GUILDFORD

 

Guildford, an authentic 16th-century Tudor residence, sits majestically on 18 park-like acres with sweeping vistas and spectacular sunsets overlooking the neighboring valley and is delightfully close enough to walk to the heart of Philadelphia’s acclaimed Chestnut Hill community.

 

HOME FACTS:

  • 3 floors and finished basement

  • 7 bedrooms

  • 7 full baths and 5 powder rooms

  • Master suite with sitting room, 2 full baths, 2 walk-in closets and a luxurious dressing area

  • 2 elevators, servicing private and staff areas

  • Eat-in kitchen with chef's grade appliances, butler’s pantry and adjoining family room

  • Wine cellar is located in the home's original art & silver vault; includes a humidor

  • Large home office 50 x 25

  • 2 laundry rooms

  • 4-car garage

  • Workout area with infrared sauna

  • 9 zones of heat and cooling

  • 13 working fireplaces

  • All systems and mechanicals have been updated

  • Interior SF approx. 21,000

Photography by Michael Hirsch and Travis Mark.
Videography by Michael Hirsch.

 

Property Facts:

  • 18.3 park-like acres

  • Gunite pool and spa in private setting close to kitchen. Outdoor fireplace adjacent to spa.

  • Terraced amphitheater bordered by white, blooming dogwood

  • Woodland walking trails

  • Sunken & terraced English gardens

  • Specimen trees throughout grounds, marked by The Morris Arboretum, are of a mixed variety and informal in keeping with the English philosophy

  • Event lawn ample for tent accommodating 350 people

  • Charming thunder shelter with fireplace

  • Property is fully-fenced and gated

  • Floor plans available upon request

Listing Price: $9,300,000

Authentic 16th-century Tudor manor home

 

Built with 16th century English Tudor architectural elements imported from Guildford, England and meticulously carried from England in dozens of ship containers, this spectacular home took nearly a decade to complete. European craftsmen were imported to re-assemble the home under the supervision of architect Robert McGoodwin, protégé of Horace Trumbauer. Conceived in 1915 by the industrialist George W. Elkins, this magnificent home was inspired during a visit to his friend, the Duke of Sutherland, owner of the historically significant Sutton Place in Surrey, England. As the eldest son of William Elkins, who amassed great fortunes in the oil, gas, tobacco and regional rail lines, George held offices in both Philadelphia and New York and often traveled by private rail car from the nearby Elkins Park train station. The Elkins’ family art collections, with master works by Gainsborough, Homer, Stubbs and Sargent, contributed significantly to the founding of the Philadelphia Museum of Art upon his untimely death in 1919. His widow oversaw the completion of the home, which, according to his daughter, Louise Elkins Sinkler, who lived with her family at Guildford for nearly 3 decades, is “that which many people think the most beautiful house in America.”

Although Elkins would not live to see the completion of his home in 1925, he intended the home to last for centuries. Guildford’s entire substructure, including the roof, is made from thick, reinforced concrete, amply supporting all of its timeless architectural elements. The antique brick walls and terracotta window frames, ancient carved wood paneling, elaborate cornice work, antique oak floors, limestone archways and walls, leaded glass windows, metal downspouts dated 1589 and red tile roof all dazzle as they did when they were originally installed. The interior light at Guildford is abundant and both morning and the late afternoon sunlight sparkles through the precious stained-glass ornaments that decorate many of the windows like jewels from the time of Shakespeare.


The generously proportioned rooms, high ceilings and axial layout make this home perfect for gracious entertaining as well as an elegant, cozy and welcoming home for family and friends.  Period English gardens, woodland paths and sweeping rolling vistas from the western terrace perfect the illusion of the English countryside and inspire the feeling of being transported to another place and time. Morning sunlight glows on the ancient river stones of the front entry court and evening sunsets delightfully color the breathtaking views from the western terrace.


The charm of Chestnut Hill fits perfectly with this timeless residence. Less than a mile from the village, Guildford offers a rare quality lifestyle for a property of this size. Less than 30 minutes to central Philadelphia and 90 minutes to Manhattan, Chestnut Hill is known for its quaint cobblestone streets, artisanal shops, art galleries, local train stations, top private schools, protected park land trails, award winning restaurants, golf and tennis clubs.

 
 

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS of GUILDFORD

River Stone Courtyard

The large courtyard which faces the front of Guildford is set with river stones from England’s River Wey, in Surrey.

 Entry Hall

Great slab stone floors are from England's Warwick Priory in London, dating back to the 12th-century. The 16th-century linen-fold paneling on the walls is from a manor in Norfolk, England. Linenfold carving was a signature of fine homes in Tudor England, as is the case here.

Terracotta carvings of amorini above Guildford’s west entrance doors are identical to those at Sutton Place in England.

Terracotta carvings of amorini above Guildford’s west entrance doors are identical to those at Sutton Place in England.

Front Oak Door &
Limestone Entry Arch

The richly carved historic oak entry door dazzles as does the ancient limestone entry arch, also known as “Willoughby Gate,” which dates back to the 1400s. 

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Living Room

From Cassiobury Hall, the home of the 2nd Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux, one of Elizabeth I’s closest advisers. Elizabeth I is said to have visited this room during her reign, marked by the stained glass window bearing the Queen’s Tudor Rose emblem.

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Dining Room

Georgian Period 18th-century honey-toned pine paneling from Felling Hall, Northumberland. The pair of carved niches are attributed to Grinling Gibbons, the most famous English wood carver of his day.

Library

Known as “Pope's Parlor,” this room from Battersea-on-Thames, is paneled in 16th-century Cedar of Lebanon wood and once belonged to Sir Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke. Famed writer Alexander Pope is said to have written his Essay on Man in this room.

CHESTNUT HILL–named one of the
top 7 urban enclaves by forbes magazine

 

Guildford is ideally located within walking distance to the charming center of the village of Chestnut Hill, with its cobblestone streets and chic boutiques. The area is also home to highly rated schools, the renowned and storied Philadelphia Cricket Club, Wings Field private airport, three commuter train stations and in close proximity to Manhattan.

 

QUICK FACTS ABOUT CHESTNUT HILL

  • Abuts The Wissahickon Valley Park’s 1,800 acres of walking, biking, hiking and riding trails.
  • Chestnut Hill cultural highlights include The Woodmere Art Museum, The Morris Arboretum, and The Pastorius Park Summer Concert Series, which is the longest running outdoor concert series in Philadelphia.
  • Zagat-rated restaurants such as Jansen and wonderful boutiques for shopping.
  • 10-minute drive to Wings Field private airport
  • 20-minute drive to Center City Philadelphia
  • 90 minutes to Manhattan