Lewins is a spectacular mansion in the village of Crockham Hill, with sleek interiors which are modern, yet entirely in keeping with the origins of the property. Penny Churchill takes a look.
The renovation of Grade II-listed Lewins at Crockham Hill, six miles from Sevenoaks, Kent, has been a labour of love for interior designer Ashton Taylor Smith, whose home it has been since 2017.
The elegant, 5,485sq ft house comprises the greater part of a Gothic-style Victorian mansion designed in the mid 1870s by the architect J. M. Brydon, a colleague of Richard Norman Shaw, for Peter Robinson, the founder of London’s first great department store. It is now on the market through Savills in Sevenoaks at a guide price of £2.995m.
Once the focal point of a grand Victorian estate, Lewins had interiors designed by the Suffragists and interior designers Rhoda and Agnes Garrett, who were apprenticed to Brydon before going on to found the first interior-design company in Britain to be run by women. Agnes also worked alongside William Morris and one of his wallpaper designs now graces the library at Lewins.
Miss Taylor Smith’s refurbishment translates the dynamic spirit of that era to today’s interiors with a lightness of touch that enhances the elaborate Victorian architecture: of particular note is the light-filled, central Great Hall with its moulded ceilings and Ionic pillars.
Lewins stands in 3¾ acres of delightful gardens and grounds on the edge of Crockham Hill village with far-reaching southerly views.
The house offers stylish accommodation on two floors including, in addition to the Great Hall and library, a large drawing room, a study, kitchen/breakfast room, butler’s pantry and garden room. Upstairs, all five bedrooms have either en suites or adjoining bath/shower rooms with lovely views over the gardens.
Crockham Hill: What you need to know
Location: In Kent, just under 10 miles from Sevenoaks. Trains run from Edenbridge, Edenbridge Town and Hurst Green.
Atmosphere: The village is home to a primary school, a village hall, pub, tennis court and recreational grounds. Edenbridge is less than three miles away and home to a full range of shopping facilities.
Things to do: Plenty of footpaths in the area as well as golf at Hever, Westerham and Tandridge, amongst others. There’s a leisure centre in Oxted and several stately homes that are open to the public.
Schools: Crockham Hill Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Four Elms Primary School and Hollan Junior School all received ‘good’ ratings by Ofsted. Other schools in the area include Tonbridge Girls Grammar School and Judd Boys Grammar School as well as Hazelwood Prep.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.