A house with a story
Here I am back again, your Fairy Property Godmother, sprinkling superb square footage, hot tubs and underfloor heating everywhere I go. Yes peeps, it’s the Flirt Alert, time for you to kick back with a cuppa and nosey through the corridors and cupboards of another gorgeous pad in our popular Property Flirt feature.
You know the score – I’ll drop you the odd clue then you get the old cogs whirring and guess the price. I’ll let you know how close you get. Easier than a Sunday morning. Right then, let’s take a look…
Welcome to Lewins, a Grade II-listed Gothic style mansion set within 3.7 acres of manicured gardens and grounds, on the fringe of Crockham Hill village, just across the border in west Kent. Location wise, you’ve got the gorgeous town of Westerham just a few miles away, Edenbridge a few miles in the other direction and the larger town of Oxted is also just a stone’s throw away giving you a direct train line to London in about 35 minutes.
But more about the house, because there’s a story to tell. Oh yes there is! This house, peeps, was the Downton of its day at the height of the Victorian era, employing dozens of servants, farmers, labourers and horsemen to service Joseph and Eliza Robinson, and their 10 children. Joseph was left a multimillion-pound fortune by his father, the founder of the London department store Peter Robinsons. He commissioned the Scottish architect John Brydon, who was also responsible for the Chelsea Public Library and St Peter’s Hospital in Covent Garden, to come up with the designs. I think you’ll agree, it’s mighty impressive.
It’s set over two floors (three if you include the cellar), and has four receptions rooms in addition to the reception hall, garden room and kitchen/breakfast room, plus five bedrooms, and four bathrooms.
It’s packed with period features, including 11ft-high ceilings, grand fireplaces, cornice, dado and picture rails, and in the Great Hall (above) with the Ionic pilasters (they’re those fancy columns!). For me, the chintz level is flying a little too high. But I absolutely love this house and all the period detail. And (big hint alert) I was pleasantly surprised by the price, though it’s still waaaaay more than I’ll ever be able to afford.
Downstairs, the grand reception leads into the Great Hall, with the drawing room off to the right of that and the morning room off to the left. The dining room is double aspect, with bay windows that look out over the rose garden and doors opening to the terrace. You can also get to the butler’s pantry from here. And below this is the cellar, with a boiler room and wine cellar.
Up the stairs is a galleried landing with a full height window, and the five bedrooms and four bathrooms, plus a workshop cum storeroom. The master bedroom has a bay window to the front and windows to the side, and one of the guest bedrooms has a covered balcony with views to the south. Not sure I’d ever tire of that view.
A few more nuggets to help you with the price. Outside, there’s a detached garage for four cars, plus a store room, plus a separate single garage. The grounds are a mix of formal gardens, complete with a pond and fountain (because every mansion must have a fountain), paved terraces, sweeping lawns and mature established trees.
So, fancy buying yourself into this life? Yeah me too (*dabs eyes gently*). But how much will it cost you? No cheating – work out what you think it’s worth, consult, lay your bets and see how close you get.