6 Bedrooms | 3 Receptions | 4 Bathrooms
Watchbell Chambers was built around 535 years ago to impress a King when he dined in the house. Changes have been made during subsequent centuries to reflect architectural tastes and contemporary interpretations of comfort and style, but this outstanding Grade II listed six-bedroom home with three reception rooms, utility room, cellar, walled garden and residents parking continues to impress.
The house stands proud on Watchbell Street in Rye, within a Conservation Area and on one of the foremost residential streets in this increasingly desirable town. The house is now double fronted with a Regency façade and wonderful views from the rooms at the back across the River Rother and to the historic Camber Castle and the sea beyond. There are period features of historic interest throughout this unique home. The architectural historian who collaborated with the current owner on the award-winning restoration of this extraordinary house said that many of the beams, tiles and carvings were of the very highest quality he’d seen in a property from this period. There is also a “priest hole” and a working Victorian call bell between the Drawing Room on the first floor and the kitchen. This is a museum quality house with contemporary sensibilities ready to move into.
Reassuringly, Watchbell Chambers has been totally restored and renovated to create a comfortable home with high ceilings and doorframes and all the comforts expected of a home in the 21st century while respecting the heritage and provenance of its impressive history.
A panelled front door with Doric pilasters leads from the quiet street to a vestibule which in turn leads to the inner hall. A door leads to what would have been the Tudor Hall built by the mayor of Rye to entertain King Henry VII in 1488. A lofty ceiling with incredibly well preserved, highest quality moulded Tudor beams gives presence to this light filled room. At one end is an immense inglenook fireplace with a carved bressummer and wall paintings. An inner corridor with original Flemish floor tiles leads through to what a pretty Queen Anne parlour with doors is now opening to the garden and with lovely views across the River towards the sea. Also on this floor is a modern style kitchen with an electric Aga in duck-egg blue in the classic design, door to the garden, a large pantry and a lift which goes through the house with exits on both the first and second floors. Downstairs loo and basin. Door to a spacious and usable cellar with a lightwell and plumbing for washing machine.
Upstairs is an impressive Drawing Room with cast iron fireplace and French doors leading to a Regency style covered balcony with wonderful views across the river plain of the Rother to King Henry VIII’s Camber Castle and the sea beyond. Two double bedrooms, one with an en-suite bathroom/shower room, utility/kitchenette room, family bathroom. Up again to the second floor where there are another four bedrooms, one of which has an en-suite shower room and also a family bathroom. Wonderful views from the rooms at the back of the house and lovely views across Watchbell Street and the historic rooftops of Rye from the two rooms to the front.
Landscaped south-facing garden (30’ x 28’) enclosed by an old brick wall giving privacy. The garden has been laid to a Yorkstone terrace immediately outside the back of the house. Cottage style garden in undulating borders full of classic English flowers. Brick outbuilding with gardener’s loo and garden storage.
The new owner can take on the parking permit attached to this house. This allows unlimited parking in Watchbell Street.
This is a unique opportunity to live where centuries of Rye residents have lived before and in a place which has entertained a King. This is a home which has always been sumptuously appointed with the best design and architecture of the many centuries through which it has existed.
Rye is an increasingly popular town to live in and to visit. There’s the world-renowned Arts and Jazz Festival which attracts international artists and musicians, several highly regarded galleries, the independent cinema and a thriving independent retail offer with shops offering everything from stylish and well curated clothing to chocolate made in Rye. Rye has a dynamic and delicious range of restaurants and cafés as well as some glorious traditional pubs. Travel to London is fast from Rye Station as well as good links to Brighton and the south coast. Rye is surrounded by protected and wonderful countryside, wetlands and beaches.