Country houses for sale

The extraordinary country house where the Mr Men books were written

This fabulous place is far more than just a wonderful 16th century house – it's a 200-acre estate with woodland, riding facilities and a fascinating history.

A staggeringly rare opportunity has arisen to buy an extraordinary house and estate just a few miles outside the M25.

Sussex House Farm lies on the outskirts of the lovely village of Cowden, on the border of Kent and Sussex – it’s around eight miles from both Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead, and just 35 miles from central London.

This beautiful 16th-century home, Grade II* listed and on the market at £5.5 million, has a rich history – not least with two illustrious owners in the last half-century or so.

The first was the actor Sir John Mills, who owned the house after the Second World War. And following Sir John came Roger Hargreaves, author of the hugely popular Mr Men books, who owned the house in the 1970s and 1980s and wrote many of the books while living here.

Recommended videos for you

The current owners have renovated the place from top to bottom over the last 15 years or so, while keeping the original Tudor features intact wherever possible. The result is a wonderful fusion of oak beams and flagastone floors working in conjunction with soft lighting and beautiful fittings.

The living space includes a delightfully grand dining room which looks as if it’s come from a film set, and a beautiful living room with a huge inglenook fireplace and French windows opening out onto the gardens.

There is also a study, playroom and a contemporary kitchen with a glazed extension looking out onto the terrace and swimming pool.

Upstairs there are five bedrooms – and potentially a sixth, which is currently used as a dressing room.

Each of the four first floor bedrooms has its own bathroom, while on the second floor is the en-suite master bedroom – currently boasting a four-poster bed which looks absurdly well-suited to the space.

The main house is just a fraction of what is for sale, however: just over 200 acres of land is included in the sale, with just under 20 acres of woodland and most of the rest currently managed as grassland.

Within the grounds are a two-bedroom garden cottage, a 19th century lodge (which is itself Grade II listed), a further three-bedroom cottage and a converted barn which contains a gym and office as well as living room and two bedrooms.

That barn also includes a tack room – one of the elements which would make this a perfect home for horse lovers, since the farmland and buildings include both indoor and outdoor riding facilities.

The indoor manege measures  42.63m x 30.45m, and has a rubber and sand surface – in other words, perfectly able to be used as a riding school.

The house and estate is on the market via Knight Frank at a guide price of £5.5 million.