A property incorporating part of the garden of a house built by the designer of the world famous Eddystone Lighthouse, and where he built a brick “moddle” of it, is on the market with leading local estate agent Mullucks Wells.
Kings Mill in Littlebury near Saffron Walden is an 18th century four bedroom house attached to a Grade II listed former mill building, standing in 3.82 acres. The grounds of the property now incorporate what was once the neighbouring garden of inventor, engraver and engineer Henry Winstanley (1644-1703), who built the first Eddystone Lighthouse off the Devon coast in 1698.
Winstanley was born in Saffron Walden in 1644 and built his house in nearby Littlebury in 1677. He filled it with his inventions – including a windmill, self-opening doors, barrel-organs and trick chairs. Visitors were charged a shilling for the experience, passing through a turnstile at the front gate. Its garden also included a two metre high garden mount, where it’s believed Winstanley constructed a brick “moddle of the lighthouse”, the full-size version of which he built on the Eddystone rocks in 1698. The model was demolished in 1739 and there is speculation that some of the timber and stone used were later used in the construction of the existing mill house and barn. As for the mound, it is now in the grounds of neighbouring Kings Mill, which is currently on the market for £1.85m.
“The mound can be seen to this day in our garden,” says owner Nick McCaffrey, who has lived at Kings Mill for 17 years. “Our children have grown up using it for everything from building dens to battlefield scenes. We often get callers at the door looking for the lighthouse. Sadly it’s now gone, so instead we direct them to the village hall, where there are some drawings they can look at.”
Winstanley had also been made Clerk of Works to King Charles II at nearby Audley End House in 1679, and as a showman he established "Winstanley's Waterworks" near Hyde Park, which remained one of London's foremost popular attractions for decades. He was to perish at the Eddystone Lighthouse only five years after its construction, when he went to the tower to make repairs during the great storm of 1703. After passing to his family and a succession of “gentlemen”, the house was pulled down in the 1780s. Today not a trace remains.
Mullucks Wells Residential Director William Wells added: “The Henry Winstanley story is a fascinating one and this is a unique opportunity to acquire a property associated with him. It’s a beautiful and historic house and adjoining mill with water frontage – which is something of a rarity in this very dry part of East Anglia. The house has been painstakingly restored by the present owners, who have retained many original features while adding quality through exceptional attention to detail.”
Kings Mill, Littlebury near Saffron Walden, Essex is on the market for £1.85m with Mullucks Wells: 01279 755400.