Take a look inside this listed hunting lodge on sale in Wales for £1.95m

Outside view of Kemeys Folly in Wales
Kemeys Folly was used as a hunting lodge before being transformed into a unique home (Image credit: Savills)

A spectacular Welsh hunting lodge steeped in history and featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs is for sale in Wales for £1.95 million.

Kemeys Folly is a five-bedroom and five-bathroom Grade II listed building with origins dating back to the 1700s.

It was first listed for sale in 2011 for £2.75 million after its owners moved overseas but has now had its price slashed by nearly £1 million.

Here's a peek inside the house and its architecture now it is back on the market.

Baronial styling with four-storey stair turret

The listed Folly was rebuilt in the early 20th Century with brick courses of local limestone rubble in a "Baronial style", a gothic architectural style reminiscent of Scottish castles.

And while Kemeys Folly doesn't have its own moat, it does have a stunning four-storey stair turret that is corbelled from the first storey.

This turret has a parapet at the top with crenulations, presumably added for style rather than any impending battles.  

Crenulations also adorn the top of the main three-storey tower, which, according to Savills director Richard Brooks of the South West offices, can be accessed for "spectacular views" of the Usk Valley and Sugarloaf Mountain in Monmouthshire.

There's a memorial plaque on the side of the turret for "John Lawrence" and "Horton Addams Williams", but it is unclear about the significance of these two men.

Close-up view of the stonework of the home

The building is Grade II listed and was used as a hunting lodge (Image credit: Savills)

Gothic arched oak door and Bathstone mullions

It might not date back to the 1700s, but the front door to Kemeys Folly is wonderfully imposing. It's a solid boarded oak door that is arched at the top with a 'speakeasy' hole (now glazed) cut into it with a wrought iron grill and huge door knocker.

The windows in the building are modern, according to the Welsh Government's listing directory, but are leaded and feature stunning Bathstone mullions and dressings.

The large wooden front door of Kemeys Folly as well as the stone staircase with wooden banister

The imposing wood panelled front door of Kemeys Folly can be seen to the left, with the stone staircase with wooden banister seen to the right, which spirals up the turret (Image credit: The Folly Estate)

Inside the old tower, there are high ceilings with ornate, embellished plasterwork. 

The library, pictured below, features unique cornicing as well as column radiators, leaded windows and wood-panelled book shelving.

Seating area with a sofa and porcelain tiled floor

The library is on the ground floor of the original building (Image credit: Savills)

Steeped in history with views of nine counties

The history of the building is fascinating too. Overlooking 20 acres of historic woodland and around 4 acres of gardens and paddocks, the property was originally built in 1722 by George Kemeys, of nearby Kemeys Manor.

After the Folly was burned down, it was rebuilt as a home in 1911 for Sir Thomas Edward Watson, the High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, before it passed down to his daughter Ada. 

What's curious about Kemeys Folly is that despite the original Folly having burned down, the building was not delisted (more information on delisting can be found in our how to delist a listed building guide). This is likely to be because of the history associated with the building as well as its unusual rebuild design in baronial styling.

The patio and view over fields from the garden of the grade listed hunting lodge

The patio at the front of the property has incredible views across Wales (Image credit: Savills)

It was sold to its current owners Dean Berry, a Welsh investment banker, and his wife Sarah in 2005 for £830,000. 

The couple spent £1 million renovating the property to "bring their vision to life". It was featured on Grand Designs in February 2009, where Kevin McCloud called the finished result "heaven".

Outside view of the grade listed hunting lodge

The Folly is three storeys high with a four-storey high turret (Image credit: Savills)

Modern 'Grand Designs' overhaul in 2009

Kevin McCloud was amazed by the transformation of the hunting lodge on Grand Designs 13 years ago and the overhaul certainly is unique.

The couple secured planning permission and listed building consent to add two modern wings to the listed building, giving 4,670 square ft of internal living space.

"What they have done is really well blended to the older part of the home. It gives a comfortable flow to the property with a walkway that is fully glazed and bi-folding doors that look out onto the front garden," explains Brooks.

The architect that created the design was David Sutton. The couple themselves added a biomass boiler, housed in a separate boiler house, underfloor heating, Lutron dynamic lighting and thermal Pilkington K glass.

Master bedroom takes up an entire floor

The luxury of renovating a property is being able to give yourself the best room. And the owners of Kemeys Folly definitely had this in mind when they gave the master plus dressing room and ensuite an entire floor in the older part of the building.

The master bedroom also has doors that open out onto a large terrace at the back of the property, with stunning views of the Usk Valley and Brecon Beacons as well as woodland in the grounds.

Inside the bedroom of the listed building showing a four poster black bed

The master bedroom takes up an entire floor (Image credit: Savills)

All five of the Folly's bedrooms are ensuite, with three in the main older tower and two in the extended glass wing. The couple styled the master bedroom and bathroom in monochrome, contrasting black and whites to give a contemporary feel.

The bathroom with a large bathtub, double sinks and shower with glass surroundinside the grade listed house

The ensuite for the master bedroom features double his and her sinks as well as a freestanding bath (Image credit: Savills)

Open plan living to blend old with new

Inside the new south-western wing of Kemeys Folly, the kitchen and sitting room are one large living space that wraps around the older building. This is designed to blend the old with the new, while keeping the contrast between the two.

Floor to ceiling glass windows bring the outdoors into the space as well.

The living room of the grade listed hunting lodge with leather sofas and a porcelain tile floor

Underfloor heating has been installed throughout the property (Image credit: Savills)

The same floor to ceiling windows are echoed in the new north-eastern wing of the build too, with porcelain flooring and aluminium bifold doors.

The property also has a large indoor swimming pool complex, measuring 1607 square ft, which is still needing to be renovated.

Bedroom with green feature wall inside listed hunting lodge

This bedroom is in the north-eastern glass wing of the property (Image credit: Savills)

Hidden down a private driveway

The Folly, which is also up for rental on Airbnb, is found down a long private driveway with stables and two acres of paddock.

This is not the first time the property had been on the market. Its current owners live abroad and have been trying to sell the home for several years.

There's been plenty of interest, according to Savills, but not at the price the owner originally hoped to achieve. It is expected that there will be renewed interest now the asking price has been slashed by nearly £1 million to £1.95 million.

You can find the property up for sale on the Savills website.

If you are curious about other extensions to listed buildings, you can also check out how this couple tackled their contemporary extension to a listed house.

Exterior view of the listed hunting lodge with brightly lit glass extension at night

(Image credit: Savills)
Amy Willis

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and Metro.co.uk before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.