A 250-Year Old Royal Observatory, built in 1769 by King George III at Old Deer Park in Richmond, Surrey, can now be rented for a mere £37,500 a month. The recently renovated four-bedroom property is being leased by estate agents Jackson-Stops and Knight Frank, who say the property is ideal “wealthy international families as well as high profile figures who want to live within luxury accommodation with a touch of British history during their trips to London.”
The Palladian villa, designed by architect Sir William Chambers, features a functional revolving dome cupola, the oldest of its kind in the world. The observatory was used by King George III and Queen Charlotte to follow the journey of Venus across the sun. The King, who had a keen interest in science, built the observatory to explore the wonders of space. It managed to survive both World Wars and was eventually overseen by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Physical Laboratory. The observatory was returned to the Crown Estate in 1980.
The property has 6,537 square feet and includes an entrance foyer, dining room, drawing room, kitchen/breakfast room, garden foyer, library, four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and two dressing rooms. Its current leaseholder is hoping to sublet the home, which still displays period furniture in one of the living rooms. The library houses more than 12,000 books and the cabinetry, which used to hold the King’s scientific instruments, has been exquisitely restored. Other features include an elevator and a digital system that controls climate, lighting, blinds, music and the security system.
The cupola is equipped with a telescope on loan from the Crown Estate since the King’s original telescope is at the National Museum of Dublin. The property, which sits in seven acres, also includes a boathouse, lake and two magnetic huts, originally used by the Meteorological Office to conduct science experiments. The home overlooks the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Course.
According to agent Amelia Redington from Jackson-Stops, “The current owner of the King’s Observatory has breathed new life back into an incredible piece of history.” The town of Richmond has a bustling downtown, as well as splendid Royal parks.
“Renting is increasingly seen as an attractive option by a range of prospective tenants across all price ranges and is no longer seen as the poor relation to sales,” says agent Debbie Pinkham from Knight Frank.