Penny Churchill and Toby Keel take a look at some of the homes in the Kent town of Deal, which boasts a high street once voted the best in England.
Not every urban escapee wants to live in splendid isolation and many are delighted to find that England’s most historic towns and villages often hide mini country houses and gardens behind inscrutable townhouse walls.
Take as an example this Georgian gem: the enchanting, Grade II*-listed Court Lodge in the quaint former fishing, mining and garrison town of Deal, on the Kent coast, eight miles north of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate.
The house came to the market via local agents Bright & Bright at a guide price of £1.25m for a home with 16th-century origins, significantly altered and extended in the Georgian era. According to the owner, a cellar of medieval stone indicates the existence of an even earlier house on the site.
It was snapped up in the gap between Country Life’s January 6 issue being sent to the printer and hitting the newsstands and subscriber doormats, and it’s easy to see why. Court Lodge boasts 4,314sq ft of light and cheerful living space, including two reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, five bedrooms, two bath/shower rooms and a separate studio/office, with parking for several cars — the whole set within a delightful walled garden that is both sheltered and totally private.
Those who missed out, but whose hearts are still set on finding a home in this charming town, will be happy to see that Wellington House, also in the centre of Deal, is still on the market at just £50,000 more.
Strutt & Parker are the selling agents of a beautiful, detached six-bedroom home with huge charm, a walled garden and restored Victorian greenhouse.
There is also a raised verandah with views over the garden and a lovely relaxed feel in what is clearly a much-loved family home. It’s on the market at £1.3 million.
Anyone looking for something a bit different will surely have their heads turned by the converted St Michael’s and All Angels Church, for sale with Miles & Barr at £760,000.
Now called Stone Piers, it’s a former garrison church in Walmer, just south of the centre of Deal, with four bedrooms, a first floor sitting room and a huge kitchen/living/dining area on the ground floor, as well as a separate study.