Downgate Farm, which is believed to date from the 17th century, is a very special family home with the house and main outbuildings forming an attractive, sheltered courtyard at the centre of its own land. It is a compact estate of just over 16 acres with lovely formal gardens, paddocks and light woodland. To the west are excellent views to The Hangers whilst the south facing rooms overlook the beautiful walled garden. A long gravel drive sweeps past the pond, across which there is a first glimpse of the house, and on to the parking area to the front of the house. There is a real sense of arrival, and a wide brick path and steps lead up to the front door which opens into the large welcoming reception hall. To the front, in the oldest part of the house, the dining room has a high, original beamed ceiling and large open fireplace. The magnificent, bright drawing room has southerly French windows opening to the terrace and lawn within the delightful walled garden. A bay window gives views over the lawns to the east.
There is a further dual aspect sitting room and a study which also overlooks the walled garden to the south. The kitchen/breakfast room has an oil fired Aga, and is a large family space, which in turn leads directly to the laundry room. Access to the cellar is via the kitchen. Stairs from the reception hall lead to a galleried landing. The master bedroom suite has the southerly aspect and again overlooks the walled garden and paddocks and woodland beyond. There are four further bedrooms and two further bathrooms (one ensuite to the guest bedroom).
Gardens and Grounds
The drive is flanked by lawn, interspersed with mature trees, rhododendrons, azaleas and other shrubs giving an array of colour. There is an established, tranquil pond on the right hand side. The lawns sweep around the edge of the walled garden to a grass walk which runs around an area of wild garden and woodland. The walled garden itself is south facing and has well established flower borders, a brick terrace and this southerly elevation of the house is clad by a superb wisteria. The front of the house is approached via a brick path and steps flanked on either side by small lawns and raised flower beds. Facing this is the courtyard around the formal sunken garden. The drive then continues past the house splitting to give access to the barns and an established orchard, and up to the modern barn, manège and paddocks which extend to the north, east and west. The paddocks are fenced, and water is laid on to two of them. The grazing land amounts to approximately 10 acres.
Courtyard and Outbuildings
Next to the parking area is a sunken parterre garden around which there is a courtyard of period oak framed brick and flint stone outbuildings, also believed to date from the 17th century. At the far end is an office with a kitchenette and cloakroom. A guest cottage on the north side has a kitchenette and bathroom. The rest of the buildings are currently used for storage (two have vehicular access) and games rooms; they have enormous potential to create further accommodation or be differently converted for a wide variety of uses. A sheltered eating area has been created to one end which overlooks the walled, outdoor swimming pool which is adjacent to the hard tennis court. To the north of the main house, via a continuation of the drive, is a large modern barn suitable for conversion to an equine complex, or other large storage or business use (subject to the relevant consents).
With Kind Permission from Hamptons International
Photography: John Durrant @PropertyPhotos