Modernist house in idyllic setting

A wonderful, modernist house with around two acres of gardens running down to Chichester Harbour and spectacular views over the water, situated in Birdham.

Wednesday, 16th May 2012, 11:10 am

Features include: entrance hall, kitchen/breakfast room, drawing room, sitting room, dining room, study/bedroom five, shower room, utility room, four bedrooms, family bathroom, roof terrace, lookout tower, delightful garden, fenced paddock with water, two loose boxes, tack room, hay barn, garage and trailer/boat store, in all 2.2 acres.

Pict Fenn is a marvellous example of modern architecture, contemporary to the 1960s and occupying an idyllic, rural location on the shores of Chichester Harbour, a short walk over the foot causeway to Birdham Pool and its moorings.

The house is full of 1960s touches with masses of light, space and huge windows, highlighting the spectacular outlook.

Canadian-born photo-journalist Howard Byrne, served with the US Army Press Corps, ‘Stars and Stripes’, during WWII and first visited East Wittering in the late 1940s and fell in love with the area. For many years the Byrne’s sailed from Birdham Pool, before buying Pict Fenn in 1970 and making Birdham their family home.

His photographs and articles were published in many magazines, including Life, Paris Match and Illustrated. He also photographed celebrities, including Vivien Leigh, the Redgrave family, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Peter Ustinov. Byrne’s team regularly supported the famous photographer Cecil Beaton, notably during a session with Princess Margaret, and a shoot with Audrey Hepburn in Covent Garden during the filming of My Fair Lady.

Arranged over two floors and topped with a roof terrace and viewing platform/lookout point, Pict Fenn was the base for a magical “Swallows and Amazons” childhood, with ponies in the paddock and boats in the harbour for our client’s children.

Outside, the property is approached via a long, gravelled driveway, headed with a five bar gate, leading to an area of hard standing parking for several cars in front of the double garaging.

The lightly wooded front gardens offer seclusion and privacy to the occupants of the house, and a useful stable block with hay barn and tack room stand east of the house. To the rear, the delightful gardens comprise, principally, sweeping lawns, edged with mature trees and shrubs, beyond which is a fenced paddock leading to the shores of the harbour.

Pict Fenn is tucked away down a long drive from a little known private lane, of just three houses, each standing within their own substantial grounds on the shores of beautiful Chichester Harbour.

Guide price £2,250,000.