Country houses for sale

A delightful and historic family home in the South Downs — but you’ll have to promise not to paint over the graffiti (yes, really)

Appearing on the market for the first time in 44 years, Tudor Cottage has grown over the years with its family, and its appearance on the market now offers others the chance to call this lovely place home.

Down in West Sussex, Toby Whittome of Lindfield-based Jackson-Stops is handling the sale of John and Mandy Husband’s delightful Tudor Cottage near the village of Hurstpierpoint, on the edge of the South Downs National Park.

The house, which has been the Husband family’s much-loved home for the past 43 years, sits at the end of a quiet private road, surrounded by farmland to the north and a golf course to the east.

Mr Whittome quotes a guide price of £2.25m for the enchanting, 4,900sq ft house, which has ‘grow’d like Topsy’ over the years, having evolved, not from a Tudor building, but from an older 15th-century hall house, altered and extended in the 18th and late 19th centuries, when it was the mews house to the former Clayton Wickham House (later Beaumont School), which has since been demolished.

The various stages of development can be clearly identified in the present building, from the original two-storey, red-brick hall house with its mathematical tiled main façade, adjoining coach house and converted stables to one side and, on the opposite side, the modern kitchen wing with its family room and study behind.

Interestingly, the house is unlisted, which may facilitate any alterations to its layout, such as the conversion of the former coach house to further accommodation.

There was much to do at Tudor Cottage when Mr and Mrs Husband bought the property in 1978, since when they have worked their way through the house, which now offers 4,900sq ft of light, bright accommodation on various levels.

There are four main reception rooms, a spacious principal bedroom suite, three/four bedrooms, two shower rooms and a self-contained, two-bedroom ground-floor flat.

There is one rather unusual request that the seller is making: don’t paint over the house’s graffiti.

‘In addition to the wealth of historic features, there’s also a poignant bit of graffiti from more recent times,’ explains Mr Husband.

‘It’s on the back of a landing door, where a homesick Canadian soldier — who was billeted here during the Second World War — painted a maple leaf with the word “Home” underneath.

‘We promised the previous owners never to paint over it — and we never have.’

Tudor Cottage is currently on the market via Jackson-Stops with a guide price of £2.25 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details. 

Hurstpierpoint: What you need to know

Location: On the edge of the South Downs National Park, roughly 10 miles north of Brighton and about 13 miles south of Crawley. The nearest stations are located at Hassocks, Burgess Hill and Wivelsfield.

Atmosphere: The village hosts the annual Hurst Festival with ‘celebrates art, music and village life’ over a two-week period. It’s also home to a busy high street, with everything from independent boutiques, wine merchants and art galleries.

Things to do: Explore the South Downs National Park on your doorstep which has a number of wonderful walks and scenic spots to discover. The arts and cultural hub of Brighton is also a short distance away, and a great place to explore new restaurants, galleries and the sea front.

Schools: Hurstpierpoint College offers day and boarding options from ages 4-18, Albourne C of E Primary School and St Lawrence C of E Primary School are also within the local area.

See more property for sale in the area.