11 bedroom detached house for saleMonks Horton, Ashford, Kent, TN25 6DZ
Offers in Region of
- An historic Grade I listed, superbly refurbished family home
- With grounds of about 55 acres
- 6 reception rooms, 11 bedrooms
- Excellent recreational facilities:
- Heated Swimming pool, tennis court, croquet/bowls lawn
- Putting green, golf driving range
- Range of ancillary outbuildings including cottage
Horton Priory is a superb Grade I Listed building of Special Architectural Interest and Historic Note, situated within beautiful grounds which contain the site of an earlier Iron Age Settlement, pre-dating the Roman conquest of Britain and now listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument site.
Founded in the first half of the 12th Century by Robert de Ver, Constable of England during the reigns of Henry I and Stephen, Horton Priory was a Clunaic monastery which incorporated the prior's lodgings and a Norman church, the ruins of which can still be seen. Clunaic houses are relatively in England and very few retain continuously inhabited priory buildings; Horton Priory is an excellent example and probably the oldest surviving today.
Records indicate that, following the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII took ownership of Horton Priory and, after a short spell in the hands of Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, Henry leased the priory to Richard Tate, (the original deed is still in the house) from whom it passed to Walter Mantell. In 1553 Walter rebelled against Queen Mary with Sir Thomas Wyatt and the men of Kent and, for his treason, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Maidstone.
Horton Priory remained in the ownership of the new Queen Elizabeth until 1570 when it came back to the Mantell family, where it stayed for some 300 years.
In 1913 John Jameson Cairnes and his wife Annabel Winslow (a Boston family descended from one of the Pilgrim Fathers) bought Horton Priory. The buildings were substantially remodelled and extended with the help of George Hornblower, a noted country house architect and well known proponent of the arts and crafts movement.
Horton Priory is now a wonderful family home featuring mellow Caen stone and ragstone elevations enhanced by mature wisteria, occupying a central position within its own land and enjoying protected views across surrounding pasture and woodland.
Having undergone a thorough and sensitive restoration programme, overseen by the current owners, who enlisted the expert guidance of English Heritage and specialist conservation architects, Purcell Miller Tritton, this fascinating and beautiful building now cleverly combines the old with the new, whilst benefiting from an excellent range of versatile ancillary outbuildings and recreational facilities. Points of note include;
Stunning mullion, transome and casement windows with ornate fitments, high ceilings, oak panelling, exposed timbers and beams, oak flooring to a number of rooms, heavy panelled internal doors some with silver door furniture. Beautiful fireplaces feature throughout the house ranging from the Tudor, Elizabethan and Edwardian periods.
The main entrance leads through a Tudor doorway into a vaulted area, formed by part of the ruins of the 12th century church and priory buildings and overlooked by a minstrel's gallery.
Principal interconnecting reception rooms are situated off an impressive 'long gallery', they include drawing, dining and sitting rooms and, together, they provide an elegant suite of rooms for formal entertaining.
The Edwardian wing offers further family accommodation including a bespoke fitted kitchen, adjoining breakfast/dining room, family room, study, office and utility room.
Stairs lead down to the extensive cellarage where there are four air-conditioned wine cellars with double bins, a boiler room, electrics room and storage room.
The principal staircase leads to the first floor and the 'long gallery' where to the southern end is the master suite comprising a spacious bedroom with adjoining dressing rooms, one with custom-built wardrobes and a luxuriously appointed bathroom.
Five further bedrooms are served by three bathrooms, several of which have retained the fine Edwardian sanitary ware.
The library, formerly the prior's main meeting hall, is a most impressive room with a 14th century Caen stone fireplace.
On the second floor are five bedrooms, a guest/sitting room, bathroom, shower room, table tennis room, cinema room, games room, two rooms currently used for gym equipment and a sewing room. One of the bedrooms is a magnificent heavily timbered room with a door leading to a circular stone staircase within a turret which descends to the ground floor.
Listed building consent has been granted for the reconfiguration of several bedrooms to provide bedroom suites and a staff flat. More details are available on request.
Gardens, Grounds and Recreational Facilities
Horton Priory is approached over a long drive approach culminating in a large parking area to the front of the house.
The beautiful gardens and grounds provide a wonderful setting, lying principally to the south and west of the house with sweeping level lawns partially bounded by a Ha-Ha thus affording uninterrupted views over the ancient pasture and medieval fish ponds.
There are a wide variety of specimen trees and herbaceous borders planted with seasonal shrubs, annuals and perennials, a fully enclosed kitchen garden with automated irrigation system, soft fruit cages and an orchard planted with varieties of pear, plum, apple, and cherry. A restored Edwardian greenhouse and potting shed benefit from the original ventilation and irrigation systems.
The majority of the land beyond the garden is down to permanent pasture. There is an area of woodland under-planted with spring bulbs and an arable field.
Superb outdoor recreational facilities include a heated swimming pool, hard tennis court, croquet/bowls lawn, putting green, built to R & A standards with automated irrigation system, and a golf driving range.
Outbuildings & Garaging
Garden Cottage has a kitchen, dining room, sitting room with fireplace and a hall with stairs from the sitting room to the first floor, which has two bedrooms and bathroom with bath, shower, WC and airing cupboard.
Green Door Flat
On the ground floor is a hall and kitchen. The first floor has a sitting room, 3 bedrooms, bathroom and separate WC.
Includes a kitchen, a bathroom with airing cupboard, shower, WC and wash basin. A spiral staircase leads to two bedrooms.
Below the green door flat is a range of three garages with concrete floor, inspection pit and workshop with individual up/over doors.
Garage block 2 includes the golf practice room, pool room with oil-fired boiler and filtration unit. Adjacent is a four-bay garage with up/over doors and concrete floor.
All the above have separate oil-fired boilers each with separate oil tanks. The water is a mains supply which spurs off to all the properties. All the properties are attached to the private drainage system, which pumps into the mains drainage system to the south of the park.
Listed building consent has been granted for the reconfiguration of several bedrooms to provide bedroom suites and a staff flat. There is also a derelict granary which has lapsed planning permission for conversion to holiday lets. More details are available on request.
(Some of the photographs in the brochure were taken in summer 2009.)
From London take the M20 coast bound. Leave at Junction 10 and join the A20. Continue till you reach the centre of the village of Sellindge and turn left into Moorstock Lane. Follow Moorstock Lane for about 0.75 mile turning left at the first left-hand turn. Very shortly thereafter turn left again signposted to Horton Priory.
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