Property of the month - Elegance as standard
PUBLISHED: 17:25 06 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:09 20 February 2013
A palatial home with its own clocktower was a real findfor Mark and Susan Wogman, as Pat Bramley discovers...
MARK Wogman and his wife Susan always admired Hadley Lodge at Hadley Common long before they had the chance to buy it. The distinctive clock tower and turret facing the road make it a local landmark.
Although it looks older, the main part of the mansion standing in a courtyard seen through the wrought iron gates at the entrance was built no more than twenty-or-so years ago as a replacement for an 18th-century house which had burnt down in 1981.
Dont be fooled by the Lodge bit of the name. This is no humble abode for a caretaker. Whatever it might have been in the Georgian era, born-again Hadley Lodge is a multi-million-pound 21st-century palatial pad standing in seven acres in one of the most affluent conservation areas on the border of Hertfordshire and London.
The Wogmans were living in nearby Cockfosters Road when they first drove past and noticed the house close to The Common with the clock tower and the arched entrance reminiscent of the days when the gentry arrived in a horse-drawn coach.
By profession Mark and Sue are hot shot property investors but their portfolio is limited to commercial property, not residential.
Their interest in Hadley Lodge was as a family home for themselves and their three children, not a glamorous addition to their business empire.
Surprisingly they passed up several chances to buy it before it actually became theirs seven years ago.
Mark recalls, Wed been interested in the house on previous occasions when it was put up for sale. Wed tried to buy it once before but missed out. We werent going to lose it again when it came back on the market.
It was the style of the house and the location and the amount of land it has that appealed to us. It has seven acres. The views across London to the City and the West End are magnificent.
Having bought the property theyd coveted for so long, their first objective was to get rid of the previous owners dcor to clear the decks for a makeover which would create a home that must be one of the most elegant in London.
Sue is the creative one, Mark is quick to acknowledge. All the ideas came from her. Understandably she wanted to put her own stamp on it.
We updated the house from top to bottom without making any structural alterations.
Most of the work was handled by a team of contractors and highly skilled craftsmen they brought over from Spain.
The hand-picked Spanish squad laid the acres of gleaming tiled floors throughout the ground floor, designed and fitted the wood panelling in the ground floor reception rooms and built the floor-to-ceiling wardrobes in the dressing rooms the workmanship was second to none.
Most of the designer furnishings chosen by Sue for the familys new home were shipped over from Spain. Neutral tones with splashes of crimson is the predominant colour theme. Their contemporary (but comfortable) home environment, all 7,200 sq ft of it in the main house, is a vision of clean lines, sculptural shapes, contemporary paintings, clever lighting and the occasional chandelier.
Downstairs there are six or seven reception rooms. Three inter-connecting entertaining rooms run the full width of the back of the house. The formal dining room, drawing room and central garden room, dominated by the arched double doors opening onto the terrace, came into their own last June when 300 guests turned up for daughter Lauras wedding. But most times, when theres just the two of them, the property experts have been happy to spend an evening watching telly over dinner in the family room next to the kitchen where the Italian furniture, modern painting above the stone side table included, was bought from a local showroom. Even in here, the doors of the sideboard were specially covered in leather to match the colour of the dining chairs.
As for further evidence of the luxury quotient, spread across the two upper floors at Hadley Lodge are seven fantastic bedrooms. Five of the suites also have a dressing room.
All seven bathrooms of course have been refitted to five-star hotel standard. Fortunately theres no need for dirty clothes baskets to clutter up the space because a laundry room is conveniently placed on the first floor landing. Residents can dump their washing straight into the machine and set it going as soon as it forms a pile.
Mark says Sue is particularly pleased with the Mark Wilkinson kitchen. He laughs, My wife couldnt live without her Aga its the elongated model with gas burners as well as two hotplates with chrome lids and she loves the Sub Zero fridge/freezer too.
All three children have now flown the nest, so its the old, old story, mum and dad woke up one day and found themselves rattling round in a house with lots of happy memories but hundreds of feet of unused space.
The converted coach house at the front of the building with its three bedrooms, two reception rooms, bathrooms and kitchen all furnished and equipped to the same standard as the main house, used to be their son Gavins lair but hes moved on.
The 56ft games room above the four-car garage block to the side of the clock tower was once where they played ping pong and pool and entertained their friends but thats underused now.
So whats to become of it all?
The Wogmans have decided the house needs a new family to take it on. Its a luxury house that has so much to offer.
In the days when their own children still lived at home, Mark and Sue obtained planning permission for an indoor swimming pool but never got round to having it built. The consent still exists.
Maybe that will be the incentive for a new set of parents to splash out nine million and put their stamp on Hadley Lodge.
Hadley Lodge at Hadley Common is for sale through the Barnet office of Statons and joint agents Knight Frank in Hampstead for 8,950,000.