Set behind a classical stuccoed façade, this expansive two-bedroom apartment sits on the first floor of a handsome Regency villa in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Unfolding laterally, the apartment is characterised by a wealth of historic features, including fireplaces, crown moulding and vast expanses of original glazing, creating bright and open living spaces. Recently renovated throughout, the interiors are a perfect blend of traditional and modern. The apartment has access to a large, private garden and is within walking distance of the historic Pantiles promenade and Tunbridge Wells station. There is also private, allocated off-road parking.
Setting the Scene
Built in 1839, the villa is awash with classical features; a cornice, parapet and Corinthian pilasters flank the main façade, while fluted pilasters and foliated capitals surmount an imposing entrance porch. Given a Grade II listing in 1952 for its historical importance, the building is a fine example of domestic Georgian architecture. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Entry to the home is via an elegant porch leading to a grand communal staircase. Situated on the first floor, the apartment is defined by its voluminous rooms and exceptional ceiling heights. A main hallway, painted ‘Sage Green’ by Little Greene, leads to the main reception room overlooking the communal gardens. A commanding yet liveable space, the room has floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides and a large curved bay window allowing for an exceptional quality of light. The room is finished in creamy shades of paint, again by Little Greene, while engineered timber floorboards flow underfoot; there is a log-burning stove for the cooler months.
Sitting next to the reception room is a charming modern kitchen. Wooden cupboards are topped by marble terrazzo worktops by Diespeker & Co, and a useful built-in bench with a worktop table makes clever use of space, seating four. The room is lit on two sides by a classical sash and casement window, and a ventilation pipe has been left exposed, painted in a striking ‘Bamboozled’ red by Farrow and Ball. A tap by Fohen provides boiling water.
The primary bedroom has views over quiet, residential Mount Sion. Here, as in the rest of the apartment, a wealth of original features have been retained, such as deep cornicing, picture rails and a stripped Georgian fireplace. Adjacent is a secondary bedroom with an imposing sash window, stretching to almost the full width and height of one wall.
A bathroom sits at the end of the plan, finished with vertically placed glazed tiles. On the floor, hardy terracotta tiles have been laid, offset by bronze Lusso fittings and Dyke and Dean wall lamps. The room has a bath, an overhead shower, a WC and a vanity unit.
The Great Outdoors
Externally, the apartment has access to a pretty private garden. Extensively landscaped, the grounds are home to well-established specimen trees, shrubs and planted beds and are perfect for a summer picnic or winter stroll. The scope and size of the gardens are rather unique, given their central location.
There is private off-street parking included in the lease, as well as a private wood store for residents.
Out and About
The house is wonderfully located just a short walk from the High Street and nearby Pantiles; known for its historic promenade, independent cafes, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.
The town itself offers many restaurants, theatres, and supermarkets, while throughout the summer there are jazz festivals and regular food and craft markets. There is a range of excellent pubs, including the Sussex Arms and Ragged Trousers. There are live jazz performances on the bandstand on summer evenings.
A number of highly regarded public and independent schools are also in the area, including Claremont, Holmewood House, Rose Hill and The Mead, covering primary education to senior level.
Trains run from Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms into London Charing Cross in under an hour. The M25, Ashford Station (for the Channel Tunnel) and Gatwick Airport are all within easy driving distance.
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Lease Length: Approx. 997 years remaining
Service Charge: Approx £1,500 p/a
Ground Rent: N/A
Council Tax Band: C
Originally, Tunbridge Wells occupied a largely rural area in the southwestern part of Kent. Royal Tunbridge Wells (itself a town, part of the wider borough of Tunbridge Wells), emerged as a spa town after medicinal springs were discovered in the area in 1606. The spa town increased in popularity over the next 300 years, and grew to be an affluent area of villas, promenades and public parks.
The springs, or ‘wells’ lie at one end of a colonnaded promenade known as the Pantiles Parade, which was first paved in 1700; for some 200 years, the town was one of the chief resorts of fashionable London society, escaping the city. It reached its height under the patronage of fashionable names of the era, including Richard Nash Samuel Johnson, David Garrick and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The town was designated an official royal patronage in 1909, when King Edward VII recognised the popularity of the town and its many royal and aristocratic visitors (including his mother, Queen Victoria).
The area is also lesser known for its light industry, including the making of Tunbridge Ware (wooden items with veneered hardwoods such as beech, sycamore and cherry). The Tunbridge Wells Museum holds the largest collection of Tunbridge Ware in the world.
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