Property of the week: These twin houses in Richmond are where Virginia and Leonard Woolf founded their famous publishing house

Melissa York
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Virginia Woolf

These twin Georgian townhouses, sitting side by side in Richmond, would turn heads even if they weren’t the birthplace of a world-famous publishing house. But as it happens, they were home to seminal author Virginia Woolf and her husband political theorist Leonard at the time they founded the Hogarth Press.

Virginia and Leonard, Richmond, £3.75m each

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

It’s an auspicious time for these properties to be restored to their former glory as 2017 marks the centenary of the founding of the influential publisher run by the literary couple in the early 20th century.

The couple moved into the house – which was built as a single property in 1750 – in Richmond in March 1915 and, two years later, purchased a used hand press from Excelsior Printing Supply Co for £41. Having been rejected from the St Bride’s school of printing for not being trade union apprentices, they learned how to operate it by reading a 16-page pamphlet.

The first publication – a 32-page pamphlet, stamped with the distinctive hallmark “Hogarth Press, Richmond” – was published in July 1917 and the Hogarth Press was born, producing some 40 books, including works by John Middleton Murray and Sigmund Freud.

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The Woolfs moved to Bloomsbury seven years later, and it was converted into business suites in 1934. However, its famous inhabitants continued to be celebrated, with the building granted Grade II Listed status in 1968 and bestowed with an English Heritage Blue Plaque in 1976.

Developer Berwick Properties bought it in 2012 and converted it into two four bedroom houses – following an 18 month restoration – and now they’re back on the market. The left house is named Leonard and the right Virginia, in honour of the Woolfs.

Many of its period feature have been restored, including an elegant staircase, wall panelling, and high corniced ceilings. Both back gardens have also been redesigned by RHS Chelsea Flower Show medallist Heather Appleton.

Call Savills Richmond on 020 8614 9100

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