Country houses for sale

A contemporary Sussex home with a cinema room taken from the First Class section of a Jumbo Jet

The aviation-themed cinema room is not the only stand-out feature of this £3.5m property. We lift the lid on why Northbrooks is a house that ‘screams fun’.

If you like somewhere with an atmosphere to watch the latest blockbuster, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more unique setting than this: the cinema room at this Sussex mansion has been fashioned out of the entire upper class desk of a Virgin Atlantic plane, called The Lady Scarlet.

Yes, the carcass of the plane has been neatly installed to fit the space. The aviation-themed room has also been kitted out with a high-end Dolby Atmos cinema system for a truly cinematic experience. The agents don’t specify, but no doubt you could also programme such a high-end system to recreate the low-level thrumming of jet engines, the random coughing of fellow passengers and the clatter of bottles being wheeled past on a Duty Free trolley, for that truly authentic aeroplane feel.

According to the selling agent, Hamptons, the plane is thought to be one of Richard Branson’s first from the 1980s. If you look close enough, you’ll find its old bar at this contemporary home too.

The sprawling eight-bedroom Northbrooks is on the market for £3,500,000, and it’s full of quirky elements. It’s a property which — according to the selling agent — ‘is a house that screams fun’.

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There’s more to Northbrooks’ aviation links than just its cinema room. During World War II, an RAF reconnaissance photographer fell in love with this corner of West Sussex. After the war, he returned to the area and bought a parcel of land to build a house on. And that is how Northbrooks was born, in 1956.

Totalling more than 9,000 sq ft, Northbrooks is bright, airy and spacious, with high ceilings and a lot of glass.

Many of the rooms on the ground floor have bi-fold doors that open out onto a large patio that wraps around much of the house, perfect for entertaining.

The 30ft kitchen is at the heart of the house and features a huge central island and AGA cooker. There’s a games room to one side of the kitchen, with two sets of bi-fold doors, integrated bar and an adjoining sitting room with a log burner. Nights needn’t be lonely here!

An entrance hall, dining room, office, two WCs, bedroom with ensuite shower room, and the cinema room complete the ground floor.

Upstairs, there are bedrooms, dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms galore.

Northbrooks comes with an attached annexe, which can be reached via a secret door. You can banish any thoughts of a tired granny flat though. This two-storey annexe includes a bedroom with bi-fold doors that bring the outside in, an ensuite bathroom with twin basins, freestanding bathtub and walk-in shower, and a walk-in dressing room.

With a house of this calibre, you won’t be surprised to discover that there are luxurious features outside too: an outdoor heated swimming pool, pool house with a sauna and open-plan dining room and kitchen, fire pit, and tennis court.

The south-facing garden comprises rolling lawn and boasts far-reaching views across the South Downs National Park.

There are also various other outbuildings, including a detached barn and oak-framed open garage for six cars with electric charging points.

A further seven acres with two homes are available by separate negotiation.

Northbrooks sits on the edge of Hurstpierpoint village, just outside the South Downs, and is surrounded by greenbelt countryside. It’s close to popular Sussex schools, including Brighton College and Hurstpierpoint College.

The A23/M23 offers good access to Brighton, Gatwick Airport and the motorway network, and nearby Hassocks station offers regular train services into London.

Tamsin Kemp, Director of Prime at Hamptons, says: ‘Northbrooks offers the most breathtaking 180-degree view of the South Downs. It comes complete with versatile accommodation that offers superb entertaining space for a family along with an internal annexe which would be ideal for multi-generational living or a family that requires staff.

‘This is a house that screams fun – providing all the toys a family could need with a heated swimming pool, tennis court and land for horses.’

Northbrooks is currently on the market via Hamptons for £3,500,000 — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.

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