Country houses for sale

A 400-year-old house that’s as romantic a country cottage as you could hope to find

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow in an English country garden? Well, head to these magical gardens in Kent to get an idea…

If you read Country Life, the chances are you enjoy country life. And if you enjoy country life, we’d place a decent bet that you’ll rather like this Grade II listed country house with a garden so enchanting that it’s the sort of place which opens each year for the NGS (which it does). Frankly, the whole thing is impossibly pretty and charming, yet equally cosy and liveable; a house, as agents Hamptons put it, that is ‘ideal for those with a penchant for the romantic’.

What they really mean is ‘a penchant for the romantic, plus £2,750,000′, of course, but those with budgets just a teeny, weeny bit lower are thus invited to look on and dream.

King John’s Lodge is believed to date back to the 16th century. It’s nestled in nearly four acres of carefully-landscaped gardens and grounds. They include a wildflower meadow, an avenue of fruit trees, an Edwardian pond and a natural pond, and planting arranged in ‘stories’. If you’re looking to capture the spirit of an English country garden, this is it.

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King John’s Lodge has period features galore. Outside, there’s stone mullioned, oak framed windows and elevations of Ashlar stone.

And inside, you’ll find timber latch doors, wooden floors, wall panelling, exposed oak beams, and a variety of eye-catching fireplaces.

The rooms are full of character in that quintessentially English way. The eagle-eyed may have spotted the drawing room’s barrel-vaulted ceiling. The room was once used as a ballroom, no less.

The sitting room and dining room also have history and charm in spades. Meanwhile, the kitchen, the beating heart of many a country home, boasts a cosy snug area and a bright red AGA that’s tucked neatly into a small inglenook. And let’s not forget the all-important laundry room and loo.

Upstairs, there’s seven bedrooms, an assortment of bathrooms, a dressing area, and a playroom.

All in all, the house extends to nearly 4,600 sq ft (excluding the cellar) spread across three floors.

The previous owners took possession of King John’s Lodge a week before the so-called Great Storm of 1987. The storm damaged many parts of the country. King John’s Lodge was not spared, with more than 100 apple trees thought to have been uprooted. Talk about timing.

Today, it has all the hallmarks of a thriving garden, with a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs. There’s also a heated outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court.

King John’s Lodge is sandwiched between the villages of Ticehurst and Wadhurst in the High Weald National Landscape, Kent.

Despite its tranquil setting, it is well connected. There’s rail links from Wadhurst and Etchingham to London. And when it comes to road links, the A21 connects you to London and the coast.

Linda Wesson, director at Hamptons and part of its Prime team, says: ‘King John’s Lodge is incredibly special and the property’s enchanting gardens are sure to captivate any purchaser who has a love of the outdoors and passion for nature.

‘Ideal for those with a penchant for the romantic, King John’s Lodge represents a quintessential statement residence that offers a serene rural retreat without compromising on connectivity.

‘While it may require some modernisations and benefit from cosmetic updates, it is full of charm and character with surprisingly generous ceiling height for the period.

‘Light and bright for a house of this era, it has a very distinctively warm and inviting ambiance throughout.’

King John’s Lodge is on the market for £2,750,000 via Hamptons — see more details and pictures.