Twyssenden Manor, Goudhurst
Twyssenden Manor is an historic Grade II listed house set amidst undulating countryside deep in the Kent countryside. The property is within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just over a mile away from the village of Goudhurst.
Twyssenden, or ‘Twysden’ as it was once known, was the ancient seat of the Twysden family and reputedly birthplace of the Lord Baron of the Exchequer, Sir Geoffrey Gilbert. During the 15th century it was home to Anthony Fowle, a descendent of the Fowles of Rotherfield, Sussex, a large and influential family of lawyers and ironmasters by trade and whose father (of the same name) was, for a time, High Sheriff of Sussex. In 1598, following the death of his mother Elizabeth, Anthony inherited Twyssenden and it was here that he later married Margaret Jeffray in 1639. A keystone over the principal entrance bears the Fowle coat of arms.
The house dates in part back to the late medieval period circa 1480, but it is internally where the home reveals its past, including a secret 17th century chapel with decorative friezes. Additionally, in what would once have been the bridal chamber, there is an entire wall intricately decorated in an original 17th century fresco, with verses from the ‘marriage prayer’ Psalm 128, as it appeared in the Book of Common Prayer.
In the 19th century, local landowner Alexander Beresford Hope, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Member of Parliament for Maidstone, was instrumental in making further renovations with hints from eminent architects, William Butterfield and G E Street.
The property has evolved over the centuries with the original 15th century Wealden hall house and a service wing being united by an impressive late 16th century sandstone tower, adorned by a timber cupola and a viewing platform known as ‘the standing’ which was meticulously reinstated in 2002 using local oak. From here, exceptional 360-degree views over the beautiful gardens, lakes, surrounding pasture and woodland can be fully appreciated.
The main house retains a wealth of period details including exposed timbers, beams, and oak paneling features to several rooms. There are also fine period fireplaces throughout, and a combination of polished brick, flagstone and oak floors.
Reception rooms include a generously proportioned drawing room, a formal dining room, a library, and a family room. The kitchen/breakfast room is bespoke, with an inglenook fireplace housing a wood burning stove at one end and steps down to a wine cellar at the other.
Five double bedrooms all feature built-in cupboards and includes the gorgeous former bridal chamber, and the oak paneled principal bedroom, which benefits from an en-suite bathroom. The remaining bedrooms are served by three bath/shower rooms (one en-suite).
Over the remainder of the upper floors are the extensive unconverted vaulted attic rooms with the original crown post still in situ. On the top floor of the tower there is a small room divided by timber paneling.
Twyssenden is approached over a private road, flanked by hedgerows and undulating farmland. A long, sweeping drive leads to the manor house while a secondary drive leads around to Twyssenden Barn, The Granary, garaging and farm buildings.
The gardens and grounds include expansive lawns interspersed with ancient trees and an array of shrubs, which provide year-round interest with contrasting shapes, colour and foliage. A wide terrace with hornbeam ‘lollipop’ trees stretches away to the south west and from here stone steps lead down to the lower lawns, where there are a series of spring-fed lakes. To the north east and north west are the more formal garden areas.
To the original front of the house is a Grade II listed wall which encloses a level lawn with box topiary cones, a central brick path and an old yew arch. An ornate gate opens to a hornbeam avenue, off which is the stunning rose garden and an orchard adjacent, planted with varieties of apple, pear, plum and damson. Mature trees screen the all-weather tennis court from the house.
The group of former farm/agricultural buildings are interlinked to the manor house by a sweeping heritage shingle drive, edged with lawns and lavender beds. In recent years, these versatile Grade II listed buildings have been sympathetically converted and now comprise Twyssenden Barn, a well-proportioned two-bedroom barn conversion; a 35ft vaulted recreation/games room with mezzanine floor, currently used as a gym; and The Granary, a detached outbuilding which incorporates a sizeable office on the first floor, plus a workshop, and adjacent garaging on the ground floor.
Twyssenden Manor is available with 252 acres for a guide price of £6.5m, or with 9.5 acres for a guide price of £3.95m.
For more information, contact Savills on 0207 409 5945.
Haywards Heath on 01444 446000.