Vane Court, Biddenden, Kent
Vane Court, a beautiful country estate that was home in the 1930s to the King of Siam, has come to the market through Savills for £5.5m. Dating from 1419, Vane Court is a Grade II* listed home, which has previously featured in numerous historic editorials including Pevsner who described the property as “the only house in Biddenden of the Wealden type”. In 1937 Vane Court then became the royal residence of King of Siam (now Thailand), Rama VII, the last absolute King of Siam, following his abdication in 1935. The King had been educated at Eton so was quite familiar being back in the country.
It is believed that the King had to sleep in the attic room (now known as The King’s Bedroom) because of Siamese custom that meant no head in the house could be higher than his. The King and Queen Rambai Barni adjusted to village life quickly and were frequently spotted out and about on their bicycles and attending fetes. It is also believed that The King and Queen were so concerned with being seen to have favourite businesses in Biddenden that they had to alternate between the shops they frequented. The village of Biddenden was also home to Sir John Kotelawala, Prime Minister of Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Today Vane Court is an historic and stylishly presented family home that features many beautifully restored period details and also sits in exceptional gardens. The ground floor has the original entrance hall with an oak staircase to the first floor. To the right of the hall is a south facing and light drawing room with a beautiful oak framed fireplace and wood burner. To the north side is a magnificent dining room with inglenook. At the back of the house is a kitchen with American walnut units and granite worktops, along with an oil-fired Aga. Beyond the kitchen is a further entrance hall, cloakroom and storage room, and off the kitchen is a garden hall, back staircase, excellent utility room and family room with door into a south facing loggia. From the rear hall is access to the oak framed study/gym with shower room off, currently arranged as a bright and stylish office space with access to the sun terrace and garden.
Stairs lead to the first floor landing, with a staircase to a second floor and access to the principal, south facing suite, with a lavishly fitted bathroom, a central bedroom with pretty fireplace and a third bedroom to the front. A further landing area and family bathroom lead through a study area and beyond the back stairs there are two interconnecting rooms with a bathroom, which would make a fine suite. The second floor has a landing and two bedrooms, including the bedroom known as the ‘King’s Room’, with a magnificent crown post and fireplace.
To the south of the house are formal gardens, a sunken rose garden and a water garden with what is known as the King’s Pond and a bridge and further areas of water. There is also a heated swimming pool enclosed by established hedging and an adjacent tennis court.
A modern, timber framed and clad black barn has been fully converted to a very high specification to include a large garage storage area with two sets of double doors and pedestrian access. Above is a storage area and attached are five loose boxes. This has the potential to be converted to ancillary accommodation, subject to the necessary planning consents.
There are two concrete framed barns which have planning consent to be converted into two dwellings, one with four bedrooms and the other with three bedrooms. In total, the grounds extend to about 67 acres.
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