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West Lulworth, Dorset

WESTON was designed for Sir Alfred Fripp, in 1927, by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It was built after he was left a legacy by his good friend, Sir George Holford. He named his new home after Sir George's home, "Westonbirt House", in Gloucestershire.

Photos supplied by Sarah Pearce - (except © Bean)

Weston - 1977
Sir Edwin Lutyens lived just around the corner from Sir Alfred's London home, but he was not one of his patients. Athough he did design other homes, he was more well known for projects of a far grander scale. His more prominent works include the British Embassy at Washington and the magnificent Viceroy's House at New Delhi. He also designed the Cenotaph at Whitehall and renovated Lindisfarne Castle. His grand design for the Roman Catholic Cathedral at Liverpool, would have been a spectacular structure, but a lack of funds, and the 2nd World War, ended the construction. A scaled model is now on display at the Walker Art Gallery.

Sir Alfred Downing Fripp had spent many holidays in the area throughout his life and was actually born at Blandford. He bought the Mill House in 1911 and slowly created a terraced lawn with a pergola up to their squash court.

A friend and neighbour, David Dickson, recalls that when Sir Alfred retired in 1925 he resolved: "Now for some enjoyment of petty luxuries - early bed, pipes in an easy chair, the nursery, a whole spring and summer at Lulworth." However, paradise was shortlived and he returned to his surgery in London. He would spend as much time as possible at Lulworth and wrote in his notes: "Lulworth - Heaven. No other place or people count."

Front door

In 1927 he asked the renowned architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, to design a new home atop the Lulworth clifftops. He had been left a legacy by his good friend, Sir George Holford, the landscape designer, and named the new building "Weston" after Sir George's home in Gloucestershire.

Sun Room - 1977
Showing Guy's Water Tank
The garden contained a constant reminder of a lifetime's work in the form of a large water tank, salvaged from Guy's Hospital and dated 1770.

The house was designed making full use of the sloping hillside so that the garden can be reached from each floor, and also shelters the large garden from the elements of the sea.

Weston - 1987

After Sir Alfred died, in 1930, his wife, Lady Margaret, stayed here followed by her daughter, Betty, and then son, Rex.

Of all the guests who stayed at Weston the most memorable would be Sir Lawrence Olivier and Vivienne Leigh, who spent the first night of their honeymoon here. They were, however, most put out to be woken up by Betty, early the following morning!

In 1962 the house was bought by David Dickson for his mother, Lady Grey-Egerton, widow of Sir Philip Grey-Egerton, who lived here until January 1988. It was later part owned by David's daughter, Sarah, until 1995.

Weston - 2007 © Bean

Links to other Websites
Lutyens Trust  Details of Sir Edwin Lutyens life and works
Map of Dorset  Map showing location of Lulworth
Map of Lulworth  Map of Lulworth from

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Water tank salvaged from Guy's Hospital Water tank salvaged from Guy's Hospital