Set in the stunning Sussex countryside, this Grade II-listed house is defined by its light and airy living spaces. Built circa 1810, original features and wide symmetrical proportions, typical of its late-Georgian style, have been combined with sensitive later additions. Extending to around 4,500 sq ft internally, the house comprises seven bedrooms and is set within 2.6 acres of expansive parkland, gardens, and paddock, complete with a lovely greenhouse and walled garden. A short drive from Hastings Old Town and St Leonards, the house feels rural while being close to a plethora of nationally renowned schools and amenities, currently within the Claverham Secondary School catchment area.
Setting the Scene
Clad in a creamy stucco, the several gable front facade is accented with decorative pedimented bargeboards and a terracotta tiled roof. To the west, a wonderfully classical arrangement of Georgian windows with segmental heads, pointed Gothic glazing, and Venetian shutters let in generous swathes of light. This substantial country house is believed to date partly from the early 19th century but with likely earlier origins. The nearby village of Ninfield has a shop and pub, while the coast is a 10-minute drive away. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
A private drive leads to the house, which sits in the centre of its surrounding grounds. A meander through a parkland, carpeted with bluebells in the spring, leads to the front door, a large monkey puzzle marking the entrance. Half-glazed timber doors open to a vestibule with Milton tiles underfoot, which leads into the long hall.
Straight ahead is the open-plan living and dining room, the spaces separated by a half-height wall and a change in level; original floor boards run underfoot. A wood burner is set into the original hearth in the living space while exposed beams run overhead. Picture-rail shelving runs around the room, accented in dusty green. The large informal dining space can easily accommodate a large dining table and chairs. French doors lead directly from here to a beautiful patio draped with wisteria.
Beyond this is a substantial kitchen, ideally situated for entertaining, where an island creates plenty of preparation space and storage. A door from here also leads to the patio and the garden, perfect for grabbing a handful of herbs mid-recipe. A rear hall leads to an office space and a large utility room.
At the back of the plan is a grand drawing room. With voluminous proportions, the room is dramatic and airy. An original carved stone fireplace surround is stunning centre point to the room. Under an arched architrave, a bowed south façade, comprised almost entirely of windows, overlooks the stunning gardens and grounds. French doors open from here, and a window seat wraps along the windows on each side. A study at the front of the plan has an original Venetian style and wonderful views.
A dog leg staircase rises to the first floor, where five bedrooms and the family bathroom are arranged around a central landing. The principal bedroom is at the rear of the plan, where a beautiful quality of light pours through its south-facing sash windows accentuating the room’s proportions. The four further bedrooms are good-sized doubles, and one is en suite.
On the second floor, two more bedrooms are set into the eaves. Though no longer intact, the old stairs to a rooftop observatory are still in place, hinting at the house’s historic ties to a prominent Naval family.
The Great Outdoors
Stretching to around 2.6 acres, the gardens abound with mature trees and shrubs, native meadow varietals, herbaceous perennials and sedate, verdant lawns. The current owners run a successful nursery from the grounds and worked to revitalise the established plantings. A substantial walled garden and handsome greenhouse accent a corner of the plot with vegetable beds and fruit trees promising an almost year-round harvest.
Out and About
Ninfield is the nearest village, a few minutes away, with a post office, shop and two pubs. For a wider offering, Hasting Old Town is a 20-minute drive and home to a thriving cultural, retail and gastronomic scene. Among the finest of the town’s eateries and pubs are The Crown, The Albion and The Rock A Nore Kitchen, all of which specialise in locally sourced and seasonal cuisine, while Maggie’s Fish and Chips is a stalwart favourite. On the High Street, Judges Bakery (founded in 1826) and Penbuckles Delicatessen are perfect community food shops. The family-run Rock-a-Nore Fisheries, on the seafront, smokes local fish on-site.
The Old Town is full of antique markets and independent retailers too. Some of the most respected are Made in Hastings, AG Hendy & Co, Warp and Weft, Hastings Antique Centre and Ode Interiors. Art galleries are likewise abundant. The most significant is Hastings Contemporary (formerly the Jerwood Gallery) by HAT Projects. However, there are others of note, including The Rebel Gallery, Lucy Bell Fine Art and The Memorial Gallery.
St Leonards is also nearby with its hub of galleries and restaurants. The area is famous for being home to the Project 78 Gallery and the Fleet Gallery. For the culinarily inclined, there is Galleria Seafood Bar, and St. Clements Restaurant – the Kino Teatr and Heist Market are also easily accessible.
Bexhill-on-Sea is also not far and is home to the De La Warr Pavilion and a new pier designed by dRMM, which opened in 2016 and was awarded the 2017 Stirling Prize for architecture.
The area has a plethora of renowned private and state schools, including a private school, Battle Abbey, and Claverham Secondary School -both in Battle, 10 mins away, and Claremont, near St Leonards.
Battle is on the mainline with regular train services from the station to London Bridge in just over an hour. Gatwick Airport is an hour and 15 minutes by train and around an hour by car.
Council Tax Band: H
This area of Sussex is steeped in history, and the now-loved market towns surrounding the house are rich in tales.
Battle owes its name to the Battle of Hastings, an epic clash in 1066 between Harold, the Saxon king, and William the Conqueror. This historic battle profoundly impacted English history, altering its course forever. The town and area flourished around the Abbey of St Martin, a testament to William the Conqueror’s resolve to build it following his triumph. Construction of the Abbey took place between 1070 and 1094, with the belief that the high altar stood where Harold met his fate.
The origins of Hastings, further afield, began as a settlement that can be traced back to the Bronze Age, with its strategic maritime position ensuring its importance to invading armies. The most famous of these was the Norman Conquest of 1066, which saw the construction of Hastings Castle on the elevated sandstone cliff above the port. Hastings was subsequently recognised as one of the Cinque Ports. The town and the castle fell into disrepair following devastating floods and raids by the French in the 13th and 14th centuries.
By the 16th century, Hastings had acquired a new guise as a small fishing settlement with a backstory as a smugglers’ haven. The soft sandstone cliffs underneath the ruins of Hastings Castle were perfect for excavating a system of caves and tunnels for storing goods. The most famous of these is St Clements Caves (the earliest reference about this cave dates to 1784).
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