Five Fields
Hinton Ampner, Hampshire


Architect: Robin Lee Architecture

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“Enormous sections of glazing flood the interior with light from three sides while framing views of the surrounding greenery”

Surrounded by protected forests and picturesque meadows within the South Downs National Park, close to the village and country estate of Hinton Ampner and the beautiful Georgian town of Alresford, lies Five Fields. Built to a design by Robin Lee Architecture and shortlisted for a RIBA Regional Award, a meticulous renovation of a Grade II-listed 17th-century farmhouse has been met with the dramatic conversion of an adjacent 19th-century threshing barn and farmyard. The combination is a house of distinct refinement, linked by a contemporary structure of rare lateral scale and volume, set in almost 20 acres of private fields, wildflower meadows and the surrounding working fields typical of the South Downs.

The Tour

The house is reached along a secluded woodland lane, which culminates in a private, gated driveway with a plant room, a garage, and parking space for several vehicles. The driveway continues between the house and the valley of wildflower fields to a more proximate, everyday parking area where a paved path bordered by oak sleepers approaches the formal front door. The entrance is framed by an oak pergola.

An enormous double height front door leads into the traditional oak-framed barn, where a local specialist framing company has dismantled the original structure, restored it and combined it with new oak components. All the frames have been reassembled and grounded by a cast-concrete base around the perimeter and new oak panelling throughout.

This single-storey structure connects the historic buildings, consolidating and extending the two into one magnificent home while re-establishing the original form of the farmstead to create a central courtyard, currently laid to lawn . The contemporary and orthogonal form is respectful in this context and allows the two existing structures to dominate, elevating their status in the landscape when viewed from afar. Externally, timber cladding and lapped timber boards are used to match the scale and treatment of the original barn and are set against black corrugated sheet steel over the high-pitched roof profile.

Beyond the hall, a dramatic series of voluminous zones unfurl. The initial space houses the kitchen and dining room. Enormous glazed sections flood the interior with light from three aspects while framing views of the surrounding greenery. The kitchen is bespoke and arranged around an oak island with a riven granite inlay. Appliances are by Ilve, Miele and Liebherr.

Three bedrooms, a cloakroom and a studio/study line the western aspect with full glazed sliding doors looking out over a wildflower meadow and to the protected forest beyond. All bedrooms are en suite, and there is a further guest WC within the same bank of rooms.

Wrapping the courtyard lawn, a new-build structure flows in a U-shape, moving from the atrium to the living room beneath a dramatic ceiling made of Douglas-fir coffers. The courtyard is designed to capture the sun and intended to serve as an outdoor lounge and dining area.

Moving toward the north along a gallery-esque hallway of around thirty metres, the former threshing barn links to the historic farmhouse. Here, polished concrete floors by Lazenby, transition to clay tiles.

The farmhouse is thatched and composed of flint walling with elevations of oak framing and infills of hand-made red brick. A fastidious repair, coordinated by the present owners to retain every inch of character, has been undertaken with local artisans and craftsmen, covering all aspects of the façades, from new hardwood windows to traditional lime plastering and oak repairs.

The same care has been applied within, where new oak doors have been handmade in traditional methods along with careful repair of the wide-board oak floors. In every aspect of the Conservation Plan, the owner’s wish was to make clear new elements from the old. The layout is set over three storeys with four/five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a guest cloakroom at ground level, and a stone-floored entrance with an inglenook fireplace and working bread oven as its central hub.

Outdoor Space

Beyond the enclosed formal lawn are acres of wildflower borders and tall rye grass meadows. The grounds fall to the west in undulating paddocks, whose gentle slopes would be ideal for cultivating vines or fruits, bordered by an historic, protected and actively managed evergreen forest. There are tree-lined meadows to the north. To the east, another wild meadow extends past the orchard garden and reaches a delightful swimming lake fed naturally by rainwater. The land beyond provides the further buffer of working fields.

The Area

Five Fields is located near the village of Hinton Ampner and close to Cheriton, with the source of the River Itchen and West Meon. The Georgian town of Alresford, with its independent shops and variety of restaurants, is a 15-minute drive and further offerings at West Meon are around ten minutes away. In nearby West Meon, there is a great pub called the Thomas Lord with further hostelries in and around Kilmeston. The 19th-century mansion and grounds of The Grange are close by, hosting an annual opera festival, among other events. The Grange vineyards are also near, with 30 acres of award-winning vines.

The are many stables nearby for riding, lanes and tracks for cycling. For fishermen, Hampshire’s chalk streams present a variety of challenges, from local fisheries to the Meon, Itchen and Arle.

Approximately five minutes’ away is Brockwood Park School, and nearby highly regarded schools include Winchester College, St Swithun’s, Bedales,  Ditcham Park School and Twyford School.

The plot is situated under four kilometres from the A31 which leads to Farnham and Guildford and joins the A3 for fast access into west London. Winchester is just ten kilometres away and provides a route to London along the M3. The cathedral city of Winchester is consistently voted one of Britain’s best places to live. Its outstanding facilities include a hospital, an Everyman cinema, plenty of shops, and restaurants, including the Chesil Rectory, the Ivy and Inn The Park.

A regular railway service is available from Winchester or Petersfield to London Waterloo. Southampton Airport is about 35 minutes away.

Council Tax Band: G

Additional Images by Stale Erikson

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.

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