Sold with a 100-year lease, this substantial Georgian house is nestled within the National Trust’s Hawkwood Estate in Chislehurst, 40 minutes door to door from central London. Constructed in 1796, the building underwent a thoughtful conversion in 1994, retaining its historic integrity and winning a design award. Expansive entertaining spaces and three-bedroom suites are complemented by a separate guest cottage extending to some 2,166 sq ft. Externally, there is a private, gated driveway, and the plot has sweeping views over the bucolic Hawkwood Estate and its extensive landscaped gardens.
Setting the Scene
The Hawkwood Estate is set in 170 acres of mixed parkland and farmland, and the 18th-century mansion built by Robert Jenner occupies a prominent position overlooking a valley. As one of several ancillary buildings that once supported the main manor house, Hawkwood Lane is thought to have originally been used as a laundry and has original lead-down piping with the year 1796 traced in stylistic lettering. The Estate is held in the care of the National Trust, and this house has a 100-year lease. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Nestled along a charming, historic road in Chislehurst, the house is set back behind a high red-brick wall with private electric gates. From the sweeping gravel drive, a flight of topiary-lined steps descends to the main entry to the home. Visitors are greeted by a light-filled entrance hall with flagstone flooring and views of the garden ahead.
Occupying the main volume of the ground floor is a grand reception room with soaring ceilings and views over the front, side and rear gardens. The current owners have retained the building’s original proportions with huge sash windows and a fireplace with a wood-burning stove. Bespoke shutters flank all windows in the room, and hardwood flooring runs underfoot. Adjacent sits a cosy television snug with an adjoining guest WC; all bathroom fixtures in the house are by Fired Earth, with Lefroy & Brooks and Samuel Heath fittings.
Downstairs, a bespoke family kitchen overlooks the expansive garden and entertaining terrace. Cabinets are a mixture of painted hardwood and burr walnut, topped with Carrera marble counters set with a butler’s sink and a large new Aga. Hardwood flooring runs underfoot.
The expansive primary bedroom suite sits on the first floor and has been finished with Regency-style wallpaper and deep pile carpet; an expansive walk-in wardrobe has been fitted with bespoke cabinetry and a freestanding bath, and a marble-clad shower room with vanity is adjacent.
On the second floor, a separate bedroom suite has a picture window framing surrounding fields, complemented by bespoke fitted cabinetry and a marble-lined en suite bathroom. The third floor is home to a further suite, with fitted cabinetry and raised bed, skylight windows and a tiled en suite shower room.
The house has also been fitted with Cat5 network cables, Sonos audio systems and air conditioning throughout. Outside, there is a guest cottage, which is currently used as additional living space and office, which has its own bathroom.
The Great Outdoors
The extensive garden wraps around the plot and is surrounded by bucolic pasture. A sweeping, original Georgian wall separates the house from the road and continues into part of the garden. Creating a wonderful sense of privacy, it has a number of well-established climbers and several pear trees along its circumference.
A mixture of sweeping lawns and well-developed flowerbeds, the plot lies on a slight slope leading towards the sweeping Hawkwood Estate. The current owners have created several intimate patio spaces for entertaining or alfresco dining, and several ancillary buildings are situated on the plot, including a potting shed and lawnmower store; there is also a well-established vegetable garden and chicken coop.
A private gravelled driveway sits at the front of the plan and is bordered by trellises and extensive topiary beds.
Out and About
Hawkwood Lane is an outstanding location; situated approximately 12 miles from central London, Chislehurst is a popular historic village served by a selection of shops, restaurants and excellent schooling. The local high street has an excellent selection of dining options, including the Giggling Squid, Bank House, Cote, Quattordici and Due Amici . Nearby, the Royal Parade has a fantastic range of independent shops and Chislehurst Golf Club is half a mile away.
Frequent trains run from Chislehurst station (Zone 5) to London Bridge and Charing Cross, with journey times of approximately 15-30 minutes. London Gatwick Airport is approximately 28 miles away, and European train travel is possible from nearby Ebbsfleet International (a 25-minute drive).
Lease to be extended to 99 years upon sale
Service Charge: approx. £600 pa
Ground Rent: N/A
Council Tax Band: G
First mentioned in a charter of 973, the name “Chislehurst” is derived from the Saxon words cisel and hyrst, roughly translating to “gravel” and “wooded hill”. From the middle ages the area was home to the Walsingham family and the site of a royal manor, with later years seeing the area developed with larger, private residences due to its high aspect and well drained land.
The arrival of the exiled Emperor Napoleon in 1870 marked Chislehurst’s standing as a highly fashionable town, on the outskirts of London. Larger homes were developed in more remote parts of the parish and served as countryside respites for city workers and businessmen, who were able to access the area via the newly built railway from 1865.
As the last home for Napoleon III and his son (the Prince Imperial) at Camden Place, the town was his original resting place upon his passing in 1873. Eventually, the Empress built an abbey in Farnborough and had his remains re-interred there, although Chislehurst still remembers its part in French history, and celebrates its former Imperial resident.
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