Tuesday, January 19 2021 12:19

Home of the Month / Dunminning Estate

Written by Laurel Anderson

A piece of history, reimagined and modernized

Dunminning Estate Carriage House

Wow! That’s the usual reaction upon entering the grand stone carriage house that was once part of the sprawling 150-acre Dunminning Estate, designed c. 1887 by architect Theophilus P. Chandler and once owned by the Brown family of Girard Trust.

Actually, a double wow!! is in order for this unique property, called Hidden Rock, with so much star power it was considered as a suitable temporary home for a movie star filming in our area. Massively updated in 1995 and reimagined and modernized further in 2020, this home is move-in ready and filled with amenities—including a sleek glass vacuum elevator that looks like modern sculpture.

This is one of the largest and most distinctive carriage house conversions of the era, with timeless craftsmanship preserved and complemented by modern conveniences for comfortable family living (WiFi, surround sound, security system, etc.). And at seven thousand four hundred square feet of space in the carriage house, the grandeur of the former main house can only be imagined.

The wow factor is first evident as you approach the stately home and catch a glimpse through the central diamond-mullioned windows of the seven-foot glittering crystal chandelier in the main room, once called The Court. The impressive stone façade resembles a Gilded Age mansion more so than a mere outbuilding on an estate.

On first sight from the driveway, the owners say they “fell in love.” And no wonder. The 40 photos and 3D virtual tour online as well as videos on Vimeo may make you have the same reaction.

An open floor plan gives the stunning interior space a modern feel with ample room for entertaining. Details like interior stone walls, huge windows, graceful archways, beamed ceilings and 12-foot sliding mahogany doors add character throughout.

Beneath a 25-foot ceiling lined with hand-made tiles is the central great room. Large enough to be a ballroom, it affords several distinct spaces to enjoy—a dining area, sitting area, eight-seat wet bar, pool table and a piano positioned under the center crystal chandelier.

Through an archway is the more formal living room, anchored by an exquisite fireplace. To the left is a cozy library/guest suite with custom wood shelving and marble bath. To the right, past the elevator, is a raised seating area, situated beneath original gears and pulleys used in the old carriage house, another sculptural element adding character to the home.

The dramatic-looking elevator whisks you to a luxurious second-floor guest or in-law suite, complete with a small kitchen, laundry, sitting area, bedroom and bath. Two additional bedrooms and full hall bath complete this floor. Below this section of the home are the garage and utility/storage areas.

On the opposite side of the house, where the stables once were and evidenced by a line of black hitching posts, is an expansive gourmet kitchen, equipped to satisfy any chef and sure to be a family gathering place. Here, under a 12-foot beamed ceiling are the adjacent raised breakfast area with room for 12 and fireside sitting area. A butler’s pantry and powder room complete this inviting and comfortable area.

And the master suite? Climb the stair above this space to a private sanctuary with its own study, laundry, large walk-in closet (with skylights), all leading to the sunlit master bedroom with the home’s third fireplace and more skylights. The spacious marble master bath is highlighted by a free-standing soaking tub.

Manicured gardens, inviting blue stone terraces and whimsical outbuildings for gardeners, artists or collectors add to the bucolic acre-and-a-half setting surrounding the home.

This distinctive carriage house has everything needed to be both an inviting family home and a legacy property. Along with that ineffable wow factor.


For more information about this unique five-bedroom, five-bath historic home with attached garage and outbuildings on 1.56 acres in Newtown Square—offered by Country Properties, Berkshire Hathaway, Fox & Roach at $2,599,000—contact Rob Van Alen, 610.212.5470, or Jody Vandegrift 484.354.2474; 320StDavidsRd.com;TheCountryProperties.com.