A rare opportunity to purchase a historic and characterful five-bedroom…
Town Farm House, High Street, Brenchley, Kent, TN12 7NH
An extraordinarily unique Grade II* Tudor Hall House, packed with period details and offered for sale for the first time in 63 years, offering scope for sympathetic restoration and refurbishment.
Town Farm House is a 16th Century Grade II* Listed Wealden Hall House. It retains many original features and is considered to be unique as it has remained remarkably unmodernised and untouched for several hundred years in some parts. The original Hall House, (as faces the road), is now divided into two properties, with Town Farm House forming the principal part including the former butcher’s shop. This is the first time the property has come to the open market in 63 years, having been purchased by the vendor’s late father in 1959 as a butcher’s shop and family home.
The property’s history has been strongly associated with farming and butchery for a considerable amount of its existence. There is significant evidence of this throughout the property and it is believed to have contained one of the oldest butcher’s shops in the country, originally with its own slaughterhouse, medieval barn, and pastureland for livestock.
The old butcher’s shop itself is charming, dating in large part to the late 19th and early 20th century. Features include the marble window cills common to food shops of this era, together with tongue and groove panelling and the original ceiling rails once so common to any village butchers.
The rear store incorporates a surviving smoke bay, which was a common feature in Tudor hall houses on the Weald of Kent and East Sussex. A very similar house is on display at the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex, which shows the evolution of the ‘smoke bay’ in the 16th century for the storage, hanging and smoking of meat. It is understood that the property was in the ownership of the Glassenbury Manor Estate at Goudhurst, for around 300 years, until 1958. The house has also been referred to as “Queen Anne’s Shooting Box” in historical documents, although the origin of this has been lost in the mists of time.
Town Farm House is the principal part of the original Wealden Hall House, attached on one side to a cottage in separate ownership which was sold by the vendor’s family in the 1980s.
The main house with attached rear outbuilding, extends to approximately 3,541 sq ft (310.8m²). The current layout on the ground floor provides for sitting room (including access to cellar), dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, cloakroom, WC, rear lobby and larder, together with the vacant shop unit comprising a commercial space including a cold store.
The first floor provides master bedroom with separate dressing room, ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom with separate WC, two further bedrooms and walk-through fourth bedroom/study. Attached to the rear of the building is a two-storey outbuilding (originally used as a large scullery/meat preparation area) with its own access, currently providing a ground floor workshop/store with period brick floor and carved stone sink, from which stairs rise to a first-floor storeroom with blocked Tudor mullion windows and a blocked door to the first floor of the house (this room sits over the kitchen).
Both the workshop and first floor store offer scope for sensitive incorporation within the main house, subject to obtaining necessary consents; or alternatively, this area may be suitable for conversion to a self-contained annexe or ancillary use.
The quality and number of period features in the property, is exceptionally unusual, with very limited modernisation having taken place over the centuries. Of particular historic interest are the fine 16th century internal doors, magnificent, exposed timber framing and fireplaces which range from 17th to early 20th century.
The property offers prospective purchasers the privileged opportunity to renovate and restore the building, whilst preserving and enhancing the fantastic historic features, to create a charming and characterful family home. Any such plans will of course be subject to the approval and oversight of the Conservation Officer and Historic England, given the Grade II* protected status.
The vendor’s representatives have already had some dialogue with the Local Planning Authority and Conservation Officer, about the likely acceptability of some specific changes to the building, and more information on this can be provided to seriously interested applicants, on request.
The property is situated in the heart of the desirable village of Brenchley, with facilities including the church, village shop and Post Office, The Little Bull Café and doctor’s surgery, all within a short walk, together with two nearby pubs. More extensive facilities are available in Paddock Wood, some 2.6 miles to the north, including supermarket, convenience stores, restaurants, pubs, main line railway station, with connections to London.
SERVICES: Mains water, electricity and drainage, are connected. The property currently benefits from limited heating.
METHOD OF SALE: The property is offered for sale by conventional Private Treaty. The selling agent may set a deadline for offers, if required.
TENURE: The property is for sale on a freehold basis, with vacant possession on completion. There is a small flying freehold.
LOCAL AUTHORITY: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RS. Telephone 01892 526121. www.tunbridgewells. gov.uk.
COUNCIL TAX AND BUSINESS RATES: It is understood that Town Farm House is in Band G for Council Tax purposes. The old butcher’s shop has a rateable value of £3,100. At the current date, the unit is exempt from business rates due to it being a listed building. If occupied as a business in future, it will be eligible for Small Business Rates Relief. It is classified as a Class E unit.
DIRECTIONS: The postcode for the property is TN12 7NH which does take you directly to the property on standard Sat Nav systems. If viewing the property, turn down the right hand side on to the driveway through the gates and park adjacent to the garage on the left hand side.
VIEWING: Strictly by prior arrangement with the selling agent’s Paddock Wood office on 01892 832325. Contact Alan Mummery.
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