Country houses for sale

A stylish, refurbished Georgian gem for sale in a village just outside Canterbury

The wonderfully-named village of Wickhambreaux is the location of this gorgeous property, whose outgoing owners have poured a huge amount of love (and money) into the place as it stands today.

For sale through the Canterbury office of Strutt & Parker for the fourth time in as many decades, Grade II*-listed The Old Rectory, in the charming small village of Wickhambreaux, six miles east of the cathedral city, is a picture-perfect example of a classic Queen Anne country house.

Once part of extensive estates owned in the 14th century by Joan, Countess of Kent (wife of Edward, the Black Prince, and mother of Richard II) Wickhambreaux still retains its medieval layout, with the Grade I- listed, 13th-century church of St Andrew, the manor house, rectory, village inn and former watermill encircling the village green.

Selling agent Simon Backhouse, who has handled all four sales in the course of his long and distinguished career, quotes a guide price of £4.25 million for the exquisite former rectory, built in 1713 by the Revd Alexander Young, who was rector from 1712 to 1755.

Previously known as Wickham House and widely recognised as one of the finest early-18th-century houses in East Kent, The Old Rectory stands in more than an acre of gardens and grounds overlooking the church and mill.

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The house provides more than 5,500sq ft of elegant accommodation on four floors, including four main reception rooms, a study, kitchen/dining room, eight bedrooms and three bathrooms.

In 2012, The Old Rectory was acquired by the architect and interior designer Giles Newby Vincent, who set about removing the ‘spaghetti junction’ of downpipes that disfigured its outer walls, as a result of which the house was swathed in scaffolding for quite some time, Mr Backhouse recalls.

The Old Rectory has a beautiful pool and poolhouse.

Newby Vincent completed the reinstatement of the exterior to its pristine original by replacing cement pointing with lime-mortar render and filling the interior with Queen Anne and Georgian antiques. These fetched more than £500,000 at Bonhams in 2014, when the designer decided to sell The Old Rectory to fund the restoration of a dilapidated villa in Saint-Tropez, France.

The present owner, who bought the classic Queen Anne gem with its symmetrical façades that same year, has cleverly transformed the interior without losing its essential Georgian character.

Outside, the partly walled garden is a place of sanctuary. A renovated groom’s cottage — behind which the swimming pool and tennis court are discreetly located — doubles as an entertaining space, one of many scattered throughout the beautifully maintained grounds.

The Old Rectory is for sale via Strutt & Parker at £4.25m — see more details and pictures.


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