A 10,000 sq ft stucco masterpiece just outside Tunbridge Wells has come for the market, a place sure to pique the interest of well-heeled buyers looking for a grand family home within striking distance of London. Penny Churchill tells more.
Down in the garden of England, proximity to the City, good schools and fast train services have made Kent a key contender in the current ‘race for space’. Robert Jacobs of Savills in Tunbridge Wells quotes a guide price of £10m for secluded Grade II-listed Ashurst Manor, set in 96 acres of gardens and parkland near the pretty village of Fordcombe, in the High Weald AONB, four miles from ‘the Wells’, and seven miles from Tonbridge.
Described by Pevsner as ‘quite a handsome composition’, the imposing, 10,176sq ft stuccoed country house, which dates from the early 1800s, has been, since 2006, the cherished family home of the current owner, who now wishes to downsize. Originally built for William Fowler Jones, a Sussex JP, Ashurst Park was owned by the Field-Marsham family from the 1920s to the 1950s, and by Lord Cornwallis, Lord Lieutenant of Kent, from 1970 until his death in 1982.
Although Ashurst Manor is a large house, its current layout and use of space works well for family occupation, with three reception rooms and kitchen/breakfast room, as well as a number of those ‘nice to have spaces’ that really lift a house scattered elsewhere on the ground floor, including a games room, media room, gym and various utility areas.
Above are four main bedrooms and four bathrooms on the first floor; and two further bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room on the top floor. There’s also staff accommodation is provided in the form of a three-bedroom duplex on the first and second floors.
Terraces to the rear of the house lead to a three-bay pavilion, garage block and outbuildings.
Extensive gardens and grounds, designed mainly as parkland for ease of maintenance, conceal a sophisticated irrigation system covering the front and rear lawns, and a large lake supports an abundance of wildlife.
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