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Earlsfield Road
Hythe, Kent£850,000 Freehold

Earlsfield Road

Refined proportions abound in this Victorian home, uniquely positioned by both historic canal and the extensive Kent coast

Built at the turn of the century and the height of Hythe’s Victorian prosperity, this smart five-bed home has undergone a transformative renovation. The major works, which saw the kitchen, bathroom and living spaces overhauled, have been completed, with some final decorative decisions outstanding. Just outside Hythe’s centre and a 5-minute walk from the Victorian promenade, Earlsfield Road runs parallel to the interrupted and 28-mile-long military canal that stretches from Seabrook to Cliff End, near Hastings. 

Setting the scene 

Hythe is a lovely historic market town and Cinque Port, positioned on the edge of Romney Marsh and within easy reach of neighbouring Folkestone. The house sits on Earlsfield Road, the south side of which is lined with a series of detached houses, each a variation of the local vernacular; this home was the first, having been built for a serving military officer.

Facing the street with a canted bay-fronted gable end, the front façade is smartly detailed with a string course of decorative brickwork and terracotta panels below each window. In typical Kentish fashion, the gable end is clad in a mixture of fish scale and plain hung tiles. Painted stone pediments emphasise the sash windows and an inset doorway provides sheltered entry into the house. For more information, please see the History section.

Grand Tour 

A recent renovation by the current owners has seen services replaced and the majority of rooms finished. Only in the utility, the central bedrooms on the first floor, and the front bedroom and two store rooms on the second floor is work yet to be completed.

The genteel proportions of the ground floor are immediately apparent in the broad and generous hallway, where softly toned oak parquet flooring runs throughout. Coastal tones of Farrow and Ball’s ‘De Nimes‘ envelop the bay-fronted living room, with traditional detailing and a fireplace highlighted in white.

At the core of the plan is the kitchen and dining space; bound by forest green cabinetry topped with quartz, Cabochon-style floor tiles and centred by a Rangemaster oven with gas hob. There is access from here into a large utility room, which has been stripped back in preparation for a final fit-out. The second reception is one of classical refinement, with half-height boarding that runs around the room and frames an ornate Victorian gas fireplace. The boarding also snakes around a pair of glazed French doors that open to the long, mature garden at the rear.

The voluminous sense of space continues in the primary bedroom that spans the full width of the house. Muted tones of Farrow and Ball’s ‘Cromarty‘ create a serene space, while fitted furniture conceals copious storage. Four further bedrooms in varying levels of completion are on the first and secluded second floors. Facing the garden, with views of the canal and the coast beyond, the two rear bedrooms are peaceful spaces. Each has a characterful feature fireplace; the first-floor room’s has a flourish of green glazed tiles, while that of the second floor has a robust brick surround, giving it an almost rustic charm.

The family bathroom has been meticulously finished with sleek chrome fittings, honed Calacatta marble tiling, and a free-standing slipper bath to create an enduringly refined space.

Great Outdoors 

A smart front garden, with a traditional quarry tiled path, sets the house back from the street, in which a young Rowan tree provides shade and greenery throughout the summer. There is a paved space for off-street parking.

To the rear, the large garden hosts an abundance of mature trees and shrubs along its borders – arguably the most striking is a large silver birch tree at the centre. Perfect for tinkering, storage or a more serious workshop, a substantial brick garage is served with power and lighting. A separate potting shed and a greenhouse provide horticultural opportunities for the more green-fingered. 

The garden backs directly onto the Royal Military Canal, for immediate access to wonderfully arboreal walks or traffic-free family cycle trips to Sandgate and Folkestone. 

Out and about 

One of the south coast’s Cinque Ports, Hythe is best known for its Royal Military Canal: a relic of the Napoleonic wars which cuts a ribbon of green, willow-lined water through the heart of the town. There are gardens and playing fields close to the seafront, fishing boats on English Channel shingle, and, though it all feels rather genteel, the place has a charmingly eccentric edge. The high street is home to independent shops, pubs and cafes, including the popular Truffle Pig, Florence’s Artisan Bakery, and vegetarian cafe Root.  

A centre of recreational activities and water sports, Hythe offers tennis, cricket, golf, swimming, sailing, fishing, windsurfing, beachside yoga and boot camps, plus cycling and running clubs. The still waters of the canal are perfect for a day’s quiet paddle-boarding, kayaking or row-boating. 

The seafront promenade runs all the way into the centre of nearby Folkestone, known for its rich art scene and Triennial which brings exciting and varied installations, screenings and talks to the town every three years.

Folkestone, also a 10 minute drive away, also offers many shops and cafes – the Old High Street winds between independent establishments towards the newly redeveloped Harbour Arm, a hive of activity and events. The old Victorian station has been beautifully preserved and is now home to market stalls, wildflowers and sea-view seating. For refined seafood, Rocksalt offers panoramic views out to sea from its harbourside perch.

The house is well-positioned for exploring the Kent coast, with other beautiful beaches at Winchelsea, Camber and Pett only a short drive away. The much-loved seaside towns of Whitstable, Margate, Rye and Hastings are also all within easy reach, as is the UNESCO world heritage site and the cathedral city of Canterbury. 

The Royal Military Canal runs parallel to the beach and offers wonderful walks towards Dungeness in the other direction. One of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe, Dungeness is of international conservation importance for its geomorphology, plant and invertebrate communities and birdlife, as well as being home to Derek Jarman’s house and garden.

The M20 and national rail services from Folkestone, including the high-speed line, offer quick connections to London St Pancras in 52 minutes, while the Eurotunnel to the continent is under 4 miles away.

Council Tax Band: F 

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

History

Hythe is a pretty town nestled in the heart of the Kent Coast. The word Hythe, or “Hithe” as it was, is an Old English word meaning haven or landing place. Originally defended by two castles, Saltwood and Lympne, Hythe was one of the ancient Cinque Port defensive towns stretching along the channel coastline. 

Its later defensive history is evidenced by the three remaining Napoleonic Martello Towers still standing in the town, and the enduring engineering of the Royal Military Canal.  

Constructed in response to the Napoleonic threat in the early 19th century, the canal was England’s strategic barrier against invasion. Engineered over 28 miles from Seabrook to Cliff End, it featured defensive ramparts and bastions. Despite never facing a direct assault, it later facilitated commercial activities like transportation and irrigation. Today, it’s a beloved destination for leisure pursuits such as walking and fishing, offering both historical intrigue and natural beauty. 

Earlsfield Road — Hythe, Kent
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