Shilly Chalet

Online Etymology Dictionary: “shilly-shally (v.)

“to vacillate,” 1782, from adverbial expression to stand shilly-shally (1703), earlier shill I, shall I (1700), a fanciful reduplication of shall I? (compare wishy-washy, dilly-dally, etc.). From 1734 as an adjective, by 1755 as a noun. Related: Shilly-shallying (1816).”

Above: The Chalet, Hampton Court Road, East Molesey, Surrey (East and West Molesey share a high street).

Click to access EHS150073_EHS18001699.PDF

Mark Duell wrote for MAILONLINE on 11 August 2016:

“From the outside this 130-year-old Swiss chalet looks like a quirky old-fashioned property, but inside it’s an ultimate luxury home with a heated indoor beach, gold-covered bathroom and £500,000 kitchen.

The Chalet Estate on the River Thames, next to Hampton Court Palace, is ideal for a wealthy party animal. It was imported from Switzerland in 1882 and was once a garden feature for a huge house called Riverholm.

But if you want to throw elaborate soirées there you’ll need a spare £7.5million to buy it through Riverhomes – plus £5.5million for the marina operation – after the owner spent £4.7million completely overhauling the home.

The chalet was used as the boathouse with Riverholm until 1996 – but had fallen into disrepair before spatial architect Myck Djurberg bought it in 2012 and got permission to raise the building off the flood plain in 2014…

There was a story that the land the chalet was built on was bequeathed by the Prince of Wales – later Edward VII – in payment for a gambling debt, but those with knowledge of the property say this seems unlikely. 

However, by 1909 it was called O’Hagan’s Boathouse, and Edward had a Lord-in-Waiting called Maurice Herbert Towneley-O’Hagan, 3rd Baron O’Hagan – so it is possible that the legend is at least partly true.

It is also believed that Baron O’Hagan was imitating the Swiss chalet built as a playhouse at Osborne House in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight for Victoria and Albert’s children in 1854. 

Mr Djurberg said: ‘…I’m not what you would call an ordinary architect and I wanted to preserve this special building.

‘I think of myself as the custodian of this masterpiece. It’s an 1880s building and was a house for entertaining…I don’t think it will be for people to live in all the time, it’ll be for someone to show off and have parties.’

A spokesman for Riverhomes said: ‘It is a one-off bespoke property, it is off the scale. When the owner bought it it needed an awful lot of work doing to it. But he hasn’t just updated it, he has propelled it into the 21st century.

‘It has such a lavish and expensive finish to it. We have had a lot of interest in it as you would expect.’ “.

Jemma Carr added to this article on 12.10.19:

“A 137-year-old Swiss chalet overlooking the river Thames is back on the market for £2.85million –  a massive £4.65million less than in 2016.

From the outside it looks like a quirky old-fashioned property, but inside it’s an ultimate luxury home with a heated indoor beach, gold-covered bathroom and £500,000 kitchen.

In 2016, the chalet in East Molesey was on the market for £7.5million plus £5.5million for the marina operation.

Now it is up for sale for £2.85million with estate agents Savills.”

From the website of Hampton Court Funfair (2019):

“…This building was prefabricated and shipped from Switzerland in 1882 as a feature for the garden of a house called Riverholm, demolished by the 1920s and replaced with the houses you now see stretching downstream past the weir.

…Fred Karno, of silent film fame, friend and mentor of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, is claimed to have once owned this building too.

After a period as the boathouse for Riverholm, the Swiss Chalet was used as part of Hucks and Co  boatyard (owned by Frank Hucks, then by his son Dick) until 1996 and was up for sale for £2.5 million. It’s now been sold, but nothing seems to have happened yet…”

Becky Davies wrote in the Evening Standard of 10 March 2020:

“A fantasy riverside home, with an indoor real-sand beach, 24-carat gold bathroom and a spa reached through a submarine door among its remarkable features, has just gone on the market…

There is mooring space for 25 boats, including a 150ft boat, while on land there’s plenty of parking for up to 20 cars, which the agent says could be used both privately and commercially.

Hampton Court station is just a hop and skip over the river, with frequent trains to Waterloo taking 35 minutes.

The Swiss Chalet is on the market for £12million through Fine and Country and Carter Jonas.”

Tristan Kirk wrote in the Evening Standard of 24 June 2020:

“A property tycoon has been charged with a £3.5 million fraud over claims that he sold houseboats on a stretch of the Thames riviera that could not be lived in.

Myck Djurberg, 60, allegedly made a string of deals to sell the luxury homes despite knowing that they did not come with residential mooring licences.

The entrepreneur is accused of fraudulently raking in between £850,000 and £1.25 million on four sales at the Hampton Riviera Boatyard, near Hampton Court Palace, despite the boats being rendered “worthless”, it is said.

Djurberg, who has been locked in civil wrangles with the buyers for years, has now been charged with four counts of fraud by false representation.

He appeared at Wimbledon magistrates’ court yesterday, insisting he intends to fight the allegations at trial. One of his employees, Myka Stark, 25, is co-accused on one of the alleged frauds.

“The defendant is responsible for fraudulent activity by purporting to sell properties which had residential licences, but this later transpired not to be the case,” said prosecutor Althea Moore. “The total value is in excess of £3.5 million.”

Djurberg, who owns several properties around the UK, lives in an Alpine chalet at the boatyard, which comes with its own indoor beach, that was shipped piece-by-piece from Switzerland in 1882.

The houseboat sales at the centre of the fraud case happened between 2012 and 2016, with buyers claiming they were duped into the deals believing the homes came with “residential mooring rights”.

One couple with children say they paid £1.25 million, only to discover they had no right to moor at the Hampton Riviera Boatyard. Djurberg indicated not guilty pleas to the four fraud charges at court yesterday, and was sent with Stark to face a crown court trial.

They will next appear for a preliminary hearing at Kingston crown court on July 20.

Djurberg, who has ties to Portugal, was freed on bail on the conditions that he does not contact witnesses or apply for any international travel documents and surrenders his passport.”

From the website of Companies House:


Date of birth

22 March 1960


Court order (17 January 2017)

Address provided by the disqualifying authority

The Chalet, Hampton Court Road, East Molesey, Surrey, United Kingdom, KT8 9BP

Start date

17 January 2017

End date

16 January 2022″

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