Redwood is an exceptional Queen Anne style property designed and built by Quinlan & Francis Terry.
Downsizing was the last thing on the minds of City banker Martin Ashley and his wife, Janice, when, in 1997, their search for ‘a classic country house with a lake’ took them across the Surrey border into Kent, where Savills were selling elegant, Queen Anne-style Redwood, set in 18½ acres of gardens and parkland with a two-acre lake, on the edge of picturesque Penshurst village, near Tunbridge Wells.
Nor was it a concern when, having bought the house built in 1990 by Quinlan and Francis Terry, they went on to add twin Regency extensions designed by the same architects in 2005, along with a detached, three-bedroom lodge. After all, Redwood was to be their home for life.
However, Mr Ashley observes, ‘you think very differently at 70 from the way you did at 50 and, having come to the conclusion that we probably wouldn’t want to look after a house, gardens and grounds of this size in our eighties, we decided to look for something smaller around Tunbridge Wells, where our son and his family live’.
Consequently, Redwood is on the market through Savills (01732 789700) and Strutt & Parker (01732 459900) at a guide price of £7.95m, although, given the uncertainty surrounding this sector of the market, Mr Ashley doesn’t expect to be moving anytime soon. Whenever it happens, the move will still be a wrench, especially on days when he and his wife look at the breathtaking views down the valley and wonder ‘can we really say goodbye to all this?’.
Country Life has once again delved into its little black book and fully updated its list of the finest architects…
Quinlan Terry chooses The Interior of the Pantheon by Panini as his favourite painting
Here are nine examples of recently completed new builds to delight and inspire.