Guide Price £1,000,000
Romney Street, Sevenoaks, TN15
SOLD SUBJECT TO CONTRACT VIA FINE & COUNTRY
GUIDE PRICE £1,000,000 - £1,100,000
Formally ‘The Fox and Hounds of Romney Street’ Barnfield House is a captivating five bedroom detached property of character overlooking the Knatts Valley region in a small rural hamlet within the parish of Shoreham and situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, famed for the surrounding bluebell woods and wonderful country walks.
The Fox and Hounds was originally four woodcutters’ cottages believed to date back to the late 1600’s. It was first listed in 1717 as a ‘beer-house Shoreham-Hill’.
Research has revealed that this popular ‘beer house’ has a fascinating and colourful history. Extracts from ‘The Kent and Sussex Courier’ dated 1878, and the ‘Sevenoaks Chronicle’ dated 1887 revealed that it was a haunt of some ‘doubtful’ local Shoreham characters, and one of the landlords appeared at Sevenoaks Petty Sessions in 1878 for ‘permitting drunkenness on his property’. Photographs from 1955 show that it was still a ‘Courage’ Public House and even as late as 1960, the property was lit only by oil lamps and candles.
Now known as ‘Barnfield House’ this wonderful old landmark period building has been restored with care, love and enthusiasm, revealing the original flint and brick walls and adding new windows and a slate roof. Internally the current vendors have created a truly breath taking and unique family home retaining where possible, much of the character of the period whilst effortlessly blending in the comforts of modern living. The property is fitted with a Loxone Smart Home Automation System, controlling the heating and hot water, operating the blinds throughout the house, all lighting including feature lighting, security system, front gate, televisions and speakers in every room and in the garden. An eye-catching feature on entering the property is the contemporary solid oak, glass and iron staircase, built and installed by The London Staircase Company. The original pub kitchen can be accessed from the utility room and 3D visual plans and infrastructure are in place to utilise this area as an additional living space.
During the course of the renovation work, the Pub’s original flagstones were lifted and used for the front path, porch, internal doorstep, and the fireplace and hearth in the sitting room. Reclaimed scaffold boards have been cleverly adapted and used throughout the property as windowsills, window seats, shelving and decorative plinths framing the televisions. The famous ‘Fox and Hounds’ sign has been mounted on the brick feature wall of the stairwell, taking pride of place within this historic building.
Location Romney Street is approximately just over a mile from the historic village of Otford with its many period buildings & well-known listed pond and duck house on the roundabout. There are a number of boutique shops and tea rooms in the High Street including antique shops and public house/restaurants. Close by on The Parade there are a number of day-to-day shopping facilities including a post office and convenience store. There is a library, doctor's surgery, dentist, churches & many highly regarded schools including Otford Primary School.
Directions From our Fine & Country office in Otford, turn left onto High Street, at the roundabout take the first exit onto Station Road/A225, turn right onto Pilgrims Way East, turn left onto Row Dow Lane turn slight right onto Birchin Cross Road, turn left onto Bower Lane, turn left onto Romney Street where the property is located.
Seller Insight We were living at the time in a lovely Victorian town house in an urban area but were looking for somewhere rural, that would allow the children and animals more space and freedom. I also love gardening and the outdoors and was looking for enough room to create my own vegetable garden.
I remember it was a warm, sunny Spring day when I first viewed the Fox & Hounds, as it was known then. The first thing that caught my attention was how idyllic and peaceful it was, surrounded by fields and trees, all I could hear was bird song and the cows in the field opposite. Then I saw the pub and it took my breath away. Some would say I was crazy, as it was as far as you could get from your average house purchase, but it felt warm and loved and immediately captured my imagination. This feeling continued as I walked inside, even though it was freezing cold and smelt of beer! I went home thinking I was going to have to convince my husband, but he was immediately excited and could see the potential. The children however thought we were completely bonkers! It really was such an ideal location, as although it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, in reality it was far closer to our children’s schools (6 minutes to St Michael’s and 10 minutes to Shoreham Primary). Otford and Eynsford village were just down the road for any essentials and then beautiful Sevenoaks, which I love to wander around and stop for a coffee, when I’m child free!
The Fox and Hounds started life in the 1600’s as 4 wood cutters’ cottages before 3 of the 4 were turned into a public house. We do know that many moons ago, smugglers were hidden in the tiny cellar used to store the barrels and that during the Battle of Britain a German Soldier and his crew mate were shot down by the RAF and having landed safely, were arrested by Shoreham Home Guard and were driven to The Fox & Hounds pub, where they were bought a Brandy before being taken to Sevenoaks Police Station! Much later on the fourth cottage was incorporated, creating the Fox and Hounds and went on to host many special events for local families and walkers alike. Right up to this day we still get the odd walker glancing at their map, clearly looking for the pub in which to stop and rest. If these walls could talk, I’m sure they would have much more to tell us!
I remember how excited we felt on our first evening in our new home, surrounding by boxes, sat on the floor around the open fire eating fish and chips from paper - such a brilliant memory. The next day numerous family members arrived with their sleeves rolled up ready to muck in. The tiny kitchen was upstairs at the time so I spent much of the day walking up and down with cups of tea and sandwiches. Their help and visits continued for many weeks of which we were so grateful, it was like one very long family party! Once settled we started work on bringing our vision to life. Even though it needed to function as a practical and comfortable family home, we wanted to retain as many original features as possible; being sympathetic to the fact that the building was almost 400 years old and therefore had so much history. We knew we would need an expert eye, so we enlisted ‘Natasha Reid Architects and Design’ (matterspacesoul.com). She was so lovely and great to work with and immediately understood our vision. We wanted the soul of the building to remain and to be able to retain the essence of all those moments and memories that went before us, so we started working into our plans as much originality as possible.
The majority of the original flagstone flooring was successfully lifted and used elsewhere throughout the house (front pathway and porch, internal front doorstep and living room fireplace and hearth). We were also able to retain much of the brick and flint, which we left exposed in the kitchen along with decorative alcove features, culminating in the original Pub sign, which now takes pride of place on our stairway brick feature wall. This has to be one of our favourite features and much to our surprise, only needed a quick clean with soap and water after all those years exposed to the elements! It makes me smile every time I pass by.
The building was first taken back to its original form (brick and flint walls) a completely new slate roof was added, along with new trusses, vaulted ceiling throughout the first floor, all new windows, doors, front porch, under floor heating, plumbing, new boiler, electrics etc. One of the major installations was a Loxone Smart Home Automation System, which controls everything from the hot water and heating system to indoor and outdoor lights, Blinds, Alarm, front gate, tv’s and music - this was not something on my radar at all, being more of my husband’s ‘thing’, but I have to say, it is awesome!! We added a lot of feature lighting throughout the house to create a different feel in each room, depending on the time of day or required use. With my son and daughter’s sensory needs, they love being able to alter their bedroom lighting to reflect their mood.
We then moved on to the ‘fun’ bit, designing and sourcing all the details that make a house a home. I wanted a more contemporary, well functioning kitchen, that would be spacious enough to allow us all to congregate and that would be perfect for entertaining. We decided on matt two tone grey handless units with integrated full height fridge and freezer, Neff appliances and a light quartz worktop. I’d always wanted a large communal island to be the focus of the kitchen so went for more of a statement worktop for this, as we had kept the other worktop subtle. We travelled to a quartz factory where we selected a huge slab, sourced originally from India. It contrasted beautifully with the other elements in the kitchen (both old and new) as it contained copper and brass tones which we used throughout the house in our lighting choices and accent pieces. Definitely one of my favourite items and extremely tactile! One of the other items my husband really wanted was an integrated boiling water/chilled filtered water tap, again not on my radar, but I love it!
We knew we wanted much of the downstairs to be open plan as we love spending time together, but also wanted to clearly define each area. We did this by selecting a lighter contrasting ceramic tile for the kitchen floor to zone this space but which sits well with the wood effect porcelain planks which runs through the rest of the downstairs. The staircase was also a key piece as it sat centrally within our main living space. Having designed this, we commissioned London Staircase Company to build and install it, creating a feature in its own right. Built from solid oak, glass and iron, which although more contemporary, sits so well with the warm tones and original rustic materials used throughout.
Continuing along the ‘natural materials’ theme, we included reclaimed scaffold boards as a reoccurring feature (the kitchen unit surrounds, kitchen island bookcase, open shelving, window sills, window seat and TV panels, living room barn door). Brick was also repeated, be-it the original kitchen feature wall and piers or, brick slips on the living room fireplace and stairway wall.
Originally the garden was split in two, one half being the pub garden and on the other side of a fence, the pub car park. We took the fence down to create a larger space, along with all the Leylandii trees that spanned the width of the garden and car park - a massive job which again our extended family were on hand for! This was one of the biggest transformations as it increased the level of light into the garden, not to mention revealing the amazing views beyond. We then added post and rail fencing at the end of the garden, new fence panels throughout and turfed what was the car park. In the centre of the main pub garden was a centuries old, dilapidated cesspit, which was filled in and replaced (in a more convenient location) with an eco-friendly Klargester Sewage Treatment System. Our most recent projects, much to my delight, have been a large vegetable and wildlife garden (full of cut flowers and herbs from Spring through to the Autumn). I love sitting with my morning coffee watching all the wildlife and listening to the birds. My husband was in desperate need of a peaceful space to work, so designed a home office opposite the veg garden using the same materials as the house - I call it the ‘mini Barnfield’. We also wanted a great space to entertain friends and family, so surrounded the office with decking. It really comes in to its own when the sun goes down and you get the most amazing views of the London skyline.
We have so many favourite parts of our home, from the beautiful trusses, to the feature staircase, the tactility of all the original features, to piling on the sofa in front of the wood burner with our kids, cats and dog!
We were also delighted to discover endless walks literally on our doorstep, loved by us all, but particularly by our French Bulldog Buddy and of course the cats. I remember when we first moved in, one of our neighbours describing it as ‘a little corner of paradise’, well it certainly is that…
We have loved being here at Barnfield, but it is now our time to move on, so we are exchanging the Kent countryside for the Surrey Hills, where we will be much closer to my elderly parents.
We feel so privileged to have been part of the vast spanning history of this very special place. It will be missed, but will stay in our hearts forever. It makes me happy to think that another lucky family will go on to experience the same wonder and joy that we have.
Many more memories to be made and stories to come…
Front Post and rail fenced boundary. Remote controlled five bar gate leading to shingle drive with an extensive parking area. Pedestrian five bar gate to flagstone and shingle path. Shaped lawn with cobble stone edging. Seating area. Raised beds with established planting. Uninterrupted views across farmland and surrounding countryside.
Entrane Porch Pitched slate roof timber porch on low reclaimed brick wall. Reclaimed wood internal side benches. Sensor feature lighting. Solid wood door to front.
Ground Floor A superb open plan area which emphasises the connection between the sleek contemporary kitchen and the dining room.
Kitchen The architect-designed kitchen has an extensive range of ‘handless’ wall base and drawer units in soft muted two-tone grey with a sweep of quartz work tops. Open scaffold board shelving and plinth features. The integrated ‘Neff’ appliances consist of a full height fridge and freezer, two ovens with ‘hide and slide’ doors, a combination microwave, dishwasher and induction hob, work top extractor with retractable downdraft hood. ‘Grohe’ boiling water and chilled filtered water tap. The large central island with an Indian granite work top also serves as a family friendly breakfast-bar. Sliding patio doors to the rear garden. Recessed, feature and pendant lighting. Windows to the front. Ceramic floor with underfloor heating. Gallo speakers.
Utility Room Plumbed for washing machine and space for tumble drier. Access to rear garden
Dining Room Wood effect porcelain floor with underfloor heating. Recessed and feature lighting. Oak, iron and glass staircase rising to the first floor. Rustic wood sliding barn door to the sitting room. Windows to front.
Sitting Room Beautifully light and spacious with front facing windows, a lovely feature brick fireplace with flagstone hearth and wood burner. Wood effect porcelain floor with underfloor heating. Recessed, wall and pendant lighting. Illuminated wall ‘reveal’ highlighting the original brick and flint wall. Scaffold board feature TV plinth with 65” TV and ‘Gallo Droplet Pendant’ surround sound speakers.
First Floor Vaulted ceiling. Frameless picture window, with window seat, enjoys far-reaching views across surrounding countryside and rear garden. Wall and feature lighting. Panel radiators. Carpet.
Principal Bedroom Double aspect with far-reaching views across surrounding countryside and rear garden. Frameless picture window. Vaulted ceiling with truss feature lighting. Wall and pendant lighting. Panel radiators. Carpet.
Dressing Room/Bedroom 5 The spacious dressing room to the principal bedroom could also be used as a double bedroom. (BEDROOM FIVE). Vaulted ceiling with truss feature lighting. Wall lighting. Window to front. Decorative scaffold board surround to principal bedroom. Panel radiator. Carpet. Door to hall. Door to En-Suite.
En-suite Vaulted ceiling with truss feature lighting. Feature wall lights. Panel heated towel rail. Underfloor heating. Mango wood vanity unit with circular granite wash hand basin. Close coupled WC. Double shower cubicle. Gallo speakers.
Family Bathroom Vaulted ceiling with truss feature lighting, Feature wall and pendant lights. Underfloor heating. Panel heated towel rail. Bespoke oak vanity with a stone resin countertop basin and shelf feature lighting. Close coupled WC. Large freestanding circular Japanese soaking bath on stepped plinth surround with drainage grids and integrated recessed lights. Rain head shower above. Gallo speakers.
Bedroom 2 Window to front and ‘arrow slit’ frameless window to rear with far-reaching views across surrounding countryside. Vaulted ceiling with truss feature lighting, wall and pendant lighting. Split face tile illuminated feature wall. Gallo droplet pendant speakers. Panel radiator. Carpet.
Bedroom 3 Window to front. Vaulted ceiling. Wall lights. Bespoke fitted unit with feature lighting. Panel radiator. Carpet
Bedroom 4 Window to front. Vaulted ceiling with truss feature lighting. Wall lights. Bespoke fitted wardrobe and built-in desk. Gallo speakers. Panel Radiator. Carpet.
Rear Gardens Secluded, new boundary fencing with post and rail fencing to the rear, overlooking open field. Small side gate access and rear double gates. Lawns. Vegetable, herb and cut flower garden with wildlife pond. Oak garden building with workshop storage and attached log store. New central heating oil fed boiler.
Detached brick and flint home office, fully equipped with drop down screens. Feature lighting and large frameless picture window. Air conditioning unit. Large external decking for entertaining with built in planters, steps to garden, sensor and feature lighting, Gallo speakers. Views across the London skyline.
Features of Note New electrical installation throughout, completely replumbed with new central heating boiler. New roof. New windows. Eco friendly ‘Klargester’ Sewage Treatment System.
Transport Information Shoreham Railway Station: 1.5 miles Otford Railway Station: 1.7 miles Eynsford Railway Station: 2.5 miles All distances are approximate and calculated as the crow flies.
Education Primary Schools: Kemsing Primary School: 1.6 miles Shoreham Primary School: 2.0 miles Otford Primary School: 2.0 miles Secondary Schools: Trinity: 3.1 miles
The Weald of Kent Grammar School (Annexe): 3.1 miles The Knole Academy: 3.5 miles
Independent Schools: St Michaels: 1.2 miles
Russell House: 1.7 miles Walthamstow Hall: 3.8 miles SEN Schools: Browns School: 4.2 miles Knole Development Centre: 4.1 miles Grange Park School: 4.2 miles
Information sourced from Rightmove (findaschool). Please check with the local authority as to catchment areas and intake criteria.
Golf Clubs The Darenth: 1.7 miles
The London Club: 3.0 miles
Wildernesse Golf Club: 3.3 miles
Health Clubs Dartford Mecure Brands Hatch Health Club: 2.3 miles Brands Hatch Place Spa: 2.9 miles
Reynolds Retreat: 4.7 miles
Useful Information We recognise that buying a property is a big commitment and therefore recommend that you visit the local authority websites for more helpful information about the property and local area before proceeding.
Some information in these details is taken from third party sources. Should any of the information be critical in your decision making then please contact Fine & Country for verification.
Council Tax We are informed this property is in council tax band F, you should verify this with Sevenoaks Borough Council.
Tenure The vendor advises us that this property is Freehold. Should you proceed with the purchase of the property your solicitor must verify these details.
Appliances/Services The mention of any appliances and/or services within these sales particulars does not imply that they are in full efficient working order.
Measurements All measurements are approximate and therefore may be subject to a small margin of error.
Viewing Strictly via Fine & Country Sevenoaks on 01959 588 900