This former manor house for sale is the subject of a book published at the break of the First World War - and was chosen as a refuge for fleeing women and children as well as a home for injured soldiers. 

The property, on Polecat Hill in Hindhead, was once part of the grand “Villino” manor house, which was built in 1899 by architect Charles Spooner. 

The family room features a picture window. (Cocoon Estate Agents)

The owners, Agnes and Egerton Castle, wrote a book about the property, ‘Our Sentimental Gardens’, which was published in 1914, just as World War One began.  It was illustrated by artist Charles Robinson, who is known for having illustrated ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 

In the foreword of the book, written in September 1914, the couple notes that the Villino is “to become a home of convalescence for some of our wounded”, and that the cottage in the grounds was to become “a refuge for women and babes fled from burning Belgian hamlets”. 

The grounds back onto the Hindhead Common National Trust land, and the house would once have hosted the Castles’ notable friends, including Sir Hugh and Lady Wyndham, and possibly Scott of the Antarctic, who discovered the Antarctic Plateau where the South Pole is located and the first ever Antarctic fossils. 

Inside the house, there is a traditional tiled entrance hall, a drawing room with an open fireplace and French doors, a dining room, and a kitchen, both of the latter featuring solid oak wooden floors. 

The drawing room, with an open fireplace and French doors. (Cocoon Estate Agents)

Also on the ground floor is a family room with a large picture window and a slate hearth, and accessed on this level is the butler’s lift, which originally served all the floors of the property. 

Upstairs, the master bedroom features two Juliet balconies overlooking the gardens, plus fitted wardrobes. 

The master bedroom has two Juliet balconies. (Cocoon Estate Agents)

There are two bathrooms and three further bedrooms, one with a feature fireplace and one of which is currently used as a study room. 

On the second floor, there is an additional bedroom, and on the lower ground floor there is a guest bedroom, an office/gym, and a utility room. 

The property is in an elevated position. (Cocoon Estate Agents)

Outside are the grounds documented in ‘Our Sentimental Gardens’, made up of a 0.7 acre plot, including a lawned side area, a decked area by the family room, a stone seating area, flower beds, a timber garden shed and woodlands, with a gate leading to the Hindhead Common National Trust land. 

The property is being sold by Cocoon Estate Agents for a guide price of £1,350,000.

Melanie Burnett of Cocoon commented: “The house has a fascinating history, it was once a large country manor house, now providing three large family homes, set out as two principal wings and a terrace.   

“Number 3 Anthony Place is the largest wing with 6 bedrooms and outstanding views.

“I have done quite a bit of research on the property and found a manuscript of the book written by the owners in 1914 on the internet and some rather beautiful illustrations of the house and gardens including a map of the gardens which included a tennis court, bowling green and much more!  

“The pictures were drawn by art nouveau artist Charles Robinson, who also illustrated The Secret Garden by Sir Frances Hodgson Burnett.”