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9 bedroom detached house for sale

Nr Lewes, East Sussex

Guide Price £9,500,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Grade II* Listed property
  • 2 cottages and 1 flat
  • Range of outbuildings
  • Woodland, arable and pasture
  • In all about 311 acres

Full description

Tenure: Freehold


Isfield Place stands on a natural prominence, surrounded by the low-lying ancient demesne land of the Manor of Isfield, to the north-west of the village of Isfield and north-east of Lewes. The Estate is bordered to the west by the River Ouse, by Lodge Wood to the north and the Piltdown Road to the east. Isfield has the benefit of a community farm shop within the village, a public house and primary school.

For a wider variety of shops and recreational amenities the cosmopolitan county town of Lewes lies about 9 miles to the south with the vibrant city of Brighton and Hove on the south coast beyond. Uckfield, Haywards Heath and Royal Tunbridge Wells are also within easy reach.

Haywards Heath provides regular services to London (Victoria, London Bridge and Thameslink services) with journey times from 45 minutes. Gatwick Airport lies approximately 25 miles to the north east, as does junction 10 of the M23 which links to the M25 and the wider motorway network.

The house is surrounded by its own garden and grounds, screened by woodland, ornamental trees and hedged fields. It presents an imposing sight with turreted walling and bastions. Views from the house are south towards the South Downs.

Isfield Place is approached from the road leading north from Isfield village towards Piltdown and Fletching, with the main Lewes-Uckfield road (A26) a couple of miles to the east. The entrance is through imposing brick gate piers with original 18th century wrought iron gates (now electronic) flanked to the north by a Gothic revival gate lodge, constructed in brick with a tiled roof and stone mullioned windows. The Lodge Garden, mainly laid to lawn with fruit trees and a mature yew, is surrounded by a clipped yew hedge.

Immediately past the Gate Lodge, the gravelled drive divides, the present-day approach leading to the north of the house, as established by Henry King through an arboretum, skirting the outside of the remaining parts of a moat, now a series of ponds. The drive continues west for a further 60 metres before turning south through an arch in the stable block and culminating in a circular, gravelled turning area with a central grass island and ancient clipped yew tree.


Isfield Place lies in beautiful unspoilt rolling countryside about 55 miles south of London and only 16 miles north of the south coast. The house, which is set in the heart of its own land, dates back to the early 16th century and provides a wonderful core to this historic estate. The 8 bedroom manor house, which has been the subject of refurbishment and improvements, is surrounded by outstanding formal gardens and supported by modern and traditional farm buildings, 2 cottages and a staff flat. Isfield Place benefits from complete privacy and security in an idyllic rural setting. Accessed via a long gated drive and protected by its own land with no public rights of way near the house and gardens, it commands magnificent unspoilt views south towards the Downs. The Estate extends in all to about 311 acres.


Isfield Place is a large, irregular-shaped, three-storey house, incorporating part of the 16th-century mansion of the Shurley family. The main portion is early-17th-century with a 19th-century wing on the north east. It is built of red brick with a tiled roof, stone eaves, cornices and casement windows with stone mullions and small square panes. Ground floor windows have obtusely pointed heads. Its principal elevation now faces north over the forecourt but it is likely that the mansion originally faced west. The relic moat arm to the south-east of the present house (and possibly the two shorter rectangular stretches of water ten metres to the north and north-east of the house, adjacent to the stable) indicate that the 16th-century house was at least partly moated. A magnificent brick porch with flagstone floor, stone arch and heavy timber double doors leads to:

Entrance Hall - with flagstone floor and door to

Reception Hall - Polished hardwood floor,beamed ceiling, central brick faced pillar, and open fireplace with brick surround, stone hearth and mantel with display niche either side. Opposite there is a lit display niche with three arched topped leaded windows. Doors from the hall access the main receptions rooms and Kitchen and the principal staircase rises to the first floor.

Drawing Room - Dual aspect, oak panelled walls, beamed ceiling, open fireplace with carved stone surround over stone hearth with ornate carved timber mantelpiece and surround. Window shutters, window seats and encased radiators. French windows to paved terraces and formal gardens beyond. Door to Study.

Study - full height panelled walls, beamed ceiling, built-in cupboard.

Dining Room - dual aspect, full height panelled walls, beamed ceiling, and open fireplace with elegant carved stone surround and hearth with brick slips and ornately carved timber mantel and over mantel, three window seats, fitted bookshelves within panelling, window shutters. Door in panelling and stairs down to:

Cellar - comprising 5 compartments and a separate room housing the oil fired boiler. One of the compartments has original wine bins.

Kitchen - Spectacular views across the formal gardens with window seat, polished hardwood doors and ample space for use as a dining kitchen. Built-in fitted kitchen units, flag stone floor, Gaggenau steaming and electric oven, warming drawer, 5 gas hobs, integrated microwave and dishwasher, 5-door electrical AGA including 2 hobs and warming plate, Large stainless steel sink, granite worktop. An Island with stainless steel sink, granite side tables, 2 x Liebherrc drawer fridges.

Open-plan Breakfast Area - stone fireplace, large dresser with glazed display cupboards and integrated sub-zero wine fridge compartmentalised for red and white wine and Liebherr fridge.
Walk-in larder with tiled floor, Daikin cooler unit and extensive fitted wooden shelves. A glazed door leads out to a terrace overlooking the formal garden, ideal for eating and entertaining in warmer months. There is an open passage leading from the backdoor to the Reception Hall with doors off to the:

Scullery - fitted units, stainless steel sink and door to Garden.

Utility Room - fitted units, double bowl stainless steel sink, Sub-Zero fridge freezer, drying cupboards with hanging and shelving space, plumbing for a washing machine and dryer, integrated Gaggenau dishwasher and Liebheer fridge.

Lobby - off the Reception Hall and giving access to the:

Gun and Rod Room - with window seat, Belfast sink with tiled splash back, storage cupboard, Garden lobby with door to garden and to Cloakroom with WC, heated towel rail, basin and tiled splash back.

Billiard Room - glazed atrium providing natural light, three quarter height panelled walls with Delph tiles, stove set within ornately carved panelled alcove with carved stone columns either side. Tiled hearth with decorative Delph tiles at the back. Fitted bookshelves and drinks cupboard set into panelling.

Cloakroom - with timber double doors (original front door) from lobby with flagstone floor, basin, WC.

Staircase with elegant turned spindles and hardwood banisters rises to -

1st floor
The light and spacious landing with high ceiling and exposed beams has doors to:

Master Bedroom Suite
Bedroom 1 - dual aspect, open fireplace with dog grate over stone hearth, painted stone mantel and surround. Window seat in west facing window with cupboard beneath, encased radiators with fleur de lys pattern.

En-suite Bathroom/Dressing Room 1 - roll top bath with ball and claw feet with mixer tap and shower attachment. Range of fitted wardrobe cupboards with hanging rail and shelves. Chrome plated towel rail.

En-suite Shower Room - shower unit with Macaw patterned tiles, built-in cupboards, chrome plated towel rail, twin basins set in vanity unit with marble surface, mirror, shaving point over and cupboards beneath, WC, window seat.

Dressing Room/Study - range of fitted wardrobes with automatic lights, hanging rail and shelves. Window seat and display niche, picture rail.

Cloakroom - with WC and basin.

Guest Bedroom Suite
Bedroom 2 - fitted wardrobe with hanging rail and drawer beneath, mirror fronted cupboard. Cross ceiling beams. Arch to:

En- Suite bathroom - Arch topped leaded windows with stained glass, shower unit, twin basins, WC, chrome plated towel rail. The rest of the 1st floor was originally laid out as 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, however this sizeable space now has planning permission to convert into a large 3rd suite with bedroom (proposed Bedroom 3) and bathroom. The conversion project is currently underway.

2nd floor
Two staircases with elegant turned spindles and hardwood banisters rise to the second floor:

Landing - with exposed beams and studwork, airing cupboard and doors to:

Bedroom 4 - Magnificent views across the formal gardens and beyond to the South Downs. Exposed beams and studwork. Basin.

Bedroom 5 - Views across the formal gardens. Basin.

Bedroom 6 - Wardrobe cupboard and basin set in vanity unit. Exposed beams and

Bathroom 4 - Panelled bath in tiled surround with shower attachment, basin and WC.

Bedroom 7 - with views across entrance front.

Bathroom 5 - shower unit, chrome plated towel rail, basin, WC, fitted cupboards, housing water tanks and fitted shelves.

Bedroom 8 - Exposed beams and eaves storage cupboards.

Gardens & Grounds
Isfield Place has a formal compartmentalised garden, laid out from the late-19th century to the west and south of the house, although there are several surviving elements of garden and landscape features from the 16th century onwards. Henry King was responsible for restoring outhouses and garden walls and laid out a formal walled garden. In the early-20th-century the enclosed gardens to the west and south of the house were transformed into an Arts and Crafts style "garden of rooms".

At the front of the house is a circular gravelled drive surrounding an impressive yew tree on a circular lawn. A series of interlinking ponds are evidence of the old moat and now provide a habitat for the resident ducks and geese. To the west of the house is an expanse of lawn with a pretty octagonal brick Summerhouse under a thatched roof. Beyond are lawns studded with lime and oak trees which dominate these informal gardens and lead to the 'Orchard Garden' with a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees.

The gardens to the south and west of the house comprise a series of formal compartments divided by mellow red brick wisteria clad walls or clipped yew hedges, all contained by the bastioned and turreted walls of the demolished 16th-century mansion. The brickwork of the walls is in English bond (alternate rows of headers and stretchers) with some laid in a diamond pattern.

The formal gardens, with views south over the fields to the church, are surrounded by informal lawns studded with mature trees on the west, north-west and north-east and by the kitchen garden on the east. From the south side of the house, the Drawing Room windows open onto a wide crazy paving stone path bordered by plants and shrubs, the cross path terminating at the west in a seating area enclosed by the ivy-clad ruins of the mansion walls, the east path leading into the topiary garden.

An assortment of mature clipped yew trees border the two east-west York stone paths in the Topiary Garden. A rectangular stone lily pond with fountains at each end forming its curved ends is the central feature. The Topiary Garden is enclosed by low yew hedges clipped into round shapes, a grass path on the south giving access to viewing points in the bastion wall.

At the south end of the garden wall, sits a two storey, octagonal, castellated watchtower, incorporated into the garden design in the 19th century. There is a second turret dated 1880 with a timber flag pole at the western end of the wall, both watchtowers providing access through wooden doors and circular stone steps to the informal gardens. Both watch towers have internal access to the roofs providing magnificent views over the house and formal gardens. The western watch tower has an upper wood panelled room with power points and lighting.

Between the Topiary Garden and the house, there is an outdoor heated swimming pool with diving board, electrically operated cover and flagstone surround. The pool is screened from the garden by further clipped yew hedges, lavender and rose bordered path leading from it to the house. To the west of the house is a sunken rose garden with wide, crazy paving stone paths, a stone plinth and armillary sphere. A door leads into the Drawing Room, above which is an ornately carved Shurley family coat of arms and architrave.

To the west side of the rose garden steps lead down to a croquet lawn and an all-weather tennis court, screened by a high clipped yew hedge. To the south of the rose garden is the blue garden planted with a camomile lawn. This has a newly restored central pond with water features designed by David Harber. The northern end of the north-south garden wall terminates in an octagonal brick summerhouse with thatched roof whilst at the southern end, where the garden wall abuts the west watchtower, an arch cut in a high yew hedge gives onto rough grass with daffodils, an ancient beech tree and a sweet chestnut tree. Below the formal garden to the south, a further expanse of lawn, known as the Archery Lawn, runs down to a ha-ha, forming the garden boundary. The ha-ha is bordered on the north by three spaced yews planted on mounds with fields beyond. Immediately to the west of the farm buildings lie grass paddocks enclosed by wooden post and rail fences. Further west and to the north and south of the house can be seen the hedged field boundaries interspersed with trees as denoted on 18thcentury maps, still largely used for pasture and agricultural land. The Kitchen Gardens are beyond the walls of the formal gardens where there are various beds, a greenhouse and espalier fruit trees.

Cottages and Outbuildings
To the east are further traditional buildings including a Byre which is now a workshop, garden rooms and apple store. Further portions of the building include another store and a room housing the swimming pool plant equipment. An Oast House to the east of the main house and against the swimming pool now forms covered parking for two cars, an area for fuel storage and a oil tank. A further storage area and three rooms on the first floor are accessed via a timber open tread stair. Planning permission (WD/2006/3151/F) was granted in 2006 (now lapsed) for

"Rehabilitation of two-storey former Oast house to form 3 bedroomed guest accommodation and ancillary facilities."

Chapel - on the ground floor are some magnificent Victorian Stables (currently used for storage) in immaculate condition including original partitions, tiling, mangers and a feed shoot. On the first floor is a self-contained flat with a Sitting Room, 2 Bedrooms, Kitchen/Breakfast Room (fitted units, larder, Belfast sink, oven), Bathroom (wc, basin, panelled bath).

Butler's Cottage - a two storey cottage including a Kitchen/Breakfast Room, (wood burning stove, built-in fridge/freezer, oven, Belfast sink), Shower Room (WC, basin, shower), Sitting Room, 3 Bedrooms, Family Bathroom (WC, panelled bath, basin) and an enclosed terraced garden.

Coach House - large open plan coach house with 3 large doors, there is an adjacent store room and Tack Room with original display cabinet.

Game Larder - Stainless steel sink, drainage board, large walk-in chiller. Lobby with freezer and door to external and WC with basin.

Kennels x 2 with runs.

Well House - brick outhouse with well (potable water).

The Gate Lodge - Located at the main entrance to Isfield Place is an attractive single storey lodge cottage constructed of brick under a tiled roof. Accommodation briefly comprises: Entrance Hall, Kitchen with built-in appliances, Hallway, Sitting Room, Conservatory, 2 Bedrooms and a Shower Room. Outside a gravel driveway leads from the main drive to a single timber garage and garden shed to the rear. The conservatory leads to a pretty patio area beyond which is a lawned garden with Beech and Yew hedging and Apple and Pear trees.

Farm Buildings
Located to the north of Isfield Place are a range of modern and traditional farm buildings which are accessed via a separate farm drive from the public highway. In reference to the block plan, the farm buildings comprise:

A two storey detached building of brick under a tiled roof, previously having planning consent (now lapsed) for a 2 bedroom estate worker's cottage.

An L-shaped brick and timber stable building under a tiled roof with 5 loose boxes, a farm office/kitchen and ladies and gents wc's to serve the adjacent Sussex Party Barn. There is also an open fronted pole barn which provides 2 further loose boxes and feed area.

Sussex/Party Barn
A substantial detached timber framed barn with thatched roof and catslide to the rear. Inside, the barn has been converted into a large open plan area with a wealth of exposed original timbers and a separate area with further potential to develop. There are 2 sets of double glazed doors leading to 2 paved terraces and a wishing well, overlooking a paddock and the Lime Avenue.

Within the stable yard area there is a fully enclosed steel framed building with duel doors, mezzanine storage and a secure tool shed.

Modern Farm Buildings
The modern farm buildings include:

- A fully enclosed 5-bay steel frame storage shed with machinery
and roller shutter doors opening into an adjoining enclosed block
- A concrete framed 5-bay barn for hay and grain storage.
- A steel framed 5-bay livestock shed with central feed passage.
- Concrete framed livestock shed with lean-to timber store.
- Pole barn.

There is an ample concrete yard area and hard standing for machinery.

Land and Woodland
Isfield Place is surrounded by its own land, which undulates over the northern half of the estate providing an exceptionally attractive environment for sporting and recreational activities, with areas of mixed deciduous woodland and an impressive Lime Avenue running north from the main house. From the house the land drops away to the River Ouse, over which there are some superb views to Firle Beacon on the South Downs. The lower lying land forming the southern half of the estate is productive, with good sized field enclosures.

The River Ouse forms a large part of the western boundary where it then runs through the southern part of the estate and is met by the Rive Uck and a mill stream. The river provides excellent double and single bank fishing, including sea trout. An impressive Victorian weir can be found due west of Isfield Place, which has potential to harness the natural energy produced by the flow of the river.

The attractive parish church of St Margaret's (not owned) lies at the heart of the Estate, to
the west of which is a Mott and Bailey site giving evidence of early settlement.

In all, the Estate extends to 311 acres (126 hectares) and is an ideal private retreat for those
looking to embrace the Sussex countryside.


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Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
20 March 2012


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