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Magnificent seven given star billing

Field House, one of the homes at Fernham Homes' Charlton Court Place development
Field House, one of the homes at Fernham Homes' Charlton Court Place development

ON LAND once presented as a gift by William the Conqueror a development firm is making its own mark on the area's history. Stephanie Beattie reports.

Tucked away deep in the heart of Kent, Fernham Homes's latest development is set in some of the most breathtaking countryside the county has to offer.

The development consists of seven homes. Charlton Court is a Grade II listed Jacobean country estate and the grand main house with its tall, elegant chimneys is being restored to its former glory.

Set in Charlton Court’s 20-acre park and orchard is the Coach House, which is being converted into a four-bedroom house and the Field House, which is also being restored and converted into a stunning six-bedroom home.

In addition, Fernham have built four new homes: the show home – Charlton Place Barn; Charlton House, Park House and Filmer House.

The setting for this development is superb: the gently sloping site has fabulous views across the Weald to the south and the other houses, each with their own generous gardens, can be glimpsed through the mature oak, maple and sycamore trees.

Each home has its own architectural style and is finished to a high specification with wiring for an audio system and CCTV, kitchen with granite worktops and wine cooler. Individual units have been designed by local company, Woodlands.

There are tiles from Porcelanosa, working fireplaces in each home, shaver points in bathrooms and en suites, smoke alarms and burglar alarms with Passive Infra Red (PIR). There are external lights, an electric power point and outside tap.

As its name suggests, the show home – Charlton Place Barn – has been built in the style of a Kentish barn. The light and spacious five-bedroom detached house has four reception rooms, a luxury kitchen/breakfast room, downstairs cloakroom, utility room and direct access to the double garage.

On the first floor is a master bedroom with an en suite bath/shower room and a dressing room.

The second bedroom also has an en suite and there is a luxury bathroom for the remaining three bedrooms.

Charlton House is also one of the four new homes. Standing on slightly elevated ground, Charlton House has been designed to echo the style of a Georgian farmhouse. Off the entrance hall is a spacious hall and three substantial reception rooms. There is also a luxury kitchen/breakfast room and a large family area with stunning views out over the back garden.

The master bedroom has en suite bath/shower facilities and a dressing area and there is a family bathroom for the remaining two bedrooms. There is also a second floor with stunning countryside views and versatile accommodation – the bedroom and en suite plus a large triple aspect room could lend itself to a guest suite and games room or a suite of rooms for a teenager or au pair, or perhaps a fabulous master suite.

Park House, which also has a double garage, has a kitchen, breakfast area, family area, garden room, drawing room, study, dining room and workshop/store area on the ground floor and six bedrooms – including a master bedroom with dressing room and en suite – on the first floor.

There are also three more en suites and a family bathroom on this floor.

Filmer House is also in an elevated position. It has a balcony off the master bedroom with its dressing area and en suite. There are a further five bedrooms on this floor, three of which have en suites, together with a family bathroom.

On the ground floor is a spacious kitchen/breakfast/family room, a dining room, study, sitting room, drawing and double garage.

The Coach House has also been restored and now has a light and spacious open plan kitchen and breakfast area, a dining room, study, drawing room and downstairs cloakroom. The four bedrooms are on the first floor as well as a family bathroom and en suite for the master and second bedrooms.

Last, but by no means least, is the five-bedroom Field House, a lovely example of a traditional brick Kentish house tucked away at the end of the drive with a stunning mature garden.

This home has a kitchen/breakfast/family room with double-glazed doors that open on to the gorgeous and peaceful mature garden with its fruit trees.

There is also a utility room, dining room, study, cloakroom and drawing room on the ground floor. On the first floor, overlooking the back garden, is the master bedroom which has a dressing area and en suite, and the third bedroom.

The remaining three bedrooms, one of which has an en suite, and family bathroom are also on this floor while the second floor has a store room, large games room and shower room. Field House also has a new double garage complex with a workshop.

But what is difficult to capture on paper is the atmosphere of Charlton Court Place.

It is magical to stand in Field House, fling wide the kitchen/breakfast room double doors and step out into the peaceful mature garden looking beyond over the ancient rolling land, soothed by the sound of the summer breeze gently stirring the cherry and apple trees.

Originally part of the manor of East Sutton and also owned by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, later Earl of Kent, the land was a gift from his half-brother, William the Conqueror.

Records show that in 1585, Little Charlton Manor was owned by Sir Edward Filmer who also owned East Sutton and three other local manors. Appointed Justice of the Peace for Maidstone in 1593 and knighted by James I in 1613, Sir Edward was High Sheriff of Kent. He wed a local girl and had 18 children.

The land and property stayed in the family until Sir Robert Filmer’s death in 1916 from war wounds. The house was then being used as a military hospital. Afterwards the estate was sold and used as an approved girls’ school. From 1936 to 2003 Charlton Court was used for educational purposes.

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