James Fisher March 30, 2023
Prepare to be dazzled by The Cloth Hall, in the Kent village of Smarden, with its amazing interiors, rich history and stunning location. James Fisher takes a closer look.
In the 14th century and during the reign of Edward III, the ports of Rye and Faversham became hubs of great wealth due to the blossoming wool and cloth trade with Europe.
Nearby towns, such as Smarden, also benefited from this new trade frontier, producing homes of great beauty, such as The Cloth Hall, built in the early 15th century and then remodelled by a wealthy cloth merchant called Thomas Yates.
The home’s pedigree doesn’t end there, as another previous owner, the famed Everest Expedition photographer John Noel purchased the property in 1920. A great friend of Nathanial Lloyd of Great Dixter in East Sussex, Noel used his connections to remodel the building in the styles of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll.
The house — currently on the market via Hamptons with a guide price of £4 million — is listed Grade II* and, despite its history, had fallen into disrepair when it was acquired by the current owner in 2014, who set about to restore it. What resulted is a home of immense period character (the new roof won a national heritage award) with all the modern trimmings.
The interiors include five bedrooms and lashings of historical charm, such as exposed beams, wooden floors, inglenook fireplaces, timber-latch doors and hand-coloured stained glass.
All of this is combined with state-of-the-art appliances by Gaggenau and SubZero, a fitted Martin Moore kitchen and a Catchpole and Rye bathroom in the master suite, with free-standing copper bath.
Outside, the gardens are almost as perfect, and are arranged in areas to tell ‘stories’ in tune with the area and the property’s local heritage. Landscaping includes ponds, mature trees, stocked borders and various themed areas.
The River Beult forms part of the boundary and there is an air-source heated swimming pool. If that isn’t enough, the property also features a very successful holiday-let business from a separate barn conversion and two cottages.
Recommended videos for you Winning the ‘Best Kept Village’ award on numerous occasions, Smarden boasts the usual line-up — a butcher, post office, three pubs and an art gallery. Nearby Headcorn offers further shops, restaurants and supermarkets; whilst Tenterden and Cranbrook both have a range of antique shops, independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
Kent is known for its excellent schooling in both state and private sectors, as well as excellent transport links to London, with services running from Headcorn, Pluckley and Charing Station.
The Cloth Mill is currently on the market via Hamptons with a guide price of £4 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.
This beautiful house is on the market near Godalming, Surrey. Credit: Knight Frank Exquisite homes in West Sussex, Dorset and Surrey are among the highlights in our latest round-up.