Less than 150 years old, British arts and crafts houses are a solid option for restorers


While house hunting in the High Weald area of ​​East Sussex in 2001, Nicola Dealtry and her husband came across a sprawling dilapidated arts and crafts house in Burwash Common.

“We had seen some nice houses in Wealden hall, but they were a little dark,” Ms Dealtry said. “It had breadth, a lot of charm and was light and airy.” The couple bought it and spent the next 12 months restoring it to its former glory.

Named Buckles, the 7,889 square foot property was built in the late 19th century by three single sisters whose surname was Trower. They left it to their nephew, Walter Trower, who completely remodeled it in the Arts and Crafts style in the mid-1920s. Since then, it has had several different lives. During World War II it was used as a home for evacuated children, then requisitioned as army barracks for Canadian troops. Its previous owners, who had bought it more than 50 years ago, had divided it into apartments to save money. It was also missing its original staircase, which had been destroyed in a fire.

The eight-bedroom red-brick property, which is now on sale for £3.5million ($4.76million) through Savills, is set in 10 acres of land and features tall chimneys, a steep slope and a central half-timbered sunken and jetty. section. The ground floor opens into a large entrance hall with central staircase, giving access to four large living areas, with rural views to the front and rear, three open fireplaces and nearly full-length leaded windows. Aft is a cozy, UK equivalent of a den, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room and pantry while upstairs is a large landing bathed in light and eight bedrooms.

The grandest room is the 28-foot-long living room, which features six large windows, a full-height wooden fireplace, high ceilings with wooden beams, and a raised area. Originally this space was not accessible from the house and it is believed to have been used as a gathering space for prayer meetings and closed when not in use. “It forms a great space for entertaining,” Ms Dealtry said, adding that her family tended to live in comfort and cooking, then open up the large formal rooms for parties and gatherings.

On its grounds there are formal gardens, a vegetable garden bordered on one side with sheds and greenhouses, a beautiful 60 foot Victorian greenhouse full of established vines, an orchard, parkland, woods, a court well protected all weather tennis court, and a useful two bedroom cottage, which could provide a stream of rental income. It is located in an Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, two miles from Burwash. London is just over an hour by train from Stonegate station, less than three miles away.

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