Sarum Chase

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Sarum Chase
Francis Owen Salisbury - 23 West Heath Road Hampstead NW3 7UU.jpg
General information
Status Grade II listed
Type Mansion
Architectural style Neo-Tudor
Address 23 West Heath Road, Hampstead
Town or city London
Country England
Coordinates 51°33′44″N 0°11′23″W / 51.5623°N 0.1896°W / 51.5623; -0.1896Coordinates: 51°33′44″N 0°11′23″W / 51.5623°N 0.1896°W / 51.5623; -0.1896
Groundbreaking 4 September 1932
Completed 1932 (1932)
Client Frank O. Salisbury
Design and construction
Architect Vyvyan Salisbury

Sarum Chase is a Grade II listed[1] neo-Tudor mansion,[2] at 23 West Heath Road, Hampstead, London,[3] described by Nicholas Pevsner as "pure Hollywood Tudor".[4] It was built in 1932[5] as the home and studio of portrait artist Frank O. Salisbury.[3] The word Sarum is the old name for the town of Salisbury. The architect was Vyvyan Salisbury, his nephew.[6] The author's wife cut the first sod on the site, on 4 September 1932.[7] They moved in on 4 July 1933.[7]

In his 1953 autobiography, also titled Sarum Chase.,[3][7] Salisbury wrote:

Telegraph Hill rises from the junction of Platt’s Lane and West Heath Road to one of the highest points in Hampstead overlooking London, with a wonderful view across country to the Chilterns. It was the place where the beacon was lit to carry the tidings of the Spanish Armada. What a place for a garden! What a situation for a House! The land was as bare as the heath itself except for a group of giant oaks in front, and it was the glory of these trees which ultimately decided the matter. This was the last primeval site on Hampstead Heath, the very summit of London, and I resolved to have a house worthy of the situation […] This wonderful little hill at the very top of London was a wilderness of stinging nettles and wild plants and it was thrilling to look forward to what might be made of it.

On his death in August 1962,[3] Salisbury bequeathed the house in trust to the British Council of Churches. However, the BCC sold the mansion and auctioned its contents.

On 7 June 1968, it was the setting of a photoshoot for The Rolling Stones, for their Beggars Banquet album, by photographer Michael Joseph.[8] Previously unseen images from the shoot were exhibited at the Blink Gallery in London in November and December 2008.[9]

The house was also the setting for a low-budget horror-glamour 8mm short film, Miss Frankenstein.[10] It was also used for some of Andy Milligan’s London-based movies such as The Body Beneath and The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!.[10] It also appeared briefly in Disney's live-action movies 101 Dalmatians and 102 Dalmatians as the exterior of Cruella De Vil’s home.[11]

When listed, in May 1974,[6] the house was in use as St Vedast's School for Boys,[6] an arm of the School of Economic Science. The SES sold the building in January 2005, for £9,300,000.[12][13] It is now once again a private residence.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Sarum Chase". Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Francis Salisbury – Artist, Fine Art, Auction Records, Prices, Biography for Francis Owen Salisbury". AskArt. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Maurice Bradshaw, ‘Salisbury, Francis Owen (1874–1962)’, rev. Charles Noble, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005 accessed 17 July 2011
  4. ^ Pevsner, Lond. ii. 197; Thompson, Hampstead, 338.
  5. ^ Elrington, C. R.; Baker, T. F. T.; Bolton, Diane K.; Croot, Patricia E. C. A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington. Victoria County History. pp. 33–€“42.  C1 control character in |pages= at position 4 (help)
  6. ^ a b c "St Vedasts School for Boys, Sarum Chase – Hampstead – Greater London – England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Salisbury, Frank O. (1953). Sarum Chase. John Murray. 
  8. ^ Hayward, Mark; Evans, Mike (2009-09-07). The Rolling Stones: On Camera, Off Guard 1963–69. Pavilion. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-1-86205-868-2. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Our Work". Metro Imaging. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Miss Frankenstein R.I.P. (8mm short – film review)". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "101 Dalmatians filming locations". Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Charity Commission Accounts, 2005, page 22.
  13. ^ "Charity Commission Accounts, 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 17 July 2011.