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Madehurst, West Sussex£3,500,000 Freehold


The gardens reflect the undulating landscape of the house's downland setting, with walks extending from the garden gate and continuing uninterrupted for miles

Punchbowl is a wonderfully expansive and characterful home set in the heart of the South Downs National Park, surrounded by bucolic, undulating scenery. The house has a late 18th-century core, with later Victorian and Edwardian additions built in a highly sympathetic manner. The subject of an extensive and highly sensitive programme of restoration works in recent years by Garnett Architecture, the house encompasses seven bedrooms and a series of versatile, beautifully designed living spaces across almost 6,000 sq ft of internal accommodation. Immaculately maintained and sprawling gardens of some 3.3 acres have been beautifully landscaped and include an outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis court and several entertaining spaces.

Setting the Scene

Punchbowl is discretely positioned off a quiet country lane in the small village of Madehurst in the West Sussex Arun District. The larger town of Arundel, with its beautiful Castle and namesake River Arun, is nearby. The house is 20 minutes from the sea and Chichester Harbour, while the South Downs Way runs past the edge of the village, one of several walks surrounding the house. The choice of local schools is exceptional and trains from nearby Arundel run half-hourly direct services to London Victoria in just 87 minutes.

Set on a gentle slope, the house is believed to have once been comprised of two joined cottages, part of the nearby Dale Park estate, with one of the then cottages acting as laundry for the main house; the cottages were turned into a single home in the mid-20th century and further adapted by the current owners. The gardens surrounding the house reflect the rippling landscape of Punchbowl’s downland setting with walks extending from the garden gate, continuing for miles.

The Grand Tour

From a quiet country lane, a winding drive opens from two brick piers with stone finials atop, through sloping lawns dotted with trees and to a pea gravel parking area. The coach house, cart lodge and garage are immediately ahead, with the main house to the left.

A brick paved path leads to the home’s main entrance past a parterre garden, topiary, a fig tree and climbing rose to the entrance porch. The house is built from red brick and flint, with paned sash and casement windows; tall chimney stacks punctuate the pitch’s clay tile roofs. The central part of the house is late 18th century, with the second phase of the house’s west range construction built in the late 19th century. The third phase, the creation of the east range, was completed in the early 20th century, with all of the home’s components blending harmoniously with one another and creating a wonderful flow.

The rear of the house was adapted in the early 21st century to create further accommodation. Most of the house’s design and utilities were reconciled at this time, with the reconfigured rear elevation combining the red brick and flint, with weatherboard elevations to mimic the agricultural qualities of the surrounding area; the result is a cleverly cohesive design throughout.

Entering the main hallway, Jura polished limestone flags extend underfoot. Underfloor heating is both here, in the adjacent kitchen and the cinema to the rear of the house; the remainder is warmed by cast-iron radiators. The winding staircase lies directly ahead, lit from above with natural light flowing from a skylight set into the roof. Walls are painted in Farrow and Ball’s ‘Lamp Room Gray’; Paper and Paint Library’s tonal colours are also used throughout the home. The ground-floor rooms form an elegant enfilade from the hall, creating a wonderful vista that connects all the south-facing rooms.

A sitting room lies to the east of the hall. In this Victorian part of the house, original parquet flooring lends warmth, with walls papered in a kangaroo paw plant and lyre birds design from Porter’s Paints. An acanthus leaf plaster cornice frames the elevations and there is a French limestone chimneypiece positioned centrally, facing the canted bay window, with a cast-iron log basket and working fire.

The kitchen and breakfast room are some 35 feet in depth, with an open-pitch roof and exposed beams. Cabinetry is bespoke and painted deep blue with Belgian blue stone employed as work surfaces; an antique oak haberdasher unit acts as a central island and workstation with thick-cut Carrara marble resting above. A double butler sink is set beside a window looking out to the gardens, and a further prep sink is near the black Aga stove, which has four ovens plus a companion unit, with gas hob and two further ovens. An open brick hearth is positioned in the breakfast and soft seating area and a glazed door leads to the garden.

Descending a four-tread curved staircase from the kitchen, the dining room set in the Edwardian part of the house also has oak parquet flooring, with walls painted a rich yellow called Chinese Emperor by Paper and Paint Library. A further glass-paned door here opens to the outdoor kitchen area and terrace. Adjacent is the study and library, painted in ‘Railings’ by Farrow and Ball, with plank floorboards, bespoke fitted bookcases and a warming wood-burning stove. French windows open to the veranda, set under the zinc-topped canopy.

A rear hallway leads to a further suite of rooms, including a very generously sized utility room and a secondary service kitchen, while also acting as a laundry room. There is also a games and music room to the rear, with access to the garden terrace next to a spacious wet room, also with further direct access to the garden terrace and swimming pool. The home cinema is brilliantly designed, with sunken seating and surround sound. Folding glass doors open to the garden and there is a wood burner for cosy film nights. To the rear of the cinema is a boot room, again with direct access to the garden, and at the rear east range of the house is a guest bedroom with en suite shower room.

Ascending to the first floor, there are six further bedrooms, including the principal bedroom suite; three bedrooms have en suite facilities. There is also an ironing room, which could easily make for a further bedroom if required.

The principal bedroom suite is set in the east range of the house, separated from the remaining bedrooms on the floor by the central staircase. It has an open-pitch roof with the ceiling papered in Cole and Son’s iconic hummingbirds design, and a casement window set in the gable end allows wonderful views of Fairmile Bottom in the distance. There is also a walk-in closet and a separate dressing room. The en suite bathroom is brilliantly conceived, with nickel-plated brassware from Lefroy Brooks and sanitaryware from Aston Matthews. A cast-iron roll-top bath is set beside the window with views to the vineyard, and the shower area is clad in Marquina black veined marble. An integrated speaker system is also fitted in this room and there are two separate pedestal sinks.

The remaining five bedrooms are set in the central and west ranges of the house and have use of a secondary staircase leading to the ground floor rear hallway. Two bedrooms have en suite facilities, and three bedrooms share a further bathroom and a separate WC.

The Great Outdoors

The carefully conceived gardens at Punchbowl envelop the house, with the south-facing acreage to the front of the home comprising most of the outdoor space and formed of a series of gently sloping lawns, with an outdoor tennis court positioned to the southwest of the house. There are trees below the tennis court, and bluebells in springtime. Planting has a subtle Mediterranean quality in parts, supported by the chalky soil found in the Downs, with specimens including alliums, euphorbia, lavender, sage, rosemary, roses and geraniums as well as further trees and shrubs.

Nearest the main elevation there are a series of outdoor seating areas, with a parterre garden with buxus and lavender at the east Victorian range of the house. The house follows a gentle east-west slope, with the seating area at the centre of the house formed of relaxed outdoor sitting room, and adjacent corten steel pergola, enveloped by grape vines that wind their way through the posts. Below is a 20-seat bespoke dining table, with a Carrara marble top. At the lower western range of the house outside the library and dining room is a further brick paved veranda, partially set underneath a pent-hood zinc canopy. This area has further space for seating and an outdoor kitchen, with concrete worktops, a sink and space for a barbeque.

The rear of the house opens to views of vineyards beyond, managed by the Artelium Wine Estate, with hares, deer and pheasants all visiting regularly. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool with raised flower beds and a flagstone terrace set all around, with further steps and terraces leading down to the west range of the house. The pool is heated by an air-source heat pump and bound by further expansive lawns. There is also a weatherboard pool house set to the rear of the gardens and a separate kitchen garden with raised beds near the garden’s wooded area, through which a picketed wooden fence allows immediate access to the South Downs National Park through a small gate.

Ancillary buildings surround the parking area, including a double cart lodge and separate garage. The coach house has been built in recent years, thoughtfully designed with brick and flint elevations to mimic the main house, together with a clay tile pitched roof. A games room is positioned on the ground floor, with a guest WC to the rear. Above is an open-plan office space, with separate steps to the rear leading down to the garden. The plant room is connected to the coach house, discreetly set to the rear. This encompasses the ground-source heat pump, water tanks and controls. Boreholes are hidden under the lawns to the front of the house, and further solar panels for additional electricity are hidden within the main house’s roof pitches. A further LPG tank for the kitchen’s Aga is positioned within the woodland nearest the lane, for easy service access without having to enter the property boundaries.

Out and About

Madehurst is a charming village of just 200 inhabitants, set within two wooded valleys in the heart of the South Downs. Several trails lead directly from the village into the Downs, for walking, mountain biking and horse riding. The Madehurst Big Night Out is an annual event held at the local cricket club and takes the form of a concert with popular bands playing every July. Madehurst is also home to the restaurant with rooms, The Pig in the South Downs, which has been created in the splendid Grade II-listed Georgian house, Madehurst Lodge. The Lodge, which was built in the 1770s, and its grounds are now home to The Pig’s flock of South Downs sheep and has incredible views across its very own Sussex vineyard.

Slindon, which encompasses the Slindon Estate, is the nearest local village with amenities, just a five-minute drive from the house. Much of the village is maintained by the National Trust and is surrounded by woodland, farms and further open downland. The Forge is the principal village shop and café in Slindon, a community-owned establishment that combines a convenience store, deli and farm shop.

Also nearby is Amberley, one of the prettiest villages in Sussex and renowned for its historic houses and Norman church and castle (now a Relais & Chateaux hotel). It has two pubs, a thriving village shop (with a post office), a primary school and the nearest train station to Madehurst, with hourly services to London Victoria. Of special note is Jasper Gorst’s excellent restaurant The Boathouse for a brilliant Mediterranean menu and wood-fired pizzas.

10 minutes’ drive east, the town of Arundel is a pretty market town on the edge of the South Downs and just a few miles from the West Sussex coast. It is home to Arundel Castle, one of England’s longest inhabited country houses, as well as a popular farmers’ market and a charming array of shops, cafes and restaurants. Spencer Swaffer Antiques, one of the top decorative antique dealers in the UK, is also located here and Edgcumbes is very popular for tea and coffee.

The Goodwood Estate is very popular both within the county and internationally, where there is a golf course, racecourse and festivals and events throughout the year including the famous Goodwood Revival. The main house is remarkable, housing an outstanding art collection. It also has a brilliant central clubhouse, The Kennels, which offers fine and informal dining, spas and wellness centres, and a programme of inspiring cultural events throughout the year. Its farm shop has a great selection of fresh organic meat and dairy produce, which is supplied in several farm shops in the wider area. The private aerodrome is exceptionally convenient for private air travel.

Petworth is also nearby to Punchbowl, celebrated as a hub for the antiques industry and home to Petworth House and gardens. Petworth also has a wonderful host of amenities, including independent boutiques Bear, Twenty and Tallulah Fox, alongside cafe and deli The Hungry Guest. The Horse Guards Inn just outside Petworth in Tillington, is also of note.

Chichester is 20 minutes’ drive to the west; it has a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene, most notably including the renowned Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery. It is a settlement that dates to the Roman period and is renowned for its outstanding architecture. It has an excellent range of shops and restaurants, including a branch of Waitrose. Chichester Harbour is home to several sailing clubs and many beaches, including The Witterings, which are around 20 minutes away by car. Brighton is also accessible to Punchbowl, some 25 miles south-east.

There is an excellent choice of independent day schools locally. Westbourne House School is a 12 minute drive away and Oakwood School a 20 minute drive away, both noted prep schools in Chichester. Windlesham House School is 25 minutes’ drive away in Washington, and another excellent prep school. Dorset House Prep School in Bury and Great Ballard School in Eartham (both five minutes’ drive) are also worthy of note. All the local independent senior schools offer day or weekly boarding places. The closest is Seaford College in Petworth for day pupils, but Brighton College, Hurstpierpoint College, Portsmouth Grammar School and Portsmouth High School are all accessible for day pupils. Weekly boarding is however a popular option. Very good state schools in the area include Bishop Luffa School in Chichester and BHASVIC sixth form college in Brighton.

Arundel’s mainline railway station is a 10-minute drive away and runs services to London Victoria in approximately 87 minutes, every half hour. Amberley Station is a seven-minute drive away, with hourly services on the same train line taking around 83 minutes to reach London Victoria. There is also easy access to the A27 and the A24, which connects to the M25. London Gatwick Airport is just 50 minutes’ drive away and London Heathrow Airport is 90 minutes’ drive.

Council Tax Band: H

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.
Punchbowl — Madehurst, West Sussex
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