A Grade II* listed 16th century former Custom House, set in 0.15 of an acre, at the heart of Maldon's conservation area.
History and Features: The property dates from the 16th C, and is Grade II* listed of architectural and historical interest. The house has an impressive Queen Anne style brickwork frontage, complemented by symmetrical sash windows on either side of a centrally positioned original front door with a peg-tile roof. Behind the front elevation there is an earlier 16th C timber framed structure. The left rear wing dates from the 16th C and the right rear wing dates from the early 19th C.
The house has a fascinating history which has been successfully and professionally recorded. There is an evidence to suggest that the house was purchased in 1733 for £90.00 by Thomas Quilter, a successful local mariner and ship owner (d.1751). The property remained the Quilter family's chief Maldon home until 1815. In 1817 the house became the Maldon's Custom House, with the ground-floor rooms on the right hand side being used for administration, and part of the front room partitioned off as a Public Lobby. The left-hand attic room was the Record Room and the rear left wing was occupied by a Customs Boatman.
The current owners have lived in the house for over 35 years and over that time they have carried out an extensive programme of restoration with exceptional attention to detail. The wealth of beautiful original features includes magnificent original oak floorboards, carved treads and barley sugar spindles on the main staircase, 18th and 19th century wainscoting in the hall, study and dining room, a tall sixteen-pane beautiful sash window in the drawing room, and vertical sliding shutters and a chamfer-arched fireplace on the first floor. The exposed roof trusses and chimney stack on the second floor provide evidence of the timber-framed construction of the original building.
Space Organisation: The internal layout is well organised, providing two principal ground floor reception rooms arranged around the entrance hall and its elegant staircase. Other rooms on this floor include a large kitchen/breakfast room with vaulted ceiling, a study, a cellar, a laundry room and a cloakroom. There are six bedrooms (one with an en-suite) across the first and second floors and a first floor bathroom.
The rear mature garden extends some 170 feet to the south-east, thoughtfully designed and planted to give colour throughout the year. A flagstone brick and flag terrace extends across the rear of the house. A well-established grape vine winds its way across one corner which is undercover, creating a sheltered area ideal for alfresco dining. There is also a patio with a large rockery garden and an old well, accessed from the rear door. The majority of the garden is enclosed by a very attractive red brick wall. A former outhouse makes a charming folly. A detached summerhouse, constructed in traditional building material, is located at the back of the garden. This building is currently used as a workshop, and would make an excellent artist's studio or office due to its sunny and slightly elevated disposition.
Listing quote: at one time the Custom House. Late C16, early C18 and early C19. Timber-framed and rendered with front of grey/blue header brick with red brick dressings; plain tile roofs and front range roof hips up to taller rear range the front range contains remains of a late C16 two-storey and unjettied timber-framed house. The exposed north-east wall has remains of diamond-mullioned windows to attic, 1st and ground floors. In its rear wall is a contemporary, or slightly later, stack with chamfered-arched fireplace to the 1st floor. The north-eastern rear extension range has a roof of A-frame type with high mounted collars, and many-pegged curved braces between principals and collar At the south-west end of front range, the base of a late C16 stack is exposed in the attic, with 2 octagonal shafts with moulded bases. In the early C18 the roof was raised, with reused material. The central entrance hall has early C19 panelling and dogleg staircase with barley-sugar balusters (some renewed), and arched openings on 1st-floor landing with moulded capitals and pilasters. South-west front room is of C18 pine panelling. Early C19 rear wing has contemporary fireplaces on ground and 1st floor and 1st-floor room has window with vertical sliding shutters. The ground-floor bay window has reeded pilasters on its flanks."
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