End of an era at Tunstall House.
In its 350-year history, Grade I-listed Tunstall House at Tunstall, near Sittingbourne, Kent, has been sold only twice, its current custodians having owned the manor for more than 200 years. Now, alas, the charming 17th-century house, described as ‘a remarkably complete example of a small gentry house of the mid seventeenth century’ is for sale for a third time, through Strutt & Parker in Canterbury (01227 451123), at a guide price of £1.975m for the house with 26 acres of gardens and grounds or £2.85m to include The Stables (a converted four-bedroom house) and various parcels of land and outbuildings, some 54 acres in all. Tunstall House was built in about 1660 for John Grove, the steward of local landowner Sir Edward Hales. Three generations of Groveses lived there before the house was sold to Rev Thomas Bland, vicar of Sittingbourne, in 1755. In 1809, William Lacey Murton, a local land agent and farmer, bought Tunstall House and, follow- ing the marriage of three of his daughters to three Webb brothers, also local farmers, the Webb family eventually inherited the house and have owned it ever since.
Still the main house of the pretty village of Tunstall, which lies between the North Downs and the coast, Tunstall House has quietly evolved over time, with its three main reception rooms, conservatory, seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, with a nod to the past in rooms such as the smoking room, the telephone room, the milk room, the former servants’ hall and the former butler’s bedroom.