With a sense of rural tranquillity that belies its proximity to the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells, this three-bedroom oast house, originally converted in 1973, is a wonderful synthesis of modern living within the Kentish paradigm. Set among paddocks and woodland, with uninterrupted views across the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Oast House has gardens and fields of approximately two and a half acres, and in addition, two brick outbuildings (one of which is already an insulated studio) with planning permission for conversion to residential, for which work has commenced.
A private road makes its way alongside fields and farmland to reach the oast and its neighbouring property, and a gravel driveway approaches the house, with parking for several cars. Entry is to a vestibule and cloak area and through glazed sliding doors to a hallway flanked by cabinetry from StilART.
The dining room and kitchen are open in plan and bathed in light from several large south-facing windows. The kitchen, also by StilART, has Corian worktops and appliances by Miele and Gaggenau. A set of glazed doors open to the rear terrace and garden beyond. White-painted brick walls are found throughout the house and pair beautifully with tongue-and-groove timber ceilings and walls, timber beams, and a brilliant, angular open-tread staircase. The quality of the house’s elements is apparent throughout; door furniture across most of the ground floor is by Modric, double-glazed, timber-frame windows with wired-in blinds, custom-made in Germany, are by Hebar, and bathroom fixtures are by Supatap, a graceful concept, popular in the 1950s and 60s, manufactured by F.H. Bourner & Co Ltd.
At the western side of the house is a double-aspect living room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the garden. At the eastern end, a bedroom occupies the Oast’s roundel, with floating storage, a sink and walk-in wardrobe, and opposite is a family bathroom with a floating Formica vanity unit.
Within the double-height dining area, an open-tread, solid-beach staircase rises to the first floor, entering a versatile open-plan landing and study arranged around exposed roof timbers, with vaulted ceilings and a central chimney stack with a French enamelled-cast-iron wood-and-coal burner. There are two bedrooms on the upper level, a bathroom and a separate WC.
The house is surrounded by gardens, peppered with an array of mature trees and with views south across unspoilt rolling countryside. Just east of the house are two ancillary outbuldings, both of brick construction. The larger of the two is a former cowshed and enters to a garage, store room and then to an insulated office and studio space. The second, formerly stables, has beautiful original brickwork, with arched doorways, and remains untouched within. Planning-permission has been secured and work commenced for both to be converted into further accommodation.
The Oast House has a bucolic setting at the end of a private, no-through road approximately two and a half miles from the centre of Tunbridge Wells. Within ten minutes’ drive are the mainline station and boutiques, restaurants, theatres and cafes of The Pantiles and The High Street. Also within easy reach are the open spaces of Dunorlan Park; 30 acres of landscaped parkland with a six-acre boating lake and café.
There are many highly-regarded schools in the area including Rose Hill, The Mead, and Holmewood House preparatories, Beechwood Sacred Heart for ages 3 to 18; girls’ and boys’ grammar schools Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Skinners and independent secondary schools in Pembury, Tonbridge, and Sevenoaks.
Tunbridge Wells station offers fast and frequent services to London Charing Cross (via London Bridge and Waterloo East) and Cannon Street with journey times from around 47 minutes.
The M25, Ashford station (for the Channel Tunnel) and Gatwick airport are all within easy driving distance, as are the coastal resorts of Kent and Sussex.