Pirates used to rule this part of the southeast coast and although the neighbours are now all well behaved, there remains a drama and a bit of dark romance about this part of the south east coast. You can smell the sea from this beautiful house on a private road just close to Winchelsea Beach and you will no doubt spend hours on the covered veranda or from the upper rooms watching the seabirds as they swoop and rise around the house and surrounding nature reserve. The setting is totally quiet and private in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) that runs alongside and into Rye Nature Reserve, yet five minutes walk from the beach and an easy drive to Winchelsea, Rye and Hastings.
Being in this unique home is incredibly restful - looking out of the windows as I write this I can see sheep grazing, a lot of different birds coming and going from the trees that surround the property and a whole lot of sky. Later I’ll see the sun set to the west of the house and if its a cold night, stars rising in what feels like an endless sky above. This is a house for people who are looking for a contemporary and spacious home and who love living in and around nature, the beach and the countryside. In the summer the fields between the house and the sea are full of golden flower heads. An actual field of gold.
The golden colour palette of the natural environment which surrounds the house has been cleverly incorporated in accent details in the internal decor by the current owner who’s a successful professional Interior Designer. With her partner she has made a beautiful and versatile 5 bedroom family home from a detached split level house which spreads across 2 and a half levels. There is also a self contained guest cabin or office space with its own kitchen and bathroom in the garden. The garden, which runs around three sides of the house, is quite private and large with several separate secret areas and space for parking 5 cars off road to the front. The road and adjoining fields are protected by a residents trust in which all residents can participate and help to make decisions which will ensure the continued beauty of this special environment.
The beach is just a few minutes walk from the house which in turn leads to Pett Level. Rye Nature Reserve is a slightly longer walk away.
Dreadnought was constructed from a Canadian “kit house” and was professionally built by two local boat builders approximately 25 years ago from solid Douglas Fir pegged structure on a cladded concrete base. This lends Dreadnought its nautical aesthetic.
The tour of the house starts from the seven steps that lead up to the veranda. The veranda wraps around three sides of the house and acts like an additional living space. It is covered on one side by an amazing vine that produces edible grapes, and in the garden is a selection of apple, pears , plums and crab apples trees, and well as some beautiful English roses. There is full planning for a full width extension for the mezzanine with a balcony facing the sea, along with an extension to the rear and to the cabin.
The house opens into the light filled kitchen, living and dining space which spreads across much of the first floor. The kitchen is a lovely space to work in with double aspect views across the fields, lots of workspace and a clever pantry which can be closed off. The kitchen is a bespoke design and handmade with DeVol and Corston Architectural features along with a La Canche six burner Range. There’s a double butler sink and lots of cupboard space. The light fittings, sockets and switches throughout are from Jim Lawrence and Corston Architectural . The radiators have all been updated to new vintage style with solid brass valves.
Leading from the kitchen area is the dining area with plenty of room for an eight-seater table. This space is part of the impressive living room which opens up into a double-height space with a bespoke staircase leading to the mezzanine level with Velux windows which is currently used as the main bedroom but would also make a lovely study area or library. The living room is given further character by the huge oak timbers which are both decorative and structural and lend a nautical atmosphere. The house in painted throughout in Fenwick and Tilbrook and all the joinery is bespoke made.
The wood burner is combustible Contura stove wood burning stove with contemporary and simple styling and is a focal point and significant heat source on this floor and the mirrors behind are custom made from St Leonard’s glass. Two sets of French doors lead onto the veranda and are always open in the better weather bringing further space and a closer connection to the natural environment into the living areas. Also on this level is a separate cosy snug or TV room with views across the fields towards the sea. In the snug and in the cabin in the garden, salvaged and repurposed cabinetry from the old local primary’s science lab has been cleverly used to give the house a wonderful sense of being lived in yet very stylish. On this floor there is also a family bathroom with walk in shower, loo, basin and storage space for boots and coats and a built-in utility area with washing and dryer and storage for vacuum cleaner, ironing board and housekeeping items. Solid wooden floors throughout this floor.
Downstairs are five double-sized bedrooms and two bathrooms. The bedrooms all have their own character; one with French doors leading out to the garden and wooden panelling, another with two beds styled like a ships cabin which would delight anyone who enjoys a room worthy of a story book. All the bedrooms lead from a room-sized hall area on the lower floor. One bathroom has a bath, loo and basin, the second bathroom has a walk in shower, loo and basin. Lots of storage for linen. A door leads from the hallway to the garden via a paved area. The garden has been completely re landscaped, returned and levelled to provide perfect sun traps and shady spots with a new laid stone dining terrace.
Within the garden is a substantial wooden cabin which the current owners have converted into a self-contained workspace, studio or guest accommodation. In the cabin is a kitchen, bathroom and alcoved sleeping area with plenty of space for a large double bed.
Every space throughout the house has been cleverly crafted to be characterful, welcoming and with an ageless design aesthetic. The circulation spaces are broad and nothing feels pinched or ill-considered. This is a home that can be lived in comfortably and easily from day one.
Note: there’s an unmade-up driveway to the cabin which is also a right of way which can be used by a neighbouring property to access an adjoining field. In reality this is never used by the third party.
Double glazing throughout the property. Oil heating with bottled gas for cooking.
Boiler is a brand-new combi boiler.