Grade-II listed house that overlooks Durdle Door is for sale

Grade-II listed Lutyens-designed house that overlooks Durdle Door and was venue for Sir Laurence Olivier’s first honeymoon is for sale for £1.75m

  • The cliff-side property on  Britain’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast has gone up for sale for £1.75million
  •  Grade-II listed ‘Weston’ sits between the two beauty spots of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door in Dorset
  • Property was where actor Laurence Olivier and his first wife Jill Esmond spent their honeymoon together

A secluded cliff-side property on Britain’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast which was once the honeymoon destination of Sir Laurence Olivier has gone on the market for £1.75million.

The Grade-II listed ‘Weston’, which sits between the two beauty spots of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door in Dorset, was designed by the celebrated architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1927 for the surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp.

The seven-bedroom property, which can be accessed through a private gravelled drive, comes with three bathrooms, a housekeepers room and a library and offers stunning views of the English Channel.  

A step inside the luxury property reveals typical Lutyens details including attractive brick elevations, a statement front door with classic portico and Tuscan columns, an impressive scissor staircase, open fireplaces and carved panelling. 

The secluded cliff-side property on Britain’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast was designed by the celebrated architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1927

The stunning property (lower circle), which offers stunning views of the sea, sits between the two beauty spots of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door in Dorset (top circle)

The property can be accessed through a private gravelled drive and comes with two bathrooms, a housekeepers room and a library

Inside the 5,413 square foot house is a vintage library that comes with wooden flooring and a kitchen/breakfast room that comes with checkered floor tiles and modern spotlights on the ceiling.  

Meanwhile a step outside reveals a sprawling garden that comes with a sunken seating area and offers breathtaking views of the sea. 

The design of the property utilises the sloping hillside so that the garden can be reached from both the ground and first floor.

Weston, which also has direct access onto the South West Coastal Path, also comes with a large reception room, housekeeper’s room, garden room, basement and three bathrooms.

The property, which is thought to be the only one of its type in Dorset, also offers a separate garage with a studio and an array of storage rooms.

Although its remote location affords it privacy, the house can be seen by the masses of tourists who use the popular South West Coast Path that is positioned just above it. 

A step inside the luxury property reveals a cosy library that comes with wooden flooring and offers views of the breathtaking scenery outside

The house, which is thought to be the only one of its type in Dorset, also come with a spacious kitchen/ breakfast room fitted with checkered tiling and spotlights

Another room inside the large property offers plenty of sunlight to flood through its windows and comes with black marble flooring

A step outside the secluded house reveals a sprawling garden that comes with a sunken seating area and allows the lucky homeowner to enjoy views of the sea

The cliff-side property on Britain’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast can be accessed through a private gravelled drive and comes with typical Lutyens details including attractive brick elevations and a statement front door with classic portico and Tuscan column

The property was where actor and director Sir Laurence Olivier and his first wife Jill Esmond (pictured together) spent the first night of their honeymoon 

Olivier cheated on first wife Jill with Vivien Leigh and was married three times

The English actor and director Laurence Olivier first met Vivien Leigh at one of her stage performances of The Mask of Virtue in London in 1936.

Olivier, who was married at the time to actress Jill Esmond, congratulated the star for her performance and the pair soon began an affair later on that year.

According to Michelangelo Capua’s book Vivien Leigh: A Biography, the actress was quoted as telling a friend after her meeting with Olivier: ‘That’s the man I’m going to marry.’

In the book Lord Larry: A Personal Portrait of Laurence Olivier, the actor was quoted as saying: ‘I couldn’t help myself with Vivien. No man could.

‘I hated myself for cheating on Jill, but then I had cheated before, but this was something different. This wasn’t just out of lust. This was love that I really didn’t ask for but was drawn into.’

Olivier eventually asked Esmond for a divorce and went on to get married to Leigh in 1940.

Olivier and Leigh went on to star together in films such as 21 Days Together and That Hamilton Woman. 

However in 1958, having kept up appearances for nearly ten years, Leigh considered her marriage to be over and entered a relationship with Jack Merivale.

Meanwhile Olivier began an affair with actress Joan Plowright and went on to marry her in 1961. 

The couple, who shared three children together, remained married until his death in 1989 

 

The house is thought to be named after Westonbirt House in Gloucestershire, which was owned by Sir George Holford and who left his friend Sir Alfred the money for the build.

After Sir Alfred’s death in 1930 the house was bought by the actress and suffragette Eva Moore, the mother of actress Jill Esmond who married actor and director Sir Laurence Olivier in the same year. 

The house is most memorable for being the destination where Olivier and his first wife spent the first night of their honeymoon.  

The pair first met in 1928 when they co-starred in the theatre production Bird in the Hand and eventually tied the knot in 1930 at All Saints Church on Margaret Street in London. 

The couple went on to welcome their first son Tarquin Olivier in August 1936.

However in 1936 Olivier crossed paths with the actress Vivien Leigh in London and the pair entered a secret affair. 

The actor was once quoted as saying: ‘I couldn’t help myself with Vivien. No man could.

‘I hated myself for cheating on Jill, but then I had cheated before, but this was something different. 

‘This wasn’t just out of lust. This was love that I really didn’t ask for but was drawn into.’

He eventually told Esmond about his affair and went on to marry Leigh in 1940. 

Olivier and Leigh went on to star together in films such as 21 Days Together and That Hamilton Woman.   

But in 1958, with their marriage struggling, Olivier began an affair with actress Joan Plowright, who was 22 years younger than him, and married her in 1961. 

They remained married until his death in 1989.

Ashley Rawlings, from estate agents Savills, said: ‘This is an incredibly rare opportunity for a buyer to put their own stamp on a landmark house in a highly sought-after, secluded cliff-top location.

‘Designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and with a wealth of features typical of the period, Weston is thought to be the only example of his work in Dorset.

‘The house has outstanding sea views from the garden, towards Durdle Door, Weymouth Bay and Portland to the west and the Purbecks to the east.’ 

The house, which is thought to be named after Westonbirt House in Gloucestershire, offers views of the Jurassic Coast

The luxury property comes with seven bedroom, two bathrooms, a housekeepers room, a library and a separate garage

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