Discovering a unique home like this is something amazing and getting to live here is simply wonderful!
Unusual, different, individual, unique, quirky; they were all words that defined search criteria for the home the current owners sought twelve years ago.
Those wonderful words drew them to this already converted chapel, one that has an intriguing history and links you to it in a lovely way.
'We didn't just want unusual, we wanted space around us and we wanted to be close to Tunbridge Wells.' It seemed that would be a tall order till they visited.
To take a chapel and make a wonderful home from it, creating one that pays homage to the buildings origins is no mean feat.
Wandering around this unique building you feel that the features and the way they integrate into rooms has elevated this beyond just being a converted chapel.
'Just being a converted chapel', that's a phrase that seems incongruous, how can anything be 'just' a converted chapel? As you explore this home there are moments when you feel you are within a space that is even grander than the words allude to, that's a tribute to the mind that created this conversion.
Whilst the photo shoot was taking place the owners settled down on the gallery with books to read and a coffee to drink.
Each area of this home has a unique character, even where you stand and face changes the experience.
From that gallery, peer over and into the living area, conscious and awed all the while by the thirty-three feet (10.05m) that mark the distance from the floor to the apex of the ceiling. Windows draw light in, light altered by stained glass, light that changes as the day progresses and again as evening draws nigh.
The kitchen is the hub of the home currently, so much time spent at the 'breakfast table, chatting, reading, entertaining and enjoying the view over the 'garden'.
Spiral staircases transport you from floor to floor and add to the special feeling that envelopes you whilst here.
Outside the whole area is approximately 0.8 acres. As you arrive you are ushered through electric double gates to a parking area by the garages and 'annexe'. Lawn extends away and disappears around a corner behind a classic stone wall inviting you to go exploring.
A pond sits in the midst of the garden enclosed by that wall and is companion to some special history. This area around the graves is leased at fifty pounds per year on what was originally a 125 year lease. Here you brush with history in an intriguing way.
Referred to as Broomhill Mission Church, this 'chapel of ease', built of sandstone, was constructed at the behest of WD Alexander, the then owner of Broomhill Bank, in 1877.
Alexander passed away in 1887 and Broomhill Bank, its estate of one hundred and twenty-five acres and the Chapel were purchased by David Lionel Salomons, thus the chapel become the resting place for members of the Salomons Family.
Chapel of ease becomes a very apt phrase because there is a sense of calm, of distinct peace that imbues this garden and there is a fascination that accompanies those resting here.
Amongst the seven family members laid to rest here is David Lionel Goldsmid-Sterns-Saloman (2nd Baronet) an intriguing figure of many talents and accomplishments. He had a passion for Horology and Breguet timepieces. During his life he amassed the largest private collection of Breguet watches and clocks owning the 'Marie Antoinette'. That was the 160th watch Breguet made, constructing it over a nineteen-year period, completing it in 1802.
On the 15th April 1983, then valued at $20 million, the watch was amongst 106 rare timepieces stolen from the Mayer Museum in Jerusalem. Twenty-three years later the watch was recovered. It transpired that master-thief Na'aman Diller had committed the robbery.
On countless levels this is an amazing home, one that nourishes the soul in many ways. Delightful accommodation, wonderful spaces outside, double garage, annexe/office/air b'n'b possibly, history to uncover, fascinating stories and walks to enjoy.
Hurst Wood has trails to explore; the owners have had many enjoyable walks around it and also walk into Tunbridge Wells from here.
We can keep on waxing lyrical but the best thing to do is come along and feel the joy of being here in person.Get in touch if you like this home.