Part of a historic mill complex, Orchard House, in Farningham, Kent, combines period features with a modern sense of space and a magnificent waterside setting — and it's also in a lovely village with easy access to excellent schools. Carla Passino takes a look.
Riverside living is perennially appealing, and particularly in the case of Orchard House, in Farningham, Kent. Situated at the back of a three-acre Georgian mill complex, this listed house not only enjoys magnificent views of the waters but it also comes with access to an original, restored Victorian river pool. It’s for sale through Knight Frank at £1,395 million.
The 2,960 sq ft property, which originally dates from the 17th-century, is the oldest house at the historic Farningham Mill and has kept intact much of its period charm, but it combines its original features with a sense of space that suits modern living.
On the ground floor, for example, the striking Shaker-style kitchen, with its exposed beams, central island and sleek limestone floors, is separate yet flows seamlessly into the elegant dining room.
The reception rooms are split between a mellow, south-facing sitting room and a fine drawing room featuring a huge fireplace with wood burner.
Upstairs are four bedrooms, arranged across two floors. The first floor houses a large en-suite that overlooks the river, plus a second double bedroom, while the top floor has a third bedroom and another room that is currently used as dressing room.
What makes Orchard House really special, however, is the outdoor space. The western side of the house has a terrace that enjoys long views of the river, particularly beautiful in the evening light.
The private courtyard garden, with its remote-controlled fountain and summer kitchen, is perfect for entertaining.
A gate links it to the Mill’s communal gardens, which comprise a manicured, formal, part-walled space and an orchard complete with restored Victorian river pool.
Orchard Mill also comes with a garden room and private garage with a study above it, as well as having allocated parking space outside the property.
Farningham, Kent: What you need to know
- Location: The village of Farningham stands about 8.7 miles away from Sevenoaks and 8.3 miles from Ebbsfleet International, as well as having its own Farningham Road Station, which has links into London Victoria.
- Atmosphere: Of ancient origins — it had a Roman settlement and the remains of an ancient villa can be visited in nearby Eynsford — it was a retreat for Charles Dickens, who went fishing on the River Darent. Today, it remains a thriving village with three well-regarded pubs (The Chequers, The Lion and The Pied Bull), a butcher and the 13th-century parish church of St Peter and St Paul.
- Things to do: The Farningham wood Nature Reserve is a great place for a walk, while the nearby Lullingstone World Gardens are a botanical paradise and the Eagle Heights Birds of Prey Centre in Eynsford is a hit with the children.
Schools: The area has plenty of really good schools, from Dartford Grammar to Sevenoaks and Tonbridge.
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