Architect: Featherstone Young
Mill House, West Sussex, UK
With exceptional views across the South Downs, this property brings together a converted 19th-century mill house and granary, with a new house completed in 2016 by RIBA-award winning architect Sarah Featherstone of Featherstone Young.
The original Grade-II listed windmill was built in 1866 as one of a pair, known locally as ‘Jack’ and ‘Jill’. The main house, completed in 2016, sits between the two mills and is based on the original dwelling built on the site for Henry Longhurst in the 1960s. Sarah Featherstone’s design has reimagined and modernised the original property, adding a punched aluminium facade in a seed-scatter pattern in reference to the agricultural past of the site.
The house uses the traditional black-and-white vernacular of Sussex mills, whilst the converted granary has preserved the original timber of the structure in a modern triple-height space with floor-to-ceiling glass. The original underground tunnel links ‘Jack Windmill’ to the granary.
The project has been shortlisted in the 2017 BD Architect of the Year Awards, and the RIBA South East awards.
There are a total of seven bedrooms across the main house and the granary, sleeping up to 17 guests.
The main house has two double bedrooms (one super-king-size, one king-size), two bedrooms each sleeping four in bunk-beds, and a downstairs single bedroom. There are two family bathrooms, one with a bath and hand-held shower, the other with a shower and double sinks. The main house also has a large kitchen-dining-lounge space with wood-burning stove, and a top-floor bar/lounge with exceptional views.
The granary has two charming double bedrooms which share a wet-room bathroom. The granary also includes an enormous entertaining area with a grand piano, and a lounge area with wood-burning stove.
The 1.5 acre garden includes a flint-walled outdoor dining area and wood-burning pizza oven. There is parking for up to three cars on site, with unlimited further parking in the free public car park next to the nearby ‘Jill Windmill’.
WiFi and phone reception is available in the main house, but is limited in the granary.
The nearest towns are Hassocks and Ditchling, both of which have excellent local pubs. The mill is six miles from Brighton and 12 miles from Lewes. The South Downs Way can be easily reached from the house for walking and cycling, and there are many other beautiful walks in the area.
Charleston House is nearby, as are several soft play areas for children. Ditchling Beacon is a two-mile walk. The nearby lanes offer lots of foraging opportunities, particularly for blackberries at the right time of year.
The easiest way to access the property is by car. The nearest train station is Hassocks.
School holidays from £8,400 per week*
Other times from £6,650 per week (minimum stay two nights)
*minimum stay five nights during summer, two nights at other times
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Headed by Sarah Featherstone and Jeremy Young, the practice was established in 2002 and has delivered a considerable number of high quality, innovative buildings. Their work has been widely acknowledged as critical and inspiring – reflected in considerable client satisfaction, numerous awards, exhibitions and media coverage. Featherstone Young see architecture as a process of place-making – so capturing a sense of place and local identity is a crucial part of their design thinking. As a result, each of their buildings have unique and distinctive qualities that respond both to a sense of place as well as their clients’ ethos and that of the people who use them.