Font House

Winner of three 2018 RIBA East Midlands Awards: Regional Award, Conservation Award and the Project Architect Award. A new house designed for patron hospitality at Nevill Holt Opera.

Within the grounds of Grade I listed Nevill Holt in Leicestershire lie three historic walled gardens dating from the seventeenth century. Recently restored kitchen and Italianate gardens are accompanied in the third garden by a new house designed by Woldon. Replacing a dilapidated 1960s bungalow, the new south-facing house takes on a symmetrical form, standing clear of the surrounding historic walls. Woldon successfully navigated the various complexities at planning associated with listed buildings and archaeology. The extent of proposed landscaping required a full archaeological excavation to be carried out across the site prior to the start of works.

The material palette draws inspiration from the main hall with a series of hand-crafted bronze roofs set on ironstone facades and framed by ponds. The stone is worked by hand and carefully selected from quarries and reclaimed sources. The south-facing terrace opens out onto a central lawn bordered by a fine contemporary planting scheme created by garden designer Rupert Golby. Planted species include yew and cornus controversa trees. Fresh water ponds either side of the terrace frame the entrance to the house.

The interiors, developed in conjunction with interior designer Ann Boyd, balance a refined and intimate living space with an appropriate setting for entertaining. Bedroom wings flank a large pavilion room with a reclaimed brick fireplace at its centre, opening out directly onto a York stone terrace. Slim-framed sliding doors are set on a flush threshold providing seamless continuity between indoors and out.

Project Information

Client: Private Client
Construction Value: Undisclosed
Location: Harborough District, Leics

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The house and garden are a testament to the highest quality of design and execution and create a new and unexpected chapter in the history of the Nevill Holt estate.


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