Location: Eridge is a leafy Village set in the rural outskirts of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Eridge has a popular Country Inn and a Train Station, but is probably better known for Eridge Park which is steeped in history; it is reputedly the oldest enclosed Deer Park in England. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book, where it is called Reredfelee and, at that time was owned by Odo, the brother of William the Conqueror. The Nevill family inherited the Estate in 1448 and have been there ever since. Henry VIII often hunted here and Queen Elizabeth I spent six days in Eridge in August 1573. The late Queen Mother was also a frequent visitor to Eridge Park and she was reportedly enamoured with the splendid Rhododendrons. There was a flourishing Iron Foundry here in the 16th Century when a series of Mill Ponds were created to provide a supply of water substantial enough to power the Forge.
In 1787, Henry Nevill, the 2nd Earl of Abergavenny, began building Eridge Castle in exuberant, Strawberry Hill Gothic style and in the years following, the landscape was enhanced by the opening up of vistas, walks and carriage drives. Further, there was a flurry in the construction of follies (most notably Saxonbury Tower and the castellated wall at Sham Farm), and the rebuilding of old workers' cottages in ornate Estate style. The Prince of Wales was a frequent visitor to Eridge shooting parties in the late 1800s, as was Disraeli who, it is said, came for the venison and strawberries. In the late 1930s the Castle was demolished and the current Georgian inspired Mansion House was built, which is now the home of the VI Marquess of Abergavenny and his family. Eridge Railway Station serves the rural district, with a typical, off-peak service of one train per hour to London (Victoria-Eastbourne line) with Royal Tunbridge Wells Station running two trains per hour to London (Charing Cross-Hastings line).
For a wider range of Shopping, Leisure and Banking facilities, Royal Tunbridge Wells is just over 4 miles from Eridge. Today visitors to Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent can enjoy a relaxing short break or day out, exploring the many Gardens and historic houses of the town. Royal Tunbridge Wells owes its existence to the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606 by Dudley, Lord North. Once the playground of royalty and the aristocracy, Royal Tunbridge Wells was the place to see and be seen and became a rival to Bath and nearby Brighton. Today, Royal Tunbridge Wells still has much to please visitors.
The town's historic past is reflected very much in its architecture - from elegant Regency Villas and large Victorian houses, many designed by Decimus Burton, to pretty Clapboard Cottages, all surrounded by lots of green space, including the unique 200 Acre Common located in the Town Centre. One can also discover Tunbridge Wells' 400-year history on a one-hour guided, walking tour. As the only Spa Town in the South East of England, Royal Tunbridge Wells is proud of its Georgian heritage. Visitors can still taste the spring water today just as visitors such as Queen Anne, Queen Victoria, Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe, to name just a few, have been doing for more than 400 years.
Royal Tunbridge Wells offers the most discerning shopper an eclectic array of everything from the iconic High Street stalwarts to the delights of Hooperï¿½s and Fenwick, both with a fantastic selection of in-store departments offering a wide selection of well known Fashion Designers. Harry Collins, the Queenï¿½s personal Jeweller with a workshop at Buckingham Palace, has a shop in the High Street to tempt and tantalise. T Wells - as it is known - has several good Hotels, 44 different Eateries at the last count: One being Thackerayï¿½s which is part of the Richard Philips stable. Spas and Beauty Parlours abound for all types of pampering too.
History: This property has been a true ï¿½Labour of Loveï¿½ for the current Vendor. It started its life as two separate, original, period oak and clay, peg-tiled Barns (Hilltop and Loudswell) which have been reconstructed. This breathtaking, Medieval inspired home was re-erected in 1983, so is free from listings. It also benefits from almost unique insulation (built with an R factor of 30 compared to traditional Building Regs. Standard of 3 i.E. 10 times greater!). Furthermore, the present underfloor heating is designed to be powered by a heat exchanger from coils laid in the nearby small Lake, thereby increasing the energy efficiency even more! Currently, a temporary small 3KW wall mounted boiler is used.
Description: This secluded, country idyll is situated in a stunning, elevated position with panoramic views over Farmland Meadows, and Oak, Larch and Pine Forests. Within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an effortless and serene way of life is offered; come and sit by the Lake and watch the Koi and Golden Orfe drifting in and out of the reeds and lillies; enjoy a Summer evening on one of the natural garden Terraces, with Buzzards soaring overhead as well as your own beautiful, white ï¿½fantailï¿½ doves; stroll down to the white railed Paddocks to watch horses grazing or the regular fallow and roe deer in the meadows surrounding; and if you are lucky, a barn owl with its mesmorising flight may light up a celestial twilight. In Spring, there are beautiful bluebell woods bordering, and the garden has many thousands of bulbs planted including daffodils, scented narcissi and crocuses - heavenly! Finally, with views from the property into the valley, there is a grove of approximately 40, recently planted Giant Sequoia trees (the famous Redwoods of America), with their beautiful soft red bark. Close to them is a very old badger sett in a nearby woodland ï¿½ well worth a visit to watch the cubs in May/June!
This beautiful Country abode is surrounded by approximately 3 Acres of landscaped Gardens with a large area for Parking, an Oak, Three Bay, Hipped Barn with original, warm red clay tiles for Garaging, a Tennis Lawn, Orchard and a Vegetable Garden surrounded by a topiaried Yew hedge. Sprinkled with colourful flowers and leaves, Wisterias, species climbing/Rambler roses, Bosten Ivy, Clematis, Herbaceous borders, Shrubberies and Ornamental trees ï¿½ Red/Golden Maples, Golden Indian Bean Tree, Dawn Redwood, Eucalyptus, Liquidambers/Nyssaï¿½s (striking Autumn colour) - this Garden offers colour all year round! Internally, the property has a wealth of fine, exposed, original, old oak Beams as well as new oak Timbers. The ancient and substantial, honey coloured, beeswaxed Oak Beams illustrate the bespoke ï¿½periodï¿½ architecture throughout. Upon a few, there are even small tags from when the Barns were originally taken down prior to being reconstructed. The majestic Oak Posts are set upon beautiful Limestone straddle stones and a welcoming Inglenook Fireplace is complemented by an array of leaded light and casement windows, mullion windows and high ceilings, demonstrating sheer elegance and stature that is not to be missed.
There are good Equestrian facilites including 9 Loose Boxes (6 internal, within a Barn), a tack room and a wash-room. There are Paddocks close to the house which lend perfectly as areas for schooling. If Equestrian facilities are not desired, there is current Planning Permission to convert the Stable Block into a 3 Bedroom Holiday Cottage with Garaging. Approached through striking, white, deer automatic Electric Gates, the winding gravel driveway unfurls between the white Park Railings, passing the beautiful Lakes on its way towards this magical family home. At night, it undergoes a further transformation as driveway lights come on and the soft, warm, amber flood lighting throughout the gardens creates the most striking and beautiful effect and ambience. As light reflects off the majestic Oaks and lakes, it is reminiscent of a lit-up fireworks night festival in beautiful grounds ï¿½ but every night! Walking across the Parking Area into the:
Galleried minstrels dining hall: 24ï¿½11 x 18ï¿½9 (7.35 x 5.76) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 23ï¿½03 (7.09) to the highest point. Beautifully welcoming, open and light, this room sets a standard and expectation for the rest of this enchanting house. An exposed brick chimney breast is inset with a brass glass fronted ï¿½fannedï¿½ Wood Burner for a warm welcome on even the coldest of days. A stunning chandelier hangs from the exposed Vaulted Ceiling, beyond which a huge, striking, leaded light, West facing window opens up a wonderful view over the landscape. Wall lights. Underfloor heating. A control panel is connected to a fully comprehensive hard wired alarm system. Various power points. A staircase ascends to the First Floor Landing. Doors lead into the Drawing Room, Study and Cloakroom and an opening leads through to the Reception Hall.
Reception hall: 16ï¿½1 x 11ï¿½5 (4.91 x 3.51) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½00 (2.14). A continuation of the Galleried Minstrels Dining Hall, this room is very much a ï¿½living-partï¿½ of the Reception Area as a whole and offers the perfect, formal area for entertaining. Natural pine floorboards and an original, lime mortar, stock brick, English bonded, base plate wall with exposed wall and ceiling beams create a room
that eminates charming antiquity. Various power points. Glazed, double Oak doors lead into the ï¿½Medievalï¿½ Wing and the Kitchen/Breakfast Room.
Drawing room: 24ï¿½3 x 15ï¿½5 (7.40 x 4.70) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½8 (2.34). This triple aspect, South facing room enjoys views over the Gardens and Tennis Lawn, stretching out over the Paddocks and Meadows. Glazed, double Oak Doors lead out onto a Terrace, bordered by a topiaried box hedge and scented lavender beds that is crying out for entertaining friends and family. The grand Inglenook fireplace with a splendid, polished, Bressumer Beam over, leads to an original, Tudor, brick chimney built with hydraulic lime and capped in authentic Yorkstone. Exposed ceiling beams. Various power points. Returning into the Reception Hall, an Oak door leads into the:
Cloakroom: 8ï¿½6 x 8ï¿½ (2.62 x 2.44) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½1 (2.17) to the highest point. This room is perfect for storing walking boots and coats. An Oak door then leads from this connecting room into the Cloakroom which is comprised of a low-level Sanitan WC and a wash-hand basin. A window provides views over the driveway. Returning into the Dining Hall:
Study: 14ï¿½9 x 9ï¿½2 (4.50 x 2.80). Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½00 (2.14) to the highest point. An ideal location for a Home Office. The window provides views out over the driveway. Exposed wall and ceiling Oak beams. Internet/telephone points. Various power points.
Kitchen and breakfast room: 20ï¿½8 x 15ï¿½5 (6.30 x 5.00) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½8 (2.34) to the highest point. Beautifully crafted, this South facing, ï¿½Classic Farmhouseï¿½ Kitchen has double, glazed Oak doors leading out onto the Terrace to the rear of the Reception Hall and an internal, authentically built, mullion window allows light into the adjoining family Sitting Room. With ample space for a breakfast table plus a small recessed, sitting area with inbuilt sit-on cabinet, this really is the hub of a wonderful family home. There is a range of bespoke wall and base units by Smallbone of Devises, including a beautiful Granite working surface running the length of the wall. There is a stunning Settle Dresser unit to one wall which is incorporated in the sale of Blackdon Estate. A sink with a drainer unit is set in a Welsh Dresser base. Electric double Atag oven with a very wide induction hob (very popular in France ï¿½ i.E.Similar controllability and speed of gas). Space for a fridge freezer and space and plumbing for a dishwasher. Exposed beams. Oak floorboards. Electric heater under a radiator cover. Various power points. Doors lead into the Sitting Room, Pantry and Utility Room.
Pantry: 8ï¿½2 x 7ï¿½3 (2.50 x 2.20). Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½8 (2.34) to the highest point. A cool, North facing Larder with very useful space for Groceries and Spices. A window allows light in and gives views out over the Lake. Quarry red, tiled floor.
Sitting room: 24ï¿½3 x 19ï¿½4 (7.40 x 5.90) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½8 (2.35) to the highest point. A breathtaking, South and West facing, double aspect room with enchanting, far reaching views over the Paddocks/Meadows, Tennis Lawn, herbaceous borders and a beautiful Indian Cedar. This room catches the Western sunlight and makes a ï¿½cosy snuggeryï¿½ as well as a beautiful place to play the piano or sit and read whilst imbibing the odd tincture or two. Glazed, double Oak doors lead out onto the Terrace. Exposed beams to the ceiling. Electric heater under a radiator cover. Television point. Various power points.
Utility room: 15ï¿½9 x 9ï¿½2 (4.80 x 2.80). Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½7 (2.31) to the highest point. Fitted with a most beautiful, French, inset sink and double slate drainer boarded unit with reed drawers set under a window that provides views over the Lake. Yorkstone flooring and a feature, original ï¿½threshing floorï¿½, 2ï¿½ thick, oak boarded back door. Exposed wall and ceiling Oak beams. A second control panel is connected to the alarm system. Various power points. An Oak door leads into the:
Laundry room: 9ï¿½2 x 9ï¿½2 (2.80 x 2.80). Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½6 (2.31) to the highest point. With a clever chute to transport ones laundry from upstairs to downstairs with ease. A cupboard contains separate heating controls for all rooms, fuse box, 3KW water boiler, meters, alarm system and outdoor lighting controls. Exposed wall and ceiling Oak beams. Various power points. Returning into the Kitchen, an Oak Staircase leads up to the South facing, First Floor Landing, which has two windows ï¿½ one being an exterior, ï¿½doubleï¿½ mullioned, Oak window: An Oak door leads into:
Bedroom four: 15ï¿½9 x 8ï¿½10 (4.80 x 2.70) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 16ï¿½00 (4.89) to the highest point. A window gives lovely views out over the Lake and a Vaulted Ceiling and exposed beams add much character to the room. Built-in wardrobe. An Oak entrance door in the Vaulted Ceiling allows access to the loft and water cisterns. Various power points. An Oak door leads into the:
Principal bedroom: 19ï¿½8 x 14ï¿½9 (6.00 x 4.50) Ceiling Height: 15ï¿½11 (4.86) to the highest point. A stunning, double aspect, South and West facing room laced with honey toned beams. A feature of the room are a pair of ï¿½smokedï¿½ (blackened) rafters, believed by our Vendors to date back to 1450 (i.E. From a ï¿½Hallï¿½ House). Built-in wardrobes. Cushioned Oak seats within the windows create perfect places to sit and watch the world go by and enjoy the special vistas. Electric heater. Television point. Another control panel is connected to the alarm system. Various power points. An Oak door leads into the:
Principal en-suite bathroom: 15ï¿½8 x 7ï¿½8 (4.82 x 2.38) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½3 (2.21) to the highest point. A beautifully constructed suite comprising: A Steam Shower Cabin, large corner bath with shower attachment, bidet, low-level WC, heated towel rail and a vanity cupboard. A window gives views over the Lake. Recessed ceiling lights.
Returning to the First Floor Landing and passing the stairway from the Kitchen, one leaves the ï¿½Medieval Wingï¿½ and arrives in the Galleried Landing, looking down onto the Dining Hall.
An Oak door leads into:
Bedroom two: 21ï¿½ x 16ï¿½1 (6.40 x 4.90) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 6ï¿½7 (2.02). A double aspect East and North facing room, with a beautiful curved cross-tie beam. Exposed beams. Eaves storage. A very charming, quintessentially English Country House Hotel style Bedroom. Electric heater. Recessed ceiling lights. Various power points.
Bedroom five: 10ï¿½2 x 9ï¿½6 (3.10 x 2.90) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 10ï¿½4 (3.17) to the highest point. Windows to the front allow light to flood into this room. A special room with a Vaulted Ceiling and exposed beams (called ï¿½Anne of Cleavesï¿½ because of its character) is formed in the gable section above the front door and alongside the Minstrels Gallery. Various power points. An Oak door leads into the:
Family shower room: 8ï¿½1 x 7ï¿½11 (2.47 x 2.17) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 7ï¿½1 (2.17) to the highest point. Fitted with a double walk-in shower unit complimented by a low-level WC and a wash-hand basin. Large, striking, marble Fired Earth wall tiles and square, multi-coloured limestone floor tiles make this a very striking Shower Room. Exposed beams. This room also leads into Bedroom Three, through a small, Oak ï¿½backï¿½ door! At the end of the Galleried Landing, around the chimney, an Oak door leads into:
Bedroom three: 20ï¿½4 x 15ï¿½5 (6.20 x 4.70) to the furthest point. Ceiling Height: 15ï¿½11 (4.86) to the highest point. A triple aspect Vaulted Bedroom with access to the Family Shower Room benefiting from built-in wardrobes and eaves Storage. Exposed beams and an exterior mullioned window further enhance this room. Various power points.
Agents notes: The Vendor recently wrote very passionately about his home:
ï¿½If ï¿½a picture speaks a thousand wordsï¿½ then please look at the accompanying photos! Where does one start ï¿½ this is a stunning, yet warm and welcoming family home, in a beautifully inviting, landscaped Garden (including a Grass Tennis-Court!); all in an exceptionally ancient, sylvan setting. At the same time, it is perfect for formal entertaining with grounds ideal for marquees and ample parking for many visitors. Its elevated position, facing due South and West, allows striking, uninterrupted views of classic, open, Wealden downland, forests and farmland; there is hardly a house to be seen and it is no small wonder that it is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
Situated in a perfectly peaceful setting off a country lane it is only 10 minutes from the sought after ï¿½spa-townï¿½ of Royal Tunbridge Wells, with its famous ï¿½Pantilesï¿½, shopping, cultural and artistic amenities. London is only an hour away (e.G. Knightsbridge/Convent Garden is readily accessible) as is the Coast, with glorious Glyndebourne and Goodwood ï¿½ hour and 1 ï¿½ hours away respectively. Bewl Bridge Reservoir with its beautiful landscape and array of sports and outdoor activities is only 20 minutes away, not to mention Bowles Rocks outdoor ski-school and climbing centre just a mile or so away!
Furthermore, the property lies in the very centre of the locally known, rural ï¿½Golden Triangleï¿½ between the well-loved villages of Eridge, Frant and Rotherfield (each with vibrant theatre and local activities groups). Set in its own time-warp, no doubt due to the presence and influence of the historic Eridge Park estate nearby (the country seat of the Marquis and Marchioness of Abergaveny), here is a serene and tranquil oasis, in an otherwise busy world. There is no ï¿½madï¿½ traffic thoroughfare ï¿½ car or plane ï¿½ here!
But what of the schools I hear you ask?We have some of the very best, for example, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and St. Leonards Mayfield (Girls) Public Schools and Holmewood House Preparatory School (mixed); all with outstanding academic track records in the UK, not to mention sports! Also the Judd and Skinnersï¿½ and twggs (Girls) Grammar Schools and finally, the very good mixed comprehensive schooling available locally!
Everyone who comes here, from the local postman to folks from far-a-field, immediately falls in love with its ï¿½extraordinary presenceï¿½. From the moment you enter its beautiful, white, automated, Deer Gate Entrance, the property envelopes you as you go down the 150 yard gravel driveway and pass its enchanting ï¿½Hansel and Gretelï¿½-like Pond, bounded with ancient ï¿½Parkï¿½ Oak Trees. Here you sweep into the forecourt area to be greeted by warm, peg-tiled and oak, vernacular architecture and its extraordinarily serene setting, overlooking the sunken Garden and small Lake, making you feel immediately at ease and, above all, intrigued (for newcomers) as to what you are about to experience!
One could go on, but perhaps it is sufficient to say it only takes two steps into the house to fall in love with it. Words once again seem to be pointless, such is the detail of the bespoke workmanship as magnificent, historic Oak Posts ascend from beautiful, granary ï¿½straddleï¿½ stones on ï¿½foot-padsï¿½ to the mid and top-plates above, then on to the fascinating, vaulted, butt-purlin, wind braced roof aloft - breathtaking!
If this ï¿½strikes a cordï¿½, please do not hesitate to view. There are indeed in reality, few magical and very special places and homeï¿½s and make no mistake, this is one such place. The new owners who take over from the present ones (since 1983) will no doubt count themselves very fortunate ï¿½stewardsï¿½ indeed! One last point, this is just the ï¿½startï¿½ of the story ï¿½ its potential is huge!ï¿½
externally: Approx. 10.9 acres (source: ). Attractive, electric Gates lead down the winding driveway surrounded by lawns and lakes to a Parking Area to the front of Blackdon Estate. From here, one can access the open bay garage; leading past the Garage, a gate opens into the excellent stable yard comprising: A stable block with three loose boxes and an american style barn housing six loose boxes. At the far end of the Barn are wash and tack rooms. The Barn has Planning Permission to be converted into Holiday Lets. There are various Paddocks, Terraces, lawned areas and beautiful flowerbeds surrounding the property. At a glance, one can see evidence of specimen plants and trees. Ancient Monarch Oaks and future Giant Redwood Grove are a joy and sight to behold.
Lot 2: Approx. 40 Acres available by separate negotiation.
Services: Electric Central Heating. Mains Water. Private Drainage.
Local authority: Wealden District Council. Tax Band G.
Important notice: The Country Property Group provides these particulars in good faith for guidance purposes only. We wish to stress that The Country Property Group is unable to measure the Land on offer in order to confirm the exact acreage and therefore requests all potential purchasers to satisfy themselves prior to entering into negotiations. Please note we have not conducted a structural survey of the Property nor have we tested any of the heating, drainage, services, fittings or sanitary items in this Property.