The major portion (5,747 sq ft) of a magnificent country mansion with spectacular, far-reaching views across the Ashdown Forest to the South Downs
Set in a magnificent, elevated position in a area of outstanding natural beauty.
London 35 miles
Gatwick Airport 19 miles
Brighton 25 miles
Royal Tunbridge Wells 14 miles
Lewes 14 miles
Haywards Heath 10 miles
East Grinstead 8 miles
Forest Row 4 miles
Nutley 2 miles
The approach to the property is from the A22 via a long shared entrance drive across Ashdown Forest. The Forest comprises approximately 6,400 acres of open heathland providing many miles of spectacular walking and riding country.
The village of Nutley is 2 miles south and provides a church, public house, Indian & Chinese restaurants, petrol station, village hall and village store. The larger village of Forest Row is 4 miles north and provides a more extensive range of shops including a Tesco Express & filling station, a number of public houses offering excellent dining, coffee shops, delicatessens, dry cleaners, post office and boutique stops.
For commuters, Haywards Heath station provides the Gatwick Express and other services north to London (approx.. 45 minutes to London Bridge, Victoria or St Pancras), Bedford and beyond, and south to Brighton and the South Coast. East Grinstead offers a similar service taking less than an hour.
There is an excellent selection of outstanding schools in the area including Ardingly College, St Leonards Mayfield, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks. Preparatory schools include Ashdown House, Brambletye, Cumnor House, Great Walstead and Michael Hall.
Chelwood Vachery was built in the early 1900s for Sir Stuart Samuel, a banker and mp. The property provides well-arranged and beautifully proportioned accommodation which has been sympathetically restored and improved by the current owners, whilst retaining many of the original period features.
Features of note within the house include exceptional room proportions, decorating cornicing, picture rails, paneled doors, leaded windows, original wood floors, a superb master bedroom suite featuring French windows to a balcony with stunning views, and beautiful dressing room.
Entrance is through spectacular, heavy, double wooden doors into a tiled entrance vestibule. Further glass double doors open to a large dining hall/family room (24’ x 18’) with underfloor-heated Chinese slate floor, double light fittings with ceiling roses and cornicing.
A long corridor, floored with English Oak, has a trap door to a large wine cellar with additional room. The cellar is fully lit and has natural light.
The kitchen/breakfast room (15’7” x 13’11”) is off this corridor containing Farrow & Ball painted units, granite worktops, marble flooring, matching breakfast bar, built-in aeg touch hob, eye level double oven, microwave, beer fridge & dishwasher. A separate utility room houses further units, sink, washing machine and space for a large fridge/freezer. The oil boiler is housed in a separate room off the kitchen.
Also on this floor is an inner hall (24’7” x 13’6”), which has previously been used as a dining room and an office. From here is a cloakroom and a separate toilet.
At this end of the house lies the magnificent, triple-aspect, principal drawing room (40’10” x 18’10”) with stunning views south across the grounds. This was originally the ballroom when the house was built and the sprung floor is the original, polished oak parquet. There are double ceiling lights with ceiling roses and very ornate cornicing. A spectacular bolection design fireplace in Lancashire stone provides the room’s focal point. French windows open to a private terrace and, from here, steps lead to a further private terrace, all with beautiful views.
From the inner hall, the staircase leads to the first floor where can be found the magnificent master bedroom suite. The bedroom (19’3” x 17’9”) boasts polished wooden floor, cornicing, double aspect leaded windows and French doors leading to a decked balcony surrounded by ornate cast iron railings, covered with mature Wisteria. The views from here are stunning across the ever-changing landscape of the grounds and the Forest.
Off the bedroom is the master bathroom suite, fully tiled, containing underfloor heating, double sinks on an oak standing, large bath, large walk-in shower, toilet and bidet.
Beyond the bathroom is the superb walnut & black gloss modern dressing room containing a range of hanging and drawer space and a dressing table facing the window to the east. The dressing room has its own door to exit without having to re-enter the bathroom or bedroom.
Also on this floor is the main guest bedroom (22’ x 20’), again with polished wooden floors, picture rail, ceiling rose and views to the front of the property. A separate bathroom is co-ordinated to this bedroom, beautifully finished with Victorian black & white checked floor tiles, clawfoot bath, separate shower, double sink units, bidet and toilet. There is also an original fireplace in this room.
A further double bedroom (15’9” x 14”3) can be found on this floor with English oak flooring & cornicing.
Taking the stairs to the second floor, we find a self-contained, carpeted, bedroom suite (15’10” x 8’9”) ideal of an au pair, teenager or lodger, with its own bathroom with shower over bath. From this room, a doorway leads to a very large area of warm, dry, attic storage with electric light.
There is a further large bedroom (19’3 x 15’11”) double aspect with more magnificent views across the grounds and the Forest and South Downs. It contains polished wooden floor, decorative cornicing, ceiling rose and picture rail. This room has been used as an author’s office due to its inspiring views.
An additional, beautifully tiled, shower room can be found along the split-level corridor
Another doorway leads to a further self-contained, carpeted, bedroom suite providing versatile accommodation. On the one hand, 14’5” x 10’2” room could be used as a bedroom, or it could be a child’s playroom or a teenager/au pair/guest lounge as it is behind a door which also has stairs leading to a 3rd floor where can be found a further double bedroom (12’2” x 11’4”) with a Velux window opening to the parapet around the roof. The views from here are across the South Downs and are fabulous. Across the landing is a fully tiled shower room which can be exclusive to this bedroom. At the top of the landing is a small walk-in wardrobe/dressing room.
There are four private parking spaces to the property, all close-by.
There is a further 1 acre of private, park-like gardens set away from the house, bordering the forest. These grounds are laid to lawn and are bordered by magnificent, 30 foot high rhododendrons of various colours. The grounds are so spectacular that they used to be opened to the public each year when the house was in corporate ownership. There are also several exotic trees here and a large, mature, oak tree guarding a gateway out to the Ashdown Forest and forest walks taking you over a bridge, past a lovely waterfall and, eventually, to the village of Chelwood Gate and the Red Lion public house for a Sunday lunch.
A particular feature of the house is its security. As well as being part of a closed community, the double wooden doors to the front provide the only easily accessible entrance and these are extremely secure. The rear of the house cannot easily be reached due to the attached parts of the building. This makes the house an ideal “lock & leave” property for an owner who spends long periods away.