Explore the rich history of Strood House, Essex.
Strood House is well established in Peldon’s smuggling history, being just a two minute walk from the Peldon Rose Inn, which was a favourite haunt for the smugglers of Mersea Island and where the pond was used to hide contraband from the excise men.
Affectionately referred to as the ‘crow’s nest’ by the current owner, Strood House has a staircase leading from the first floor landing to the second floor which has a smugglers window overlooking the Blackwater Estuary.
Owner, Carol Kitto said: “If smugglers could see a light coming from the window it meant it was safe to drop off the goods.”
The area around Mersea Island became popular with smugglers between the 16th and 19th century. The local residents’ knowledge of Mersea’s creeks, along with their willingness to provide cellarage for illegal goods, meant everyone benefitted from the contraband which passed through the area. The stash, hidden in cellars much like the one in Strood House, would have included an assortment of items from alcohol and tobacco to sugar and nutmeg as well as lace and soap.
It was only in the 1850s, with the introduction of the local coastguard at West Mersea and developments in modern communication, that much of the smuggling trade was reduced.
Along with its smuggling history, the detached Grade II Listed property has a wealth of character and offers an array of beautiful views from all five bedrooms.
Carol continued: “There is so much about Strood House that I love. It doesn’t matter which window you’re looking out of, you are always guaranteed stunning views of Mersea Island, the River Stour and the Blackwater estuary.”
The property was also once the home of Caradoc King who has carved his career as a renowned literary agent, having famously sold the film rights to The Horse Whisperer to Robert Redford for $3m. The house is also referenced in the novel ‘Mehalah: A story of the salt marshes’ written by the Reverend Baring-Gould.
On the market with Fenn Wright Signature, Strood House grants easy access to both Colchester and Mersea Island. The additional annexe with a self-contained studio currently offers an additional sitting room and bedroom, but could easily be developed into an office, ideal for working from home.
Carol added: “When my husband and I moved to Essex we were looking for a project and Strood House, with the added appeal of all its historical ties felt like the perfect fit.
“I’ll be sad to leave the house behind, but the prospect of downsizing brings with it new adventures.”