Life in a converted working building is always going to provide that something different and Oast Houses have a uniqueness all of their own.
Stemming from their very particular function in a world that has faded from sight, converting them gave a new lease of life to the buildings and means you have a home like no other.
This particular oast was a working building up to 1975 according to the owner. 'Part of Lord Falmouths estate we purchased it in 1979. I remember it had planning permission to convert to two dwellings but we wanted it as one home to bring our family up' she says.
Working buildings tend to be placed for convenience and over the years the location has proved a real asset. 'We're on the A26 and Seven Mile lane is so close', which as the name suggests is seven miles from Maidstone and Tonbridge. We're on the cusp of the boundary with Tonbridge and so the choice of schools for our children was fantastic. Mereworth has a great Primary school to start them in and later on we chose schools to suit. With regular buses running past the door there was a sense of freedom to life that you might not expect from a rural community.
Back in time the neighbouring Forge used to collect Tolls for the road through to West Malling and hops from here probably went to the Swan in West Peckham, nowadays a renowned country inn and micro brewery.
Inside the Oast there is so much space and charm. The roundels provide magical rooms, a delight for the kids and downstairs the rooms can be used for any variety of purposes. One roundel was turned into the Kitchen back in the early days. In more recent times as family life altered, a new larger kitchen was created to combine with a spacious family area that currently houses the Dining table amongst other things. 'It's a great space to have all the family round, three generations can sit round the table and crash on the sofa'. 'Birthdays, gatherings and Christmas are always so much fun when you have no problem fitting people in.'
For anyone looking to move two families in the layout of the Oast provides a number of options for creating 'annex accommodation'. The roundels downstairs , one of which is the Kitchen/Utility seem to provide an almost natural site of rooms. Upstairs the huge games room which houses the family snooker table and at the other end a bar and seating area for enjoying a game on the big screen. This also has an external staircase and provides all sorts of possibilities if you wanted to use the area differently.
We had so much fun bringing the family up here, said the owner. 'Summertime would have us making elderflower cordial for the kids and plum vodka for the adults'. The outbuildings make for all sorts of uses and if someone wanted to build another outbuilding over the footprint where a huge shed used to sit in the rear garden, well the owner can't imagine any problems there. She has an old aerial shot to show where it stood and how big it was.
It is such a lovely area with West Malling on the doorstep, we have Hadlow just down the road too.
There are easy choices for shopping with Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Maidstone all so close. Getting to the M25 is easy from here which was a factor for my husband and it's hard to imagine we could have ever found anywhere better. I've lived here for over thirty five years, I guess that says something in itself.
To answer some of the practical questions. 'We replaced the gas boiler at the beginning of the year, January 2015, it runs on LPG'. Mains electricity and water are connected of course and there is a Klargester system to deal with the drainage.
'It's hard to leave somewhere that has been such a wonderful home for the family but they are grown up and life provides new opportunities. It's time to move and let someone else enjoy a special life here.Get in touch if you like this home.