Gallery: Home of Welwyn Garden City’s architect up for sale

THE opportunity to purchase the home of one of WGC’s original founders has come up on the market – well that’s if you can afford the �1.35m price tag!

The six bedroom abode, previously lived in by Louis de Soissons, the architect and town planner (when it cost around �200 a year to rent), is thought to be one of the Garden City’s biggest original houses.

Sitting on High Oaks Road and designed by the architect himself, today you would barely know ‘De Soissons Place’ exists due to the covering bushes.

A similar house opposite was up for sale in 1928 for �3,300 – the equivalent of �145,000 today – but the majority of houses would have been rented as part of the housing scheme due to the recession that took grip across the world.

Bill Cuthbert, his wife Allison and children Poppy, Hattie and Henry, are moving to Hampshire, but Mr Cuthbert, a keen nautical enthusiast, said they are leaving with a heavy heart.

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“It’s been a fantastic family home and a great place to bring up our kids; it’s a shame to go, we have many friends here and everything but as with everything in life you have to move on.”

Bill, who has lived at number 21 for almost 18 years, added: “We call it a bottom heavy house, because it feels bigger on the ground floor than upstairs.

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“At the same time though when everyone is out, and there are just two of us, it doesn’t feel too big at all, it’s just the perfect size for family living.”

Maurice de Soissons, son of the Canadian architect, remembered living in the house from 1938 to 1945 at the rent rate of �8,785 per-year in today’s money. The author of Welwyn Garden City: A Town Designed for Healthy Living said: “First of all we lived in Handside Lane, while development was ongoing. Then we moved to Guessens Road and our neighbours included Sir Ebenezer Howard and Sir Frederic Osborn. I remember growing up there [High Oaks Road], it was a wonderful family home.” When told the current price, the former journalist, who now lives in Norfolk, said he was “astonished”.

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