Little bit of history
Charlotte Pearson visits Hurst and finds a 16th century property where Peggy Guggenheim once lived.
As the saying goes ‘you should never judge a book by its cover’ and it seems the same applies to properties.
“When we drove down the drive to meet the agent we were not overly impressed at first glance at the house,” owner Carole Moreton recalls.
“It had a tile hanging almost to the ground on the front elevation, making it look rather dreary and very heavy.
“However, when we walked around the interior and saw the generous sized rooms, the inglenook fireplace and the large honey coloured oak beams in almost every room, we were completely smitten.”
Carole and her husband Colin moved into Badgers, in Hurst near South Harting, in 1988.
“We were living in Godalming at the time in a mock Tudor house and had decided to purchase a period property,” she says.
“One of the first jobs we did when we moved in was to strip off the dark tile hanging and expose the original timber frame. We also replaced the glass in all windows with hand-made leaded lights, designed and made by our son Russell.
“We have also taken out the top half of an interior wattle and daub wall and built in two glass display cabinets in oak so that more light can pass through from the front of the house into the sitting room.”
The period Yeoman’s farmhouse, which dates from around the 16th century, has proved to have a past to match its interesting interior.
“We have managed to find more historical details about the house from The British Library,” Carole explains.
“There was a cottage on this site pre-1604 when the farms and tenements were owned by The Caryll family and their records containing rents and occupiers are fortunately all documented.
“In the early 1600s a yeoman farmer called John Mills was here with his family and the property was called “publes” – we have a copy of his will, he died in 1632. And we also found an inventory of his goods and chattels.
“From that time onwards we have tried to trace subsequent occupiers and owners. In the 1891 census the house is listed as Yew Tree Cottage, due to the ancient hollow Yew tree in the garden (pictured right).”
And that is not all as, in the 1930s, American art collector Peggy Guggenheim lived there, with the property getting several mentions in her autobiography ‘Out of this Century’.
Back in the present, you can still feel the appeal of Badgers from the moment you enter and see the well proportioned rooms with high ceilings.
There is a kitchen, separate morning, sitting, sun and dining room as well as the study.
The first floor has a master bedroom with dressing room and ensuite, a guest bedroom with ensuite shower room and two further bedrooms and family bathroom.
Carole and Colin have worked hard to make the house a home.
“Over the past 20 years we have done all sorts of bits and pieces to this lovely old home, we hope by and large in the best possible taste. We’ve used oak wherever possible,” she says.
“The larger of these works include an ensuite shower room to the guest bedroom, and conversion of outbuildings to make a one bedroom cottage for our daughter.”
The property has two garages – one with a store above – a carport, summerhouse and two large greenhouses, and included in the sale is a detached one bedroom cottage and gardens totalling over an acre.
Situated in the village of Hurst, the mainline station is 2.3 miles away with train services to London Waterloo in around an hour.
So what will they miss most?
“Sitting by the great log fire in winter, fresh peaches, nectarines, and apricots from the garden in summer,” she smiles.
“Hurst is just a small collection of houses, our nearest village is South Harting just down the road where there is a post office, village shop/newsagent with excellent produce, and a good pub, what more could you want… we just want to find a smaller Badgers but it’s a very, very hard act to follow!”
Badgers is on the market for a guide price of £1,375,000 with Wilson Hill, 4 Lavant Street, Petersfield, GU32 3EW,
August 20, 2014 Interiors and Property