Nick Churton from Mayfair International Realty, based in London, finds a connection between a Regency styled house in Torquay, England and the generosity of the American people.
Torquay is a genteel town on the south west coast of England, situated in the heart of what is called the English Riviera. From the early part of the eighteenth century it was a magnet for the wealthy and socially well connected who helped make the town a popular winter resort because of its fresh air and mild climate.
It became associated with health – the unhealthy using the town for recuperation and recovery, and the healthy using the town’s harbour and bay for yachting. To accommodate these eager, well-heeled incomers elegant villas were built, many in the Regency style. A large number of these still exist and are as sought-after now as they were then.
America Lodge is one of them. Its name pays tribute to a unique history. In 1940 England was a rather exposed bulwark against Nazi Germany. But while it would be another year before the USA officially entered the war she was already helping out her old friend through a variety of means – many of them financial. Britain received all sorts of aid including Lend Lease. Another means was the US-based British War Relief Society (BWRS). This was a humanitarian umbrella organisation dealing with the supply of non-military aid such as food, clothes, medical supplies and financial aid to people in the UK during the early years of the Second World War.
Using a generous donation from the BWRS the villa became a home of recovery operated by the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The house name was changed from Kingston Lodge to America Lodge in tribute.
Now the house is on the market. It has been beautifully refurbished as a stylish modern home while losing none of its Regency elegance. One or two things are certainly unchanged: the view and the climate. Torquay remains a very popular holiday destination but has also become one of the UK’s premier locations for second homes and retirement.
Today America Lodge is one of Torquay’s signature villas with flexible and adaptable accommodation that could provide an income from the main villa, three self-contained apartments and a coach house. There are also well-landscaped gardens and grounds.
After about 175 years America Lodge still does what it was built for – providing comfort, protection and pleasure to all who visit and those who stay. A bit like America really.