tops and store cupboards above and below the counter. A Falcon induction range style oven occupies the space within the chimney breast and French doors open on the dining terrace. Conveniently positioned just off the kitchen, is a larder, utility and family room and a further cloakroom.
The staircase in the reception hall provides the main access to the first floor landing, off which the principle bedrooms are arranged. The master suite, located at the east end of the property, is accessed via an arched doorway opening into an inner hall off which is the bathroom with separate shower. The master bedroom lies beyond another door; this wonderfully light room affords spectacular views over the gardens and countryside beyond. Both side of the stone fireplace are recessed book cases. Through the dressing room a door opens into the master bedrooms sitting room. Three further bedrooms two with balconies and one with an ensuite bathroom are located in this main section of the house. Before reaching the guest wing, a staircase leads the way to the second floor and the ground floor. The guest bedrooms are served by a shower room however there is an additional family bathroom also located on the first floor. The second floor offers fantastic flexibility with two further bedrooms and a 2 bedroom au pairs flat with a kitchenette and sitting room. A bathroom serves these rooms.
Breach House enjoys an elevated rural position above the village of Moulsford which is home to two highly regarded independent schools, Cranford House for girls and Moulsford Prep for boys. There are further options at The Oratory, Bradfield College, Abingdon School, St Helen’s and St Katherine’s in Abingdon and also the Dragon School and St Edward’s in Oxford. The Thames riverside towns and villages of Goring, Streatley, Pangbourne, Wallingford and Henley on Thames are nearby with a superb range of shops, restaurants and country pubs. The surrounding area has an abundance of recreational facilities including Streatley and The Springs Golf Clubs and an Equestrian centre is found at nearby Blewbury. Cholsey Railway Station (2.2 miles with parking) offers a direct mainline service to London and the M4, M40 and A34 are both within reach.
The beautiful gardens compliment Breach House wonderfully. Passing beneath the mature Lime Tree avenue to the forecourt mature conifer hedging flank a path that leads to a Pergola with lawns lying either side. From the drawing beyond the loggia is the sun dial garden, ideal for summer garden parties. Along the rear of the property is a Flag stone terrace which eventually leads onto the dining terrace. In front of the morning room, steps lead down onto a croquet lawn which is partially encase by an old garden wall and honeysuckle hedging is flanked to the left and right with Old English Yew Hedge arbours. Beyond lies the open meadow paddock hosting one of the largest colonies of rare Green Winged Orchids in the South of England which produce a carpet of deep pink and purple flowers from April to early June. Beside the meadow lies an orchard with various fruit trees. The swimming pool sits within a landscaped enclosure and next to this is the gym which also includes a sauna and shower room. The summer house with an additional studio is built in an Arts and Crafts style and sits within this complex providing an ideal area to relax.
Also within the grounds is a garage with a games room and storage above. For those needing to work from home, the office suite with a kitchen, sitting room and WC, provides a superb environment to host business meetings.
The house was frequented by various artists, writers, socialites and members of the Bloomsbury Group. Most notably Lady Ottoline Morrell (Great Niece of the Duke of Wellington, Cousin to the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and sister-in-law to Edward P. Warren the architect). Lady Ottoline as a friend of D.H Lawrence was reputedly the inspiration for Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley. Morrell had many love affairs, including a long relationship with philosopher Bertrand Russell, with whom she exchanged more than 3,500 love letters. Some letters reference their planned meetings at Breach House. Within the National Portrait Gallery Collection there are several photographs taken by Lady Ottoline at Breach House.
Kitchen Breakfast Room