Visionary pair could see how Lee would prosper

Builder Montague Gibbs and architect Trevor Tatham had a huge influence on the growth of Lee-on-the-Solent after World War 1.

And an example of how they expected the area, and the people moving there, to prosper is tucked away in a bungalow called Branscombe in Milvil Road.

They must have realised that ownership of the motor car, then a relative novelty only available to the wealthy, would be something that gained wider appeal. So although Branscombe was built in the early 1920s it was still designed with an integral garage, almost revolutionary in its day.

Originally a three bedroom bungalow, Branscombe was also cleverly created to make the most of its plot, with its angled shape giving plenty of room yet still allowing a good area of garden in its fifth of an acre.

Colonial influences were still prevalent at the time, so the bungalow also acquired a veranda that runs around the front of the property which, because of its shape, means the veranda actually runs along four walls.

The property has only changed hands a very few times since its construction, the current owners taking possession in 1995. They have now decided to move on, but the home they leave behind is now an impressive five bedroom property as two more bedrooms have been added in the original roof space, centred round a galleried landing that creates almost an atrium effect in the entrance hall below. In fact, with the skilful integration of the stylish staircase it would be hard to detect that how it is now is not what the architect always intended.

“This is one of those stand-out properties, and for more reasons than the permanent presence of the union flag from the mast in the front garden,” says Colin Shairp, of Fine and Country Southern…