Country houses for sale

Modern elegance in this 6,500sq ft home cut into a hillside in the Kentish Weald

Waterfield House near Cranbrook is an award-winning family home occupying one of the finest positions in the English countryside.

To fully take advantage of the joys of the Garden of England, it is advisable to either purchase a property of exceptional quality or build your own. If you do choose to build your own, it would seem that, once finished, it is important to collect as many acronyms as possible, as some kind of certificate of excellence.

Waterfield House, near Goudhurst, is on the market with Savills for £3.95 million. It’s creators chose the ‘build your own’ route, and made a home with more acronyms than I have ever seen before. As previously mentioned, I am assured this is a good thing. 

The entrance atrium, with the views extending out into the distance.

To kick off with, the property is the RIBA South East architectural winner 2023. It has been shortlisted for the BHA Home for the Year (2,500sq ft and above). It sits in an AONB. It offers MVHR throughout the house (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery). If there is a housing acronym, this place has it.

The master bedroom. This, and the other four bedrooms, are on the lower floor of the property.

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But enough of that technical jargon. Let’s step back and appreciate the building for what it is — which is a five-bedroom, five-bathroom family home in one of the most desirable parts of one of the country’s more desirable counties. And it’s a beauty.

The gardens. Formal areas near the house slowly transform into parkland.

Set over two floors and in an L-shape, the property makes the most of being dug into the hill in which it sits, flipping conventional norms quite literally by putting the bedrooms, cinema room and gym on the lower floor, while the main reception room and entertaining spaces are on the upper floor, making the most of the surrounding views.

Plenty of space to hang out both inside and out.

Much has been said and written about the modern country home, either here or elsewhere, but Waterfield House might just be the ideal. Without doubt it is something of this decade, but it blends seamlessly into the landscape and uses the most up-to-date methods to create a sustainable and contemporary living space. However, it is not modern for modernity’s sake, with plenty of fixtures and fittings reminiscent of a more traditional country-house style. It is a delightful mix of the old and the new.

The kitchen and reception rooms on the top floor take advantage of the sublime views.

We haven’t even got to the gardens and grounds, which extend to about 5 acres. Planted precisely in the immediate vicinity of the house, they melt into the surrounding countryside the further you get from the home, transforming into the more traditional Kentish parkland.


A serious cinema room.

Goudhurst itself is agent Duncan Petrie’s ‘favourite village’, and boasts an ancient church, duck pond, period buildings, inns and restaurants. Royal Tunbridge Wells is not too far away, neither is Cranbrook, with plenty of good schools nearby and London is only an hour on the train.

Waterfield House is for sale with Savills for £3.95 million. For more information and to see more pictures, click here

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