Country houses for sale

A Gothic townhouse in Lewes with five bedrooms and a perfectly round ‘soaking bath’

At Undercliffe House, no expense has been spared in creating a home that is tastefully Victorian, spacious and comfortable.

Today on the Country Life Online Property Desk we take a trip down to the sunny south coast where, in the East Sussex town of Lewes, we have the rather wonderful Undercliffe House. Gaze upon its Gothic presence and strap in. There is much to discuss.

Undercliffe House, but in the daytime. Note: towers, octagonal porches, and so on. Not a cliff in sight.

First things first, the name. Undercliffe House would suggest that the house would be situated under some kind of protrusion. It would suggest that the house might be under some kind of cliff. This is, of course, incorrect. If anything, it is the opposite. The property, which stretches to some 3,356sq ft of living space, in fact occupies an elevated position of some 2.2 acres, with unrivalled views over the surrounding countryside and town, and Lewes Castle, Malling Coombe and the South Downs are all easily seen from the higher rooms. 

There’s something about those suspended drying racks in front of fires that just screams ‘cosy’.

The property — for sale with Hamptons for £3 million — was originally built in 1865 in the aforementioned Gothic style by the local architect and builder James Berry. It has towers, as it should. It has an octagonal porch, as all good Gothic buildings do. It is described by the agents as one of Lewes’s ‘most recognisable and unusual properties’. I would agree with this analysis.

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A bedroom in a tower. Just like Walpole drew it up.

Inside, the house boasts a number of character features that give it quite the personality. Among the five bedrooms, four bathrooms and four reception rooms, you will find porthole windows, Victorian style toilets, wooden floors, exposed beams, original fireplaces and crown mouldings. Combined with this period charm is the light touch of modernity where required, making the property functional for the 21st century, which we can all agree is a good thing.

The bath! Phenomenal. Rest of bathroom is also very nice.

How about this bath tub though? Referred to as a ‘soaking tub’, it is perfectly round, made of copper and just quite cool. I have never considered having a bath in a different direction depending on the day of the week, but now I feel like I have missed out.

Master bedroom suite. How about those windows.

Outside, the property is approached up a well-hidden driveway through woodland, adding to its Gothic charm. The 2-ish acres of grounds consist of said woodland and lawned areas, and are bordered by Malling Down Nature Reserve and the adjoining Lewes Golf Club, with private access to both. There is also a detached study/office, an outdoor heated swimming pool and a hot tub.

Pool, patio and garden — the holy trinity of al fresco living.

Situation-wise, things continue to be great. Lewes is obviously quite a popular and well-liked town. There are good schools, plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and so on. The town centre is 10 minutes walk away, as is the train station from which London is an hour by train.

Undercliffe House is for sale with Hamptons for £3 million. For more information and pictures, click here


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