Ruxley Tower in Claygate, Surrey recently had Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood as a tenant. Now it’s for sale for £850,000
Ruxley Tower, a dazzling castellated folly in the heart of Surrey, looks like something from the pages of a fairytale – it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to spy a lady fair up on the battlements unwinding her golden tresses like a latter-day Rapunzel.
Maybe that’s what Ronnie Wood had in mind when he moved in here as a tenant with Ekaterina Ivanova, with whom he made a fool of himself when he left his wife of 23 years, Jo.
Ivanova later complained: “When Ronnie and I moved into a tower, my friends were laughing and saying I was like the princess trapped in the tower. He went all Jekyll and Hyde. I’d be trapped there with an evil Goblin King.”
The landlord, Jennifer Lacoste (yes, those Lacostes) had more mundane issues and said Woodie was a bit of a slob and left the gaff in a right old mess – carpets covered with coffee stains, fag burns, and paint.
As for the building – well, it was originally constructed in c.1870 by Lord Foley for his wife, Lady Evelyne, and was an extension to the then substantial Ruxley Estate. Some believe it was erected to compete with Queen Victoria’s nearby country home at Claremont, in Esher, and Lady Evelyne is said to have entertained the then Queen to tea in the drawing room at the tower itself.
It was designed in a 15th Century gothic style and has octagonal rooms, vaulted ceilings, a splendid spiral staircase and a grand domed-ceilinged entrance hall decorated with trompe l’oeil paintings.
There’s a tasty view from the roof terrace as far as Crystal Palace, the Chilterns, London and beyond.