An exciting, unique development opportunity to create this sleek and modern extensive home with views over its own Grade II listed land.
The plot is situated next to a picturesque lake, which gives the property its name, within Grade II listed terraced gardens, rockery, pleasure grounds and parkland of about 6.31 acres.
The gardens date back to the late 19th Century and early 20th Century as an extension to the earlier grounds, closer to the Swaylands House. Within the grounds is a boating lake, former boathouse to the south of the lake, a ha-ha to the west of the lake and the remains of the early 20th Century garden layout, including a rock garden with walls of extraordinary scale, together with steps connecting the main house and gardens to the boating lake; the Grade II listed rockery was created from locally quarried stone and, at 5 acres, was once one of the largest rockeries in Europe.
The site is located within the designated Metropolitan Green Belt and High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AoNB).
Description of proposal: Erection of a large, two storey, contemporary detached dwelling with partially subterranean elements within the grounds of Swaylands. The proposal also comprises of a scheme for rainwater harvesting and the installation of a ground source heat pump.
Access to the site is gained from an existing private lane off Poundsbridge Lane.
A brief history
William Woodgate, a local solicitor and member of a prominent local family, bought a farm and 33 acres of land from Penshurst Parish in 1835. The original Swaylands house was built around 1837 for William Woodgate.
Guttering boxes on the original villa marked 1842 suggest the likely date of completion. By 1859 Woodgate had sold Swaylands to Edward Cropper. Cropper employed the architect George Devey to extend the house greatly and terrace the gardens. Edward Cropper died in 1877 and the estate was bought by George Drummond. Between 1879 and 1882 Drummond made further additions to the house and in the 1890s he commissioned the Arts and Crafts architect Sir M E Macartney to build a large pilastered conservatory at the north-western end of the house. When George Drummond bought the house it was described as rather modest; he [George Drummond] spent the next seven years building wings, then tearing them down, creating an enormous residence with its own theatre, ballroom, picture gallery, orangery and even an indoor cricket pitch.
The site originally was part of the larger Swaylands Estate. The rock garden, created by George Drummond, is one of the largest rock gardens of the early 20th century and whilst overgrown, the structure of the garden remains in generally good condition. It was created at a time when large scale rock and water gardens were fashionable. The rock garden, including the part in separate ownership of Swaylands House, was built from sandstone blocks from a local quarry. The design for the garden was on a grand scale, with towering walls, paths, steps, ravines and grottoes. The Grade II designation of the garden confirms its special interest as a designed landscape, and warrants its preservation. Its special significance is afforded by its unusual scale, monumentality, quality of design and construction, and its degree of survival, albeit now in fragmented ownership. George Drummond, together with his Head Gardeners Christopher and Robert Hosier, busied himself laying out plans for the biggest rock garden in the world - an expanse of 40 acres with lakes, waterfalls and huge chunks of sandstone brought from a quarry 5 miles away on farm wagons.
View payable Stamp Duty for this property