Are you wistfully watching Wimbledon, wondering when you can squeeze your next rally in? If you owned this house in Putney, the nearest knockabout is only as far as the end of garden.
West Hill Road, Putney, £3.495m
This detached Victorian villa isn’t just a beautiful house, the buyer will also have access to possibly the smallest and most private tennis club in the UK – and a stake in the tennis courts themselves. Around five years ago, the previous owner was approached by developers to sell the land. Rather than let it fall into private hands with the prospect of having to deal with the consequences, around 15 neighbours surrounding the courts decided to club together and buy them out.
“I think everyone saw it as a kind of common interest to keep the courts,” says Andrew Galloway, the current owner of the house on West Hill Road. “It seemed sensible to come together as a sort of trust, a co-operative, to buy the courts and turn it into a jointly-owned club. And some of us have a gate onto the court from our gardens so it’s very convenient.”
The Cedars Lawn Tennis Club now has two open courts, a vegetable allotment, a social club and a professional on hand to give lessons. Members, who pay an annual membership of £160 for the upkeep, also take part in a summer tennis tournament. Though some neighbours on surrounding roads are members, there’s never more than 50 in the club, making it a highly accessible resource.
“It seemed sensible to come together as a sort of trust, a co-operative, to buy the courts and turn it into a jointly-owned club."
And you could join if you’re in the market for a five bedroom house. Galloway, who works in the City, has lived in it with his family for 15 years. It features a study, a dressing room off the master bedroom, a study, a lower ground kitchen that spans the entire depth of the house and a south-facing garden with a terrace for alfresco dining. Close to East Putney station, it’s in a popular part of town, yet it’s a peaceful place of repose for Galloway, an empty nester who is looking to downsize.
“It’s amazingly quiet, especially as there is quite a lot of activity around,” he says, “so it really does feel as if you’re in the middle of the countryside.”
Call Savills Putney on 020 8780 9900
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