Architect: Michael Wilford

Hartfield
East Sussex

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This truly remarkable property in a secluded and private position in the Ashdown Forest comprises a substantial country house (over 4,300 sq ft) as well as a studio and summerhouse on the grounds (totalling approximately 2.1 acres). The buildings were designed for his own family by the acclaimed architect Michael Wilford, CBE.

The property is reached via a long, private driveway that leads through the beautiful and ancient Ashdown Forest. The main house is surrounded by gardens and sits at the rear of the site. The tranquil setting was formerly the site of an historic hall that fell into ruins, allowing the current property to be built in 2000.

The house is reached via a ramped walkway leading to an entrance hall on the first floor. Also on this floor are a wonderful living room that opens out onto a terrace overlooking the gardens, a kitchen / dining room, pantry and the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Downstairs on the ground floor is a second reception room, garden room, two bedrooms, wet room and WC. The lower ground floor features two further bedrooms, whilst there is also a mezzanine study over the main living room and two small snug rooms.

Further accommodation, to be found in the grounds, are a summerhouse and studio building with a carport and store rooms on the ground floor and two bedroom areas and a small kitchen on the first floor.

The house was published in ‘One Hundred Houses for One Hundred European Architects of the Twentieth Century’ alongside many of the key houses of this period. In the book, the writer Eberhard Syring describes the house as “reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House'” and outlines elements that he defines as “deconstructivist” in parts and “classical modern” in others:

“The very rustic exterior wall of the base consists of sandstone blocks. The windows [on this part] are small and deeply inlaid. The upper floor, constructed from wood with ample panes of glass, offers a striking contrast”.

The property is in the heart of Ashdown Forest, an area designated as one of outstanding natural beauty and perhaps best known as the place where A.A. Milne set his ‘Winnie the Pooh’ books. The area provides excellent walking and riding (by permit). The Hatch Inn, a highly-regarded country pub, is two miles away, whilst the picturesque village of Hartfield, which offers general stores and two public houses is 1.5 miles. The larger village of Forest Row is 4 miles and offers a wider range of restaurants and shops. Crowborough and East Grinstead are also close by. Tunbrige Wells is approximately thirty miles drive. The nearest train stations are Cowden (under 6 miles away), which runs services to London Bridge in under 45 minutes, and East Grinstead (7 miles away) which runs services to London Victoria in under an hour.

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


History

Michael Wilford, CBE, is one of Britian’s most acclaimed living architects. His work alongside James Stirling throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s included some of the most important post-war buildings of the 20th century. Perhaps the most notable of these are their designs for an extension to the Tate Gallery in London and for the National Gallery in Stuttgart, Germany. Following Stirling’s death in 1992, Wilford formed Michael Wilford and Associates whose work includes The Lowry in Salford and the British Embassy in Berlin.


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