This 570-year-old house was until recently the home of the iconic children’s illustrator Quentin Blake. We stepped inside to take a look.
One of the delights of the many higgledy-piggledy crooked houses which dot the ancient towns of Britain is that they look like illustrations taken from a children’s book. And in the case of this gorgeous old house in Hastings, fresh on the market, it’s incredibly apt: this was until very recently the home of Sir Quentin Blake, the best-loved children’s artist of the last 100 years.
Blake, whose illustrations for Roald Dahl’s books are every bit as iconic as the words which they accompany, lived in this medieval home for 40 years from 1972 to 2022.
It’s beautifully restored inside, with agents describing it as ‘probably the finest and most well-preserved property on the street’ — all of which makes it sound like something of a bargain. It is on the market at £950,000 via the Unique Property Company.
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Originally a Wealden Hall, it’s a Grade II-listed house built around 1450 set over three floors, with five bedrooms, over 2,700sq ft of space, and set right in the heart of Hastings Old Town.
Everywhere you look, there are little details which feel like they could be from a storybook: the ancient beams, quirky light fittings, rustic doors, stone-built fireplaces and more.
At the same time, it’s a house that is more than a curiosity, and very liveable. The only quirk that might impact your plans is a floor plan which shows that most of the rooms are no more than ten feet across. If you’re looking for a coastal bolt hole where you can keep your grand piano, probably best to keep on looking.
There are also, on the upper floors, so many beams and angled ceilings that you’d be advised to be mindful of how you go when you get up in the morning.
The present owners haven’t been here long , but they’ve upgraded the house considerably. They’ve retained period features — not least the centuries-old pargeting (a type of decorative Elizabethan plastering) ‚ but also repainted it in bright colours (it had, according to agents, been largely monochrome previously) using specialist Rose of Jericho materials which let the walls breathe. Damp problems have also been tackled, we’re told, making this an ideal place for those who want to move in and not have to worry.
The property is originally believed to have had a fair-sized garden, and while that has been swallowed up over the years there is still an outdoor area to enjoy in the summer. Although you’ll also have the beach, just moments away, as well as the cafés and restaurants which dot this charming and quirky part of Hastings.
Above all else, this is a cosy place full of history — not least a spell during which it was an inn called the ‘Merry Christmas Beer House’, yet another little detail which gives 59 All Saints Street a storybook feel.
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