Holmwood Place Edenbridge, Kent
Holmwood Place is a charming and compact country estate with a superb Georgian manor house, excellent ancillary accommodation and outbuildings, situated centrally within rolling parkland of over 42 acres. Believed to originally date from the 14th century, the estate has slowly been enlarged and adapted over the years, having been owned by the same family for almost a century.
Approached over a sweeping tree-lined carriage driveway, Holmwood Place is an elegant late Georgian former manor house which retains exquisite character features. The property takes in Georgian, Art Deco and Gothic influences, with notable features including an Art Deco staircase, decorative coving, high ceilings, parquet flooring, Adams style fireplaces, wood panelled walling and fully length, bay and sash windows. In need of refurbishment, Holmwood Place offers an exciting opportunity for a buyer to restore a rare and untouched piece of history.
The Holmwood Estate dates back to at least the 14th century when it was part of the freehold of Broxham, it then consisted of a farmstead with garden and four acres of land. The tenant paid to the Lord of the Manor 3p annual rent plus a fowl at Christmas and five eggs at Easter. In addition, he had to reap corn and carry hay for his Lord (free food provided) for a total of three days.
Little is known about occupants until the 18th and 19th Centuries. The coming of the railway made the area much more readily accessible to London and Joseph Brooks (of St. James) built the present house and enlarged the estate.
Later residents include George Bramwell, who took on the estate in the late 1800s, installing the large walled kitchen garden and greenhouses. He became one of the Lord Justices of Appeal and his influence was considerable in the laws of contract. Members of the Bramwell family owned the property until the early 1900s when owner, Henry Faudell-Phillips enlarged the house, using an architect reputed to be a colleague of Lutyens.
In 1913, the property was the residence of General Sir Henry Crichton Sclater G.C.B and his wife. He rose to become a member of the Army Council and was one of Lord Kitchener’s right-hand men. From 1925, Alfred and Helen Chevenix-Trench owned the property, bringing mains water to Holmwood.
Holmwood Place has been home to the Whitehouse family for nearly 100 years. The property was offered at auction through Harrods in September 1930, with the brochure noting it was ‘an exceptionally attractive freehold property with delightful residence, mainly in the Georgian style’. Of its location, the auction brochure highlights that ‘although well beyond the radius of suburbia, it is yet within daily access of town to the city businessman and can be confidently recommended to anyone requiring a medium-sized country house not too far from London’.
Martin and his wife Angela Whitehouse then moved into the main house in 1965, and raised their three children at Holmwood. The family recall Holmwood being a truly wonderful place to grow up with many happy family memories including Christmases, hide and seek in the walled garden, playing in the potting shed, reminiscent of Mr McGregor’s potting shed in Peter Rabbit, and spotting wildlife including deer and barn owls.
Angela Whitehouse served as an undersecretary at Chartwell during Winston Churchill’s second term in office in the early 1950s. Angela recalled years later to her family how she’d be working in the library while Churchill would be painting. The studio at Chartwell is home to the largest collection of Winston Churchill’s paintings. Having signed the official secrets act, Angela spent three years working there.
The main house at Holmwood Place includes a reception hall, drawing room, music room/study, kitchen/breakfast room (served by adjoining pantry/scullery), orangery, playroom/studio, wine cellar, workshop and gardeners cloakroom, on the ground floor. Upstairs are five double bedrooms, a Jack and Jill bathroom to the second bedroom, further bathroom, shower room and
WC. There is also a magnificent double aspect billiard room on this floor. On the second floor is a penthouse with two bedrooms, sitting room, kitchen, separate WC and bathroom.
Ancillary accommodation includes The Cottage, a detached three-bedroom family home with off-road parking and a garden; Borrowden, a three-bedroom lodge house with off-roading parking and a garden; and The Farmhouse, a traditional detached farmhouse with a rear garden and off-road parking. All of the cottages are currently let on Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
A meandering stream runs from the north to the south of the estate, buffered by an area of historic woodland. The parkland is divided with mixed hedgeland, mature majestic trees and a millpond, attracting an abundance of wildlife, and has been grazed by cows and sheep over the years. Part of the land is currently let on a Farm Business Tenancy to a local farmer.
The range of outbuildings comprises two open bay brick-built field shelters in two of the paddocks, a large barn previously used as a cow shed and milking parlour, a stable block with loose boxes, a tack room and carport/tractor shed, a former granary, pigsty, apple room, harness room, a range of brick built outhouses housing the pump room for the swimming pool, former engine room and a number of garden implement stores/workshops, all of which were formerly used in the running of the estate.
There are three additional areas of land adjoining the northeastern boundary that are available via separate negotiation, should a buyer be interested: a 4.05 acre paddock, a 2.68 acre paddock and a 10.42 acre block of established amenity woodland.
Members of the Whitehouse family note: “We all had the most idyllic childhood growing up at Holmwood; helping out on the farm, being surrounded by wildlife and nature, playing hide and seek through the grounds and eating fresh vegetables from the Victorian kitchen garden.
Guide price £5,950,000