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The transformation of an 'at risk' derelict historic city mansion into luxury homes

Wales Online logo Wales Online 13/01/2021 Joanne Ridout

Go back to the year 2008 and if you were wandering along a certain busy main road in a certain Welsh city, it's highly likely you would not have noticed an important historic house hiding amongst the bushes and trees of a large overgrown site.

It's amazing to think that such a unique Grade II listed property gem in Newport was secretly watching the world go by from broken windows and a crumbling facade after years of neglect.

Maybe the only thing you would have noticed is a horse in the front garden, a rather unusual thing to see in the centre of a Newport suburb.

a large stone statue in front of a house: Behind the horse and the undergrowth was a property gem waiting to be saved © google maps Behind the horse and the undergrowth was a property gem waiting to be saved a house with trees in the background: The site began to slip into disrepair and ended up on Save Britain's Heritage at risk register © google maps The site began to slip into disrepair and ended up on Save Britain's Heritage at risk register a group of people in front of a house: As the ground is cleared the extent of the work needed to the main house becomes obvious © Save Britain's Heritage As the ground is cleared the extent of the work needed to the main house becomes obvious

Called Woodlands House, but also referred to as Malpas House, according to charity Save Britain's Heritage this mansion dates back to between 1825 and 1830 and was bought by the Reverend Thomas Prothero.

This first owner was the son of Thomas Prothero of Malpas Court Mansion House, another local property gem which can be found on the opposite side of the main road, so presumably they were neighbours.

Woodlands House was later purchased by Lorenzo Augustus Homfray whose family had played a leading part in the industrialisation of south Wales.

map: An aerial shot of the site shows the continuing transformation of the grounds © google maps An aerial shot of the site shows the continuing transformation of the grounds a large lawn in front of a house: The renovation of Woodlands House into six luxury apartments is nearing completion © Nuttall Parker estate agents The renovation of Woodlands House into six luxury apartments is nearing completion

According to website British listed buildings, the house was Grade II listed in 1998 for being 'a scarce surviving example in Newport of gentry house of this period, retaining much of its character'.

Since the time of the listing, the house gradually started to fall into decline until it was placed on the Save Britain's Heritage 'at risk' register, which highlights the most vulnerable historic buildings in the country that are vacant and whose future is uncertain.

According to the charity, in 2011 Newport County Council received an application for the main house to be converted into flats via partial demolition to enable the development which was queried by the charity, with concerns also raised by Cadw.

Amended plans were then approved by the council in 2018 for alterations and refurbishment to convert the existing listed building into apartments and new houses within the grounds.

The site was cleared of undergrowth and Powell Developments moved in to transform the mansion and the site as a major renovation project, and now the newly created homes within this exclusive gated community called Hambly Court are for sale.

a brick building: There's gated electronic entry with car licence recognition (CGI for impression only, design may be subject to change) © Powell Developments There's gated electronic entry with car licence recognition (CGI for impression only, design may be subject to change) a large lawn in front of a house: The site has been landscaped and the new houses in the grounds are being built © Nuttall Parker estate agents The site has been landscaped and the new houses in the grounds are being built a dining room table: The communal entrance hall of the main house has numerous beautiful period features © Nuttall Parker estate agents The communal entrance hall of the main house has numerous beautiful period features

Inside the period manor house are six apartments and within the former mansion grounds are seven houses.

The first phase of two houses facing the adjoining Woodland Drive called The Willows and The Elders have been completed and sold a number of years ago.

Now phase two of properties has just gone on the market.

Once allowed through the electric gated entrance with intercom system and number plate recognition, you approach the main historic house, whose facade now looks refreshed and probably as impressive as the day it was built.

Step inside the communal hallway and the breath-taking space is bursting with original character, giving you a snapshot into how grand and impressive this mansion was at the time of its construction.

a chair in a room: The stairs are arguably the stand-out feature © Nuttall Parker estate agents The stairs are arguably the stand-out feature a large empty room: The hall includes an impressive fireplace and columns featuring painted flowers © Nuttall Parker estate agents The hall includes an impressive fireplace and columns featuring painted flowers The hall is flooded with daylight by a distinctive roof lantern © Nuttall Parker estate agents The hall is flooded with daylight by a distinctive roof lantern

The stunning shiny tiled floor is a work of art and leads to the sweeping, grand period staircase that is surely a feature that will mesmerise any visitor.

Approaching the staircase you walk under a series of arches and columns, complete with carved and painted details at their crown that also demand and deserve attention.

It's these beautiful and restored period features that set this development apart and make it a unique property proposition within the city.

a cat sitting in front of a window: Each of the six apartments in the main house has at least one characterful, large window © Nuttall Parker estate agents Each of the six apartments in the main house has at least one characterful, large window a living room filled with furniture and a flat screen tv: The show apartment illustrates how a new owner could live within the high-ceiling spaces with the home © Nuttall Parker estate agents The show apartment illustrates how a new owner could live within the high-ceiling spaces with the home a kitchen with a wood floor: The separate kitchen is a glossy high-end choice of units and appliances © Nuttall Parker estate agents The separate kitchen is a glossy high-end choice of units and appliances

Each individually designed apartment within the main house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, combined living and dining room and a separate kitchen.

And each apartment has the unique shapes, large windows and high ceilings that come with converting a historic house into modern abodes, and it makes each flat boast its own personality.

Find your next perfect home here:

What each apartment has in common though is its sleek contemporary interiors that include high-end, gloss kitchens and floors, bespoke granite work surfaces and built-in appliances.

The bathrooms, one an ensuite to the master and one a family bathroom, continue the luxury interior decor, there are plush carpets and each apartment can boast at least one characterful bay window with views out to the now landscaped mansion grounds.

All apartments can enjoy the newly designed outside space within the private grounds, that now also have five new homes planned and being built that can be reserved.

a large brick building with grass in front of a house: There are four different bespoke designs for the new build houses © Nuttall Parker estate agents There are four different bespoke designs for the new build houses a large lawn in front of a house: This design is called The Maple (CGI for impression only, design may be subject to change) © Powell Developments This design is called The Maple (CGI for impression only, design may be subject to change) a car parked in front of a house: This detached house design is called The Oak (CGI for impression only, design may be subject to change) © Powell Developments This detached house design is called The Oak (CGI for impression only, design may be subject to change)

These new, detached executive homes are built to four bespoke designs and all have four bedrooms, open-plan kitchen diners, a separate lounge and a separate study, a utility room and cloakroom.

Upstairs, the four distinctive designs called The Oak, The Pine, The Maple and The Cedar, all have a master bedroom with an ensuite and a family bathroom.

The luxury interior design, high-end fixtures and fittings and integrated lighting used within the main house can also be found throughout these detached homes, which also each have a private driveway and garden.

a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances: The kitchens in the house continue to high-spec interiors found in the main house apartments © Nuttall Parker estate agents The kitchens in the house continue to high-spec interiors found in the main house apartments a large empty room: The largest of the detached houses has an L-shaped kitchen diner and family lounge © Nuttall Parker estate agents The largest of the detached houses has an L-shaped kitchen diner and family lounge a room with a sink and a mirror: Each property, whether an apartment or a house, has a family bathroom and a master bedroom ensuite © Nuttall Parker estate agents Each property, whether an apartment or a house, has a family bathroom and a master bedroom ensuite

Outside, the developers state that the exterior designs of the new houses have focused on being sympathetic to the style of the main house including the choice of facade and inclusion of bay windows.

All properties at Hambly Court are currently available to reserve.

At the moment, according to the estate agent selling the property, the three of the six apartments and one of the five houses are reserved.

Prices start from £285,000 for the apartments and £465,000 for the detached houses. For further information call estate agent Nuttall Parker on 01633 212666 to find out more.

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