Country houses for sale

The ultimate renovation in East Sussex

HIghwell House sits in 13 acres of gorgeous gardens and grounds.

The sale of Highwell House, with 13 acres of gardens and grounds, at Crowborough, East Sussex, at a guide price of £3.75m through Knight Frank (01892 515035) represents a tour de force on the part of interior designer Paula Barnes and her husband, Matthew, who, having restored a totally derelict, 9,000sq ft Victorian mansion in just 18 months, are now seeking a new challenge.

Originally known as Higher Steep, the house was built in 1890 for Robert Halford, a London jeweller, and sold a number of times before being bought in 1959 by James Walford, the son of a London shipping magnate. When he died, aged 88, his wife lived on at the house, before eventually moving to a care home, and the house and its contents were left mouldering and in ruins before it was finally sold. ‘Luckily, the frame was built of cast iron and basically sound,’ says Mrs Barnes, who trained as an architect and knew what to look for, as she trawled salvage yards, antique furniture shops and the pages of eBay, while working with local craftsmen to create Highwell’s minimalist, easy-living layout of five reception rooms, seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

The guide price is £3.75m. For more information contact Knight Frank on 01892 515035.

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