Turn End house and garden

We spent the recent August bank holiday Monday visiting Turn End house and garden, the architect Peter Adlington’s family home in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.

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Turn End house, view from back garden

Peter Adlington designed and built a small development of three houses (The Turn, Middle Turn, Turn End) in the 1960s. They received a Royal Institute of British Architects Award for Architecture in 1970 followed by a Grade II* listing in 2006 and have been described as some of the most beautiful houses built in England since the war.

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Middle Turn exterior

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Path leading into Turn End house; Fibreglass shell chairs in front courtyard

While Turn End is still occupied by the Adlington family (and open to nosy members of the public to visit twice a year), The Turn is currently let out and The Middle Turn is privately owned and occupied.

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Turn End house exterior details

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Turn End house, view from back garden 

Turn End, as far as I could tell, was a mostly single storey dwelling arranged around a central courtyard. The main entrance opened almost straight into the kitchen and dining area from which the living area branched off at one end of the house and a large home office at the other. Each of these three areas opened out onto the aforementioned courtyard.

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View from entrance of Turn End house, looking through into central kitchen and courtyard (professionally taken photo from Turn End website)

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Central courtyard, Turn End house

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Kitchen, Turn End house

A very mid century wood panelled bathroom and three bedrooms were located behind the kitchen, accessed by a short flight of stairs. There also appeared to be a mezzanine level of sorts above both the living and home office areas, accessible via a wooden ladder.

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Bedroom, Turn End house

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Bedroom, Turn End house

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Bedroom/Study, Turn End House

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Bathroom, Turn End house

Turn End, like all of my favourite modernist houses, had a distinctly European flavour. Certain elements, such as the wooden beams and mezzanine levels reminded me of Villa Aalto in Helsinki whilst the use of exposed stone, breeze blocks and terracotta floor and roof tiles were more Mediterranean in style. With temperatures reaching 33 degrees on the day that we visited, it felt like we were in Southern Spain at times.

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Living area, Turn End house

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Living area, Turn End house

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Mezzanine area above home office area

This was particularly the case when walking around the garden, which at just under an acre, was rather large relative to the house. Designed by Peter Adlington as a natural extension to the house, the space contained courtyards with pools, a small woodland around old apple trees and a curved glade leading to a series of garden rooms. I would love for our rather sad-looking garden to look more like this.

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Garden, Turn End house

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Garden, Turn End house

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Garden, Turn End house

Turn End is usually open for visitors twice a year but we were told that all three houses might be open next year as a special anniversary treat. If that’s the case, I’ll definitely be coming back.

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