An iconic Grade II listed Georgian property in the heart of the historic coastal town of Hythe.
In the very heart of the historic coastal town of Hythe, adjacent to the Conservation Area, lie enchanting gardens and grounds of some 1.5 acres, the backdrop to The Watermill, a wonderful example of Georgian architecture and industry past and an iconic part of the town since 1773.
The property occupies the site of the earlier Damer's Mill, which was documented on Thomas Hill's hospital map of 1685.
Over the last 170 years The Watermill has changed hands only three times. Records show that from the 1850's the property was owned by George Burch, a miller from nearby Wittersham. One of his eight children, eldest daughter Emily who never married, was a schoolmistress who it is said ran a school from the sitting room in the mill house. Her younger sister Alice, managed the bakery in Hythe and helped with the day to day running of the mill up until her death in 1932, when the milling ceased, on Saturday 27th August 1932, and it was put up for auction.
In the same year, The Watermill was bought by Stuart Brown who owned it for the next 50 years, during which time Arthur Baker-Clack, the Australian born impressionist artist had a studio in The Uppermill.
During these years the mill fell into a state of neglect and disrepair, until it was bought by the Marston family in 1982, who painstakingly over the next ten years, set out to restore not only the Mill House, and The Uppermill but also return the mill itself to working order. In 1992 their efforts were rewarded, after a motionless 60 year period the water wheel turned again and in 1993 flour was milled again.
The Marston family were awarded the Hythe Civic Award for their contribution to the town in 1991 and in 1992 they were presented with Shepway's Building Design Award for restoration.
Now coming to the market for the first time in forty years, this fascinating Grade II listed property comprises the delightful five bedroom Mill House, The Uppermill, which has been a successful holiday let and more recently ancillary accommodation to the main house and linking the two, the charming original mill building set out over four floors with much of its Victorian machinery still in situ, although not in working order.
The Mill House
This charming characterful home with elevations enhanced by climbing hydrangeas and an abundance of period features internally, has three main reception rooms; a formal dining room with wood burning stove and drawing and sitting rooms with lovely garden vistas.
The kitchen/breakfast room is well proportioned and fitted with an excellent range of modern cupboards and central island with a number of integral Miele appliances.
Over the first and second floors five pretty bedrooms feature a variety of fitted cupboards with the principal bedroom benefiting from a dressing room and en suite shower room. A family bathroom and separate WC serve the remaining bedrooms.
To the north of The Mill House lies The Uppermill, originally part of the granary stores and converted in 1989 into a holiday let. From the entrance hall, a spiral staircase leads to the first floor where there is a kitchen, a 21ft sitting room with internal window to the milling platform, a bedroom and WC. Spiral stairs continue up to the second floor and a mezzanine study/sitting area overlooking the lower sitting room, a double bedroom and bathroom. The Uppermill is completely self-contained and enjoys direct access to a substantial terrace, beyond which lie the upper gardens and stunning mill pond.
Over the ground floor of the mill there is a large workshop and garage. Ladder style steps lead up to the mill room and milling platform. Steps continue up through two further floors which are currently used as storage.
Gardens and Outbuildings
A truly magical feature of The Watermill are the glorious accompanying gardens and grounds which have been lovingly designed and tended by the owners and have on occasion been open to the public for fund raising events and duck racing.
To the south of the house there is a walled garden with evergreen trees, shrubs and raised beds planted with spring bulbs and perennials. A pathway continues around to the west, where an expanse of lawn stretches away, dissected by the stream, with its banks to either side under planted with an array of seasonal plants, creating ongoing structure, colour and interest. Stone bridges criss-cross the stream at various points and at the northern end there is a cascading waterfall.
The path continues around and steps lead up passing the old millwheel, known as an overshot wheel' to the stunning upper lawns where the mill pond is the central feature.
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I think this is one of the most magical properties I have seen with gardens that wouldn't look out of place at Chelsea Flower Show!Duncan Petrie