STROAT - Gloucestershire - Forest of Dean

The History, The Area, The Neighbourhood, People & Properties links & connections!

Archer and Co., Stroat House

STROAT HOUSE Sale Description etc. Aug-2011

FINALLY SOLD for £1,300,000
on 22-Aug-2018

Price Reduced to £1,285,000

as at 01-Oct-2017 the sale price has been reduced by £165,000

The sale was, we understand to a Dai Morgan, a retired Shell international executive, originally from The Vale of Glamorgan and his Australian born wife.

More recently I was contacted by a Mrs. Hilary Unwin of Chesham:

Mrs Hilary Unwin

28/06/2020 at 19:21 Edit

I have very happy memories of Stroat House during WW2. The house was run as guest house by Gladys and Gwen Joyce. My grandparents had stayed there on holiday before the war so when my mother and I became homeless due to the bombing, towards the end of the War we went to stay there for some months. My father was a Merchant Navy officer and rarely home..
It was like stepping back in history. Very much like Downton Abbey. There was a Butler’s Pantry and a servants’ dining room with a huge Range. Down a slope from that led to the Dairy, a kitchen, laundry and the cellar.
Beyond the stables and hayloft was the big wall garden which I loved. Then there was rose garden, and a shrubbery.
When I read Jane Austen’s novels I mentally set them at Stroat.

Mostly we were untouched by the War, or I was as a child, but then one day there was a lot of noise and vehicle after vehicle rumbled past, all in camouflage. I now think they were going to go to the D Day landings. I leant over the wall and watched them.
It would have been about 1944 but I’m not sure.

While there I had to have my tonsils out and I was taken into Chepstow Hospital.. My mother just handed me over and left me, as was the custom in those days. I remember my bed had a view of the Castle which gave me a lot of pleasure.

I have such happy memories of Stroat House and hope people still enjoy it with the marvellous views of the Severn and the history of the House.

Hilary Unwin, Chesham , Bucks


  1. Greg Lance – Watkins (Greg_L-W)

29/06/2020 at 13:27 Edit

Thank you for your information.

Firstly Hilary I do hope your Father survived the war and your parents were able to rebuild their lives, post 1945.

You didn’t say from where you and your Mother were evacuated.

I am printing a copy of your letter on the website & will also include a copy under Stroat House – which you will have seen, has been extensively refurbished and I will pass a copy of your comments to Dai Morgan & his wife who currently live in the house.

If you have any further memories of Stroat they would be most welcome.


STROAT HOUSE is Back on the market:
Sale Description etc. Sep-2015

This time it is on the market with Savills of The Mall, Clifton, Bristol

after a revamp, the current asking price is £1,450,000

ntrance from The A48

Street View from the A48 in Sroat, opposite the railings

6 bedroom detached house for sale

Stroat, Chepstow, Gwent, NP16 7LR

Guide Price£1,450,000

Key features

  • Garden & grounds extending to approx 7.5 acres
  • Wonderful Estuary Views
  • 3 Reception rooms
  • Superb Open Plan Kitchen/Breakfast Room
  • Utility and back Kitchen
  • Gym/Hobbies Room
  • Mezzanine TV/Reading Room (potential for self independent annexe)
  • 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
  • Wine Cellars and boarded attic storage
  • EPC Exempt

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

A beautifully restored period home with magnificent estuary views


Approached via an impressive and secure gated entrance with a long carriage driveway sweeping to the front of the property, Stroat House is an exceptionally elegant and beautifully restored home that was built between 1680 and 1690 and has been Grade II Listed as of being of special architectural and historic interest. The home certainly does have a fascinating history having originally been built for the rich heiress Miss Bridget Madocke and notably only passing through five subsequent owners prior to the current vendors embarking upon their sympathetic and stylish programme of restoration. One of the most notable owners was a Captain Fenton who purchased the property in 1830. As a returning hero from the Peninsula Wars and Waterloo, it is believed that he used the prize money from his battles to gentrify the facade of Stroat House, adding intricate detailing such as a fashionable quoining, classical pediment over the front door and the archway and the stone wall to the front.

A beautiful reception hallway with classic, Victorian style black and white tiled flooring leads to a wide and gentle staircase with turned mahogany handrail leading to the first and second floors. Beneath, a doorway leads down to most useful, triple vaulted wine cellarage. To the eastern side of the hallway is the formal drawing room of a beautiful proportion with oak flooring, a Jotul wood burning stove set into the wide chimney breast and triple aspect windows overlooking both front and rear gardens. All windows are bespoke and double glazed, fully compliant with the Grade II listing and ensuring that the house is exceptionally well insulated and providing a wonderfully efficient sound barrier, ensuring the house enjoys a sense of calm tranquillity throughout. The rear elevation to the property enjoys the most magnificent views across formal gardens and paddock to the Severn Estuary and beyond. To the far side of the hallway lie the dining room and study. The dining room features the same engineered oak flooring as the drawing room, whilst the study features a wonderful stone floor that runs beyond this area through the adjacent cloakroom and into the kitchen/breakfast room.

A newly built, south facing Garden room has dual aspect windows both to the rear and side with double doors opening to the landscaped terrace. Directly off the garden room is an elegant breakfast room with further wood burning stove and this in turn opens to the bespoke hand fitted kitchen with oak work surfaces, four oven electric Aga with separate warming plate and plumbed in American style fridge freezer. Three steps lead down into the utility and second kitchen with a separate flight of stairs to a quiet reception/reading room and adjacent ground floor gymnasium. It is worth noting that this area has separate access to the driveway and provides excellent space for those seeking independent annexe accommodation.

At first floor, three bedrooms radiate off the generous landing. The master bedroom enjoys simply breathtaking views across fields and farmland to the Channel beyond . This room is comprehensively fitted with a smart range of built in wardrobes and features the most magnificent en suite wet room with marble topped vanity unit, Webert tapware and smart display/storage alcoves. As with all bathrooms in the property, this is finished to the very highest, hotel style standard. Two further double bedrooms on this floor, again enjoy terrific views to both the front and rear, these two sharing a separate shower room. There is a walk in dressing room/drying area from the landing that may also be accessed from the master en suite bathroom. Finally, at second floor there are three further double bedrooms, all decorated in individual and tasteful hues with a further shower room and an exceptionally large and stylish bathroom with a centrally placed free standing bath and twin stone basins set upon a large travertine marble plinth with matching upstand. Accessed from the bathroom a small wooden staircase leads to the extensive attic providing wonderful dry storage with scope to add to the main accommodation if so desired.

The detached listed Coach House has been comprehensively restored and provides garaging for 2/3 cars with first floor storage above and offers potential to create further independent accommodation or cinema/ home office.

The front of the property is set behind a high stone wall with established hedging running the full width of the frontage and tall evergreen trees providing screening to the gently sloping lawn on the western boundary. There is a delightful walled former kitchen garden with deep set borders, productive fruit trees including plum, apple, pear and fig a greenhouse and vines. To the rear of the house, there are generous lawns, landscaped seating areas and an enclosed paddock. The total grounds are circa 7.5 acres.

STROAT HOUSE Sale Description etc. Aug-2011

Archer & Co.

Stroat, Near Chepstow

Property Summary

Property Status:
For Sale
Number of Bedrooms:
6 Bedrooms or more


• • • GRADE II LISTED PERIOD COUNTRY HOUSE • • • 3 Reception Rooms • • • 7 Bedrooms • • • 3 Bathrooms • • • Semi elevated position • • • Together with Grade II listed Coach House • • • Panoramic views over River Severn & Cotswolds beyond • • • APPROX 7.4 ACRES (2.99 HECTARES) OR THEREABOUTS, including delightful mature gardens, separate walled garden & large, level pasture field to rear

Property Details

Stroat House, a Grade II listed building, lies just off the A48 in the small hamlet of Stroat, which is located on the Western fringes of Gloucestershire and about 3 miles to the North East of Chepstow with the beautiful Wye Valley nearby.

The M48 at Chepstow, which links directly to the M4 and M5, is approximately 6 miles distant providing excellent road links to Newport, Cardiff, Bristol, Gloucester and beyond.

There are excellent educational facilities within the area including a Boys and Girls Haberdashers’ Schools at Monmouth (approximately 14 miles).

The general area with the beautiful Wye Valley and the River Severn nearby, offers excellent recreational facilities including Trout and Salmon fishing, sailing, golf at the prestigious St Pierre Golf & Country Club and racing at Chepstow Race Course.

It is believed that Stroat House was built between 1680 and 1690 and it has a most interesting provenance thought to have only changed ownership five times in its long history.

One of the owners was a Captain Fenton who purchased the property in 1830. He was considered something of a hero seeing action in the Peninsula Wars and waterloo with the 4th Dragoons and Scots Greys. It is believed that he used prize money from Waterloo to ‘gentrify’ the façade of Stroat House adding fashionable quoining, the classical pediment over the front door and archway in the stone wall to the front. The accommodation is arranged, in the main, over three floors with the attic rooms and cellars providing additional useful space.

The principal rooms are of a light and airy nature being well proportioned and with high ceilings typical of a property of this era. The property also has the benefit of a recently fitted kitchen, oil fired central heating and a security alarm system. Adjoining the house is a former dairy, part of which is used as a large utility room. There is an additional outbuilding, the original Coach House (Listed Grade II).

The grounds extend to approximately 7.4 ACRES (2.99 Hectares) or thereabouts, and comprise delightful mature gardens, a separate walled garden and a large, level pasture field to the rear. The accommodation comprises: From the drive four stone steps with rails either side lead up to the front door with canopy over and two outside lights.

RECEPTION HALL 24’0 x 8’0 A fine staircase leads up to first floor. Central carved and moulded archway. Coved ceiling, dado rail, radiator, two telephone points. Two steps down lead to a part glazed door to rear garden, radiator. Doors and stone steps to:

CELLAR Comprising three distinct rooms, two with barrel vaulted ceilings and flagstone floors. Coal bunker with chute above. Glazed door and steps to outside. Also housing oil fired central heating and domestic hot water boiler.

DRAWING ROOM 33’6 x 17’4 A fine, bright triple aspect room with two sash windows to front with shutters. Square bay window to the rear with uninterrupted fine views over gardens and fields to river beyond. Open fireplace with carved stone surround and hearth. Three radiators, coved ceiling.

DINING ROOM 18’6 x 14’9 max. Square bay window to rear with glazed door to one side benefiting from fine uninterrupted views over and fields to the river beyond. Coved ceiling, two radiators, four wall light points, serving hatch to kitchen. Door to Inner Lobby.

STUDY 13’0 x 11’6 Double sash window to front. Radiator. Door through to:

INNER LOBBY Door from Dining Room. Further doors to:

CLOAKROOM Low level wc, pedestal wash hand basin, radiator. Window with deep sill.

KITCHEN / BREAKFAST ROOM 16’6 x 13’0 Comprising a range of wall and base units incorporating cupboards and drawers with granite work tops, tiled splashbacks and under unit lighting. Built in Belling five ring electric halogen hob with stainless steel cooker hood over. Built in Miele double oven, space and plumbing for dishwasher. One and a half bowl, double drainer stainless steel sink unit with mixer tap. Window to rear overlooking garden with fine views over open countryside and river beyond. Radiator, television and telephone points, inset ceiling lights, serving hatch to dining room. ‘Karndean’ vinyl tiled flooring. Doors to:

UTILITY ROOM 16’8 x 14’9 Range of white built in wall and base level units incorporating cupboards, drawers and shelves with work tops over. Space and plumbing for two automatic washing machines and tumble dryer. Stainless steel sink unit with mixer tap. ‘Karndean’ flooring. Space for large upright fridge/freezer. Built in utility cupboard, door to outside. Original deep storage cupboard with shelving.

DAIRY Comprising small vestibule with doors to original Buttery open to eaves height, shelves and original stone sink. Flagstone floor. Store Room with cobbled floor and window to side.

STAIRS AND LANDING Staircase from hall with half landing and full height arched window to rear extending to second floor. Dado rail, radiator, door to linen cupboard.

MASTER BEDROOM 18’6 x 14’9 max. Range of built in wardrobes with storage cupboards over. Built in bedside drawer units. Two radiators. Square bay window overlooking garden with views beyond over open countryside and river. Part glazed door to one side leading to balcony with wrought iron railings.

EN SUITE BATHROOM / DRESSING ROOM 16’7 x 10’4 With panelled bath with mixer taps and hand shower attachment, pedestal wash hand basin, low level wc. Tiled splashbacks, radiator, double sash windows with seat below to front with views over open countryside towards the forest beyond. Heated towel rail, range of built in drawer units with marble worktop over. Range of built in wardrobes with hanging space and shelves and storage cupboards above. Wall mounted heater, wall lighting. Door to large walk in Linen Cupboard with lagged hot water tank and immersion heater, slatted shelving along one wall. Door from landing.

BEDROOM 2 19’3 x 17’3 max. Square bay window to rear overlooking garden with part glazed door to one side leading to balcony. Two radiators, pedestal wash hand basin, built in wardrobes with hanging space, shelves and storage cupboards over.

BEDROOM 3 16’4 x 13’0 Double sash windows to front overlooking field and towards forest beyond. Two radiators, pedestal wash hand basin with shaver point. Built in wardrobe with hanging space, shelves and storage cupboards over. Dado rail.

BATHROOM Panelled bath with mixer taps and hand shower attachment, pedestal wash hand basin, low level wc. Original sash window overlooking front with seat below. Radiator, heated towel rail, wall mounted heater.

STAIRS AND LANDING To second floor. Radiator.

BEDROOM 4 17’3 x 13’2 Window with deep sill overlooking garden and open countryside to river and beyond. Pedestal wash hand basin. Built in wardrobe with hanging space, shelves and storage cupboards over. Coved ceiling, two radiators.

BEDROOM 5 16’0 x 13’0 Window with deep sill overlooking garden and open countryside to river and beyond. Built in wardrobe with hanging space, shelves and storage cupboards over. Pedestal wash hand basin with light over. Arched display niche, coved ceiling.

BEDROOM 6 16’9 x 13’1 Two sash windows with seat below overlooking front with views over open farmland to forest beyond. Pedestal wash hand basin. Built in wardrobe with hanging space, shelves and storage cupboards over. Built in shelving, two telephone points. Two radiators, coved ceiling.

BATHROOM Panelled bath, pedestal wash hand basin with tiled splashback and wc. Radiator, heated towel rail, ornate arched sash window to front with views over open countryside to forest beyond.

BEDROOM 7 15’5 x 12’9 Two sash windows overlooking front with views over open countryside to forest beyond. Wall mounted wash hand basin, radiator, telephone point, hatch to roof space. Door and wooden staircase leads up to:

ATTIC ROOMS Head height at centre. Boarded interlinking room. Exposed beams, light and power points. Cold water and header tanks.

OUTSIDE From the road a tarmacadam drive leads, through the boundary wall with double wrought iron gates, up to the property with space for parking and turning. Lawned area either side of drive with deep shrub border to front boundary filled with mature trees and shrubs including magnolia and conifers. Further shrub border to side of house. Handsome stone built arched pedestrian gateway from road with stone steps leading up to drive with rockery beds either side planted with mature plants. Oil storage tank. The drive continues to the Coach House.

GARDEN STORE Forming part of the adjoining stone built outbuilding with stone steps rising to first floor storage. Outside wc.

GARDEN The garden and grounds extend approximately in total to 7.4 Acres (2.99 Hectares) or thereabouts and include, to the rear and side of the property, the main garden which is laid to lawn and interspersed with mature specimen trees and shrubs. The attractive walled garden is also a significant feature of the property. There is wrought-iron paling to boundary with pasture field. Pedestrian gate to field with wall to one boundary and a number of trees.

COACH HOUSE Constructed of stone with stone parapet and vestibules of ancient remains dating backs to the 17th Century. In need of repair and currently used for garaging with garden store to rear and staircase leading to hay loft over.

WALLED GARDEN Completely enclosed by high brick walls. Planted with many plants and shrubs. Main central lawned area interspersed with fruit trees.

DIRECTIONS Leave Chepstow on the A48 heading North East towards Lydney and Stroat House will be found on the right hand side about three miles from the outskirts of Chepstow. The pillared entrance is just past the property on the right hand side.

VIEWING Strictly by appointment with ARCHER & CO. You are advised to obtain a survey & establish that all appliances and services etc. are to your satisfaction before submitting your offer.

These property details are subject to change without notice.

The property will be sold subject to any Wayleaves, Public or Private Rights of Way, Easements, Covenants & outgoings whether mentioned in these particulars or not. Approx. room dimensions are usually taken as the maximum distance between the walls.

Definition of boundaries will need to be clarified by the vendors’ solicitors. In respect of any new properties, the developers reserve the right to alter the specification at any build point, without any notice whatsoever.

Mileages are approx. E. & O. E. ARCHER & CO, their clients, and any joint agents give notice that:

1. They are not authorised to make or give any representations or warrantees in relation to the property either here or elsewhere, either on their own behalf or on behalf of their client or otherwise. They assume no responsibility for any statement that may be made in these particulars. These particulars do not form part of any offer or contract and must not be relied upon as statements or representations of fact.

2. Any areas are approximate. The text, photographs and plans are for guidance only and are not necessarily comprehensive. It should not be assumed the property has all necessary planning, building regulation or other consents and Archer & Co have not tested any services, equipment or facilities. Purchasers must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise.

STROAT HOUSE Finally Sells 20-May-2013

Stroat welcomes new residents!
Stroat House having finally sold here are a few details:


1977 Phyllis Watts died at the house in a ‘Shooting Accident’.

Husband Graham Watts continued to live there for some years until his demise having remarried the author Mary Lovall.


IN 2005:

Kidnap in paradise

THE rolling beaches and gentle waves of Barbados may seem like paradise.

THE rolling beaches and gentle waves of Barbados may seem like paradise.

But to two Welsh brothers, the Caribbean island has become a living hell, with one accused of kidnapping the other in a row, apparently over their dead father’s millions.

John, 49, and 41-year-old Arthur Watts had a privileged upbringing as children of successful businessman Geoffrey Watts and were educated at an exclusive public school, Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire.

They grew up in luxury in their family’s £1m mansion in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, set in 8.5 acres of land.

But the death of their father and a reported quarrel over his millions has left Arthur Watts in prison on the holiday island, accused of kidnapping his brother, amid claims he was trying to force John to sign over part of his inheritance.

Arthur, the youngest of Geoffrey’s four children, is accused of recruiting four men from Gloucestershire, where he now lives, to help execute the plot. They are in custody too, and all five face charges of kidnapping and wrongful concealment.

Insiders say the seeds of bitterness were sewn when Geoffrey passed away after suffering with leukaemia in 1995. He had been chief engineer at United Transport and was an executive of seven companies when he died. He also owned shares in Watts of Lydney, the family’s firm which exports tyres across the world and had sales of £52.6m in 2003.

Their father left a will dividing his millions between loved ones. The family’s Welsh country home Stroat House, which Geoffrey bought in the 1960s, was left to his second wife Mary Lovell, whom he married in 1992.

His shares were divided between his children, but it is reported Arthur felt hard done by and resented John, a chartered accountant. Six years later much of the fortune is thought to have been lost in the stock market crash after September 11.

Last month, Arthur flew to Barbados with the four men, where John was with his 38-year-old Spanish girlfriend Annaclaudia DiEnjoy.

On June 25 witnesses saw the couple being forced into a car at Church Village, St Philip. It is believed there was a high-speed car chase, before John and Annaclaudia’s car was forced off the road. They were then bundled into the back of the other car and driven to a house on the coast.

Royal Barbados Police Force Sergeant, David Welch said: “They kidnapped John Watts and took him to several places against his will.

“We have no confirmation of torture, and if it had happened we would have charged them with something like serious bodily harm.”

The police found the kidnappers with help from Annaclaudia, who had been dumped in a field.

“The five men were arrested at a house in the Sunset Crest,” said Sgt Welch. “It is a resort on the West Coast in an affluent area with tourism like hotels and timeshares.

“I can’t give any concrete information about motives, but there have been rumours of it being over a large amount of money.”

Arthur, Damien Henson, 31, Adam Henson, 24, Stuart Williams, 24, and Jason Foster, 37, appeared in Bridgetown Magistrates Court on June 28. They will remain in prison until appearing again on July 28. If found guilty, each charge carries a maximum jail term of 25 years.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed five British nationals had appeared in court in Barbados charged with kidnap and wrongful concealment.

He said: “We are providing the appropriate consular assistance and a consular official has visited the detainees.”

John was scheduled to leave Barbados on Wednesday.

Stepmother Mary Lovell, who still lives in the family home Stroat House, Chepstow, said the reports came as a surprise to her.

The biographer of Welsh screen legend Richard Burton said: “I know nothing about it. I have not seen or spoken to Arthur for over three years. I didn’t even know where he was living until I saw a picture in one of the papers.”

“I have not seen or spoken to John since I was on holiday in Barbados 18 months ago.

“The entire story was a great shock to me and has been very upsetting.”

Mrs Lovell, who is now selling Stroat House for £975,000, stressed the sale of the mansion, which dates back to 1860, had nothing to do with the Watts brother’s feud.

She said: “All four children from my husband’s previous marriage were already grown up and living in their own homes when I married their father, and though I have seen them from time to time since then, at family events I hardly know them.

“I certainly know nothing about the incident in Barbados, and I do not wish to become involved.”

But perhaps as Arthur sits in his Barbados jail cell, he is thinking about his childhood in the Chepstow mansion, and happier family times before tensions ripped them apart.

To view the article re Barbados QUOTED Above CLICK HERE

Mary Watts (nee Lovall) finally left her home C2007

Stroat House was placed on the market for sale.

The property was listed as owned by:
Mary Watts
John Harris Watts,
The Rev. Rebecca Harriet Watts
Louise Hewlett Watts
The house was finally sold in April 2013 by Archer & Co. of Chepstow
The sale was registered 20-May-2013 @ £580,000
Nigel & Linda Elsby,
The residents of
Oakstone Lodge,
Rogerstone Grange,
NP16 6EU
Their initial planning application # P0545/13/LBC has been submitted to FoDDC to paint 3 elevations of Stroat House.

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