Pierre and Joslin 1Pierre and Joslin Landell's beautiful home atop Ridge Hill
Hidden Gems - The home of Pierre and Joslin Landell, Dartmouth
When Pierre and Joslin Landell Mills were looking for a home in Britain in 1995, it seemed natural for them to come to Devon, the county of Pierre’s childhood.
“We had been searching for about two weeks and found nothing,” recalls Pierre. “We pulled up in Dartmouth to have a cup of coffee and see if there was anything that interested us, but didn’t hold out much hope. We pulled up outside an estate agent and in the window saw this house on Ridge Hill – we forgot the coffee, went for a viewing and put in an offer that day!”
The Regency period house was not the finished article by any means when they bought it.
“The pipes and everything were exposed, not covered up at all, and all in all it was a bit of a state,” said Joslin. “But we knew that the building - which was built by John Teague around 1832 and had been the hospital for the Naval College when it was housed on boats on the river - was worth investing in. The views were remarkable and we had a good idea what we wanted to do to it.”
The couple, who moved full time to Dartmouth in 2001, have transformed the building into a comfortable, modern home that still retains its regency atmosphere and character. A conservatory on the back of the house allows them to make greater use of their kitchen and also has enclosed former outhouses and coal sheds, turning them into an office and extra bathroom.
Throughout the building the couple have concentrated on highlighting original features and creating open spaces that form communal areas where family members can relax, especially when their children and grandchildren visit.
Joslin has also indulged her love for painting by decorating the walls of some of the rooms with light, delicate frescos of local scenes.
“We have created our perfect home really,” said Joslin. “It is relaxed, it’s perfect for our family to visit without being too big when they are not around and it’s in the perfect position, with beautiful views and within easy walking distance of town. We are very happy here.”
First Published May/June 2013 By The Dart