Little Dane, Biddenden
Little Dane is a wonderful Grade II listed country house, one of a small cluster in the immediate locality which served as hostelries for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. The property is a fine example of a ‘lobby house’, a refinement on medieval hall houses with their chimney at one end, lobby houses replaced open hearths with central chimney stacks. This made space for lobbies either side and back-to-back fireplaces heating the principal rooms, as is evident in the layout of Little Dane.
This wonderful home has evolved over the centuries with Victorian and Edwardian additions, including a Lutyens-style wing built in 1922. The property retains many distinctive features including much of the original timber frame, beautiful Jacobean panelling and a magnificent inglenook fireplace in the sitting room, a stunning oak staircase, a delightful principal bedroom and fireplaces within the bedrooms.
Internally, the beautifully presented accommodation arranged over three floors has been updated and refurbished to a high standard to include a stunning orangery.
An impressive panelled hallway is the perfect place to welcome guests which in turn leads to the elegant and well-proportioned drawing room, situated in the Lutyens-style wing and featuring a fireplace and wood burning stove. The heavily beamed sitting room features beautiful panelling, fitted bookshelves and a superb inglenook fireplace.
The dining room is another impressive space also with inglenook and wood burning stove, a heavily beamed ceiling and tiled floor and is partly open to the kitchen making it an excellent social space. A small study area to one corner lends itself to be used in a number of ways.
The smart kitchen/breakfast room is fitted with a range of painted shaker style units, granite work surfaces, breakfast bar and various integrated appliances including a coffee machine and wine cooler. The Aga takes centre stage and is the must have for any country home. There is a rear hallway with secondary staircase up, a north facing larder with slate shelving, boiler room and second cloakroom. The ground floor is completed by a fabulous family room which has been extended into a orangery, a perfect place to sit and enjoy the gardens.
On the first floor there is a well-appointed main bedroom suite with double aspect bedroom, dressing room with fitted wardrobes and a stylish bathroom with freestanding bath and separate shower. There are four further bedrooms on this floor, all being doubles served by a shower room and a separate bathroom. A study could be used as another bedroom or as a nursery.
Up again, the second floor provides three further bedrooms, two of which are interconnecting and providing much flexibility of use.
Little Dane is complemented by beautiful gardens and grounds that extend to over five and a half acres. The property is approached via an electric five bar gate from Pook Lane with a further entrance (currently unused) onto Smarden Road. The gravel driveway sweeps around the property culminating in a parking and turning area. A traditional-style outbuilding offering garaging for two cars and a one bedroomed annexe with a delightful outlook over a natural pond.
There is a further garage/tractor store, party barn with decked terraces front and back and further garden sheds. The gardens are predominantly lawned and interspersed with mature trees including Catalpa, Liquidamber and Redwoods to name but a few. A York stone terrace is a perfect place for al fresco dining, being south facing and protected on three sides by the main house. There are two pergolas covered in wisteria and a sunken gravel garden with arbour. Moving away from the house, the gardens are less formal with a copse of cobnuts and an orchard. There is a former Victorian kitchen garden, tennis court and paddock with separate road access.
The eight bedroom home is well located for schooling with an excellent selection in both the state and private sectors at primary and secondary level within the area. Little Dane is situated on the outskirts of Biddenden, where there is a general store, beautiful old church, village primary school and public house. More comprehensive shopping and other facilities can be found in Headcorn, Tenterden and Ashford.
Sarah Hunt, property agent for Savills in Cranbrook, says: “An impressive eight bedroom country house set in idyllic gardens with annexe, party barn and tennis court — what a fantastic family house!”
Little Dane is being marketed by Savills with a guide price of £3m.