However, this 1800s gentleman’s country seat has seen the usual pattern of conversion reversed and, courtesy of a visionary project by Millgate Homes, is once again a glorious 6 bedroom country house – this time with all the trappings of lavish modern living.
When acquired by Millgate Homes in 2007 the house had lost much of its period charm, its high ceilings and classically proportioned rooms divided by utilitarian partition walls. But once the 20th century detritus was stripped away, the shell provided an inspiring backdrop for Millgate’s ambitious plans as Sales Director, Jonathan Cranley, explains:
“Kenley House had suffered like many large houses throughout the twentieth century and we were left with very much an empty shell. Our vision was to recreate a magnificent family home, being sympathetic to the building yet creating spaces designed for today’s lifestyles. As a result you get the best of both worlds – an imposing period façade set in mature grounds and an interior that perfectly balances modern living with restored features such as huge sash windows and soaring ceilings.”
And the result is simply breathtaking. A sweeping driveway with turning circle provides an approach that allows you to take in the handsome white-and cream façade. Step inside and a feeling of space and light pervades, natural light spilling into the double-height hallway and dining room through the large sash windows to provide an entertainment space with real ‘wow’ factor. A 32’ formal drawing room, cloak rooms and separate study complete the reception space, while the real heart of the home is undoubtedly the vast kitchen with its adjoining family room and elegant orangery.
A galleried staircase leads to the first floor which houses four bedrooms, three of which are en-suite, and the family bathroom. While both the master and second bedrooms have dressing rooms, the master suite also enjoys a generous terrace – perfect for summer morning breakfasts. To the second floor are two further en-suite bedrooms and a media room. The basement, meanwhile houses a gym, three wine cellars, a pantry, laundry and two store rooms.
And the living space doesn’t end here – a beautifully restored lodge house in the grounds provides self-contained two bedroom accommodation, perfect for housing staff, guests, elderly relatives or grown-up children who want their own space.
Outside, the house enjoys a private walled garden to the rear, the original ha-ha providing a natural boundary and offering uninterrupted views over Kenley Common’s 138 acres of green open space. The grounds include a very special tree – the Kenley House Oak which, at a thousand years old, is one of South East England’s oldest trees.
All things considered, it’s hard to believe that central London is just 14 miles away from this slice of English country living. Kenley benefits from a thriving community with its own schools, pubs and local amenities that cater for day-to-day needs. Meanwhile, the villages of Caterham and Bletchingley are also close by providing a selection of local shops and boutiques as well as a Waitrose store.
For commuters, transport links are first rate. There are regular train services from Kenley station – which is less than ½ a mile distant* – to London Victoria with journey times of around 33 minutes** and the nearby M25 provides swift, easy access to the motorway network. For travel further afield, Gatwick airport is around 12 miles away.
Kenley House is on the market at £4.25 million. The Marketing Suite and Show Home are available for viewing by private appointment only. To secure yours call 020 3253 2005 or visit www.kenleyhouse.com for further details.
* Source: upmystreet.com