A picturesque, rural village, close to Cranbrook in the Weald of Kent, is the idyllic setting for this impressive 19th-century century house. It lies in exquisite private parkland and formal gardens of over ten acres, with woodland, several outhouses and garaging, a tennis court and equestrian facilities. The main house exceeds 12,000 sq ft internally, with eight bedrooms, multiple receptions and a wonderful extended portion incorporating an indoor swimming pool and substantial winter garden room.
Setting The Scene
The current form of the house replaced an earlier Rectory, when in 1838, Edward Moore arrived as curate in Frittenden, later assuming the role of Rector. He was the grandson of John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1783 to 1805, and earned a legacy within the parish for the advancement of education. Between 1839 and 1842, Moore and his similarly well-funded wife, Harriet, undertook a complete modernisation of the ‘old red house’, creating the Georgian/early Victorian classical building that stands today.
The house was built to the highest of standards with advancements in plumbing allowing for internal water closets and waste drainage. The Moores also undertook great landscaping of the parklands including the creation of an ornamental pond, providing welcome labour for the afflicted of the long post-Napoleonic War depression.
The Grand Tour
The house lies close to the centre of the village and opposite the village park and recreation area. Grand pillared gates lead onto a long private driveway that cuts through the mature trees of the parkland, providing a wonderful approach to the house.
The driveway arches into a large turning area at the foot of the front façade and veers right into a wide forecourt, beautifully laid in French limestone, separating the main house from the stables.
The front façade is an imposing symmetrical display of three canted bay windows at first-floor level and two bays flanking a glazed central porch. Glazed double doors open to a wide entrance hall with a simple coffered ceiling, a guest WC and its own wood-burning stove.
Receptions are positioned to the left and right, with the latter currently arranged as a home office. Both rooms enjoy double aspects and open fireplaces. The formal reception to the left enjoys the southern aspect through a curved bay of three ceiling-height six-over-six sash windows and glazed double doors to an outside dining area, linking it to the kitchen beneath a canopy of wisteria.
The view ahead is to the glazed walls of the internal swimming pool, which lies within an extended section beyond the sweeping kitchen, dining area and family room. Here, heated tiled flooring runs underfoot and a trio of roof lights fill the space with daylight. A bespoke kitchen lies in the intimate south-eastern corner, with oak shaker-style cabinetry, Corian worktops and a larder at its front. A doorway leads through the southern aspect to the wisteria-covered dining area outside.
The ‘winter garden’ shares the southern aspect and combines huge contemporary glazed sliding doors with the period charm of a vaulted timber roof structure. The glazing opens to a huge south-facing terrace with gardens beyond, and in the other direction, to the swimming pool which lies beneath an enormous roof lantern and can also be opened to the wrap-around terrace.
To the right of the open-plan family room is a sitting room and an adjoining snug with a log-burning stove. There is also a side entrance, almost as grand as the formal front, which leads on from the paved courtyard and provides access to a utility/boot room and a study/workroom.
The upper floors are arranged around a dramatic timber-panelled staircase which forms a void to the roof-lit ceiling of the second floor. Five bedrooms are arranged across the first floor with four bath or shower rooms between them. The double aspects of the front bay rooms, both en suite, offer the most in terms of space space. The principal bedroom is positioned in the southern corner, with its own bathroom, and wonderful views from a terrace over the curved bay of the formal reception.
The second floor contains three further bedrooms, with a bathroom between them and a separate WC. There is some storage within the loft space and even more in the basement, which exceeds 450 sq ft.
The Great Outdoors
The mature parkland, gardens and woodland extend to around ten acres in all and offer the house a great deal of insulation and privacy from the outside world. To the north of the main house is a stable block, currently used as a series of games rooms and equipment stores, as well as a room containing the commercial biomass boiler and fuel store. Behind the stable block, which exceeds 2,500 sq ft, is a four-bay garage block.
Out And About
Frittenden is a quiet village in a rural setting, situated between the larger towns of Headcorn, Staplehurst and Cranbrook. At its centre is the Bell and Jorrocks, a friendly pub with good reviews, and a Post Office. Plenty of excellent pubs are also located within a ten-minute radius.
Nearby Tunbridge Wells is a bustling town with an alfresco dining culture, with many restaurants and cafés spilling out onto the streets. Geography is a lovely little natural wine bar next door to The Ivy, while Sankey’s The Old Fish Market is the place to go for champagne and oysters. Thackerays, The Beacon, The Square Peg and Tallow are also highly recommended for delicious food. Local pubs in the town and the nearby countryside include the Kentish Hare, the Sussex Arms and Ragged Trousers. There are live jazz performances on the bandstand on summer evenings.
The house is within the Cranbrook School catchment area. Tunbridge Wells also has several secondary options including Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School, Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar, Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls, Tonbridge School, Weald of Kent Grammar, Judd and Skinners.
Trains run from Staplehurst, around a six-minute drive from the house, to London Bridge in around 50 minutes and to London Charing Cross in an hour. The M20 and M25, Ashford International (for connections with the continent) and Gatwick Airport are all within easy driving distance.
Council Tax Band: H
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