A complicated site of an ancient farmstead atop of the North Downs Area of Outstanding Beauty, this project required ecological surveys, archaelogical surveys and an understanding of the historic Georgian and Medieval Farmstead complex. What was uncovered was that it was likely a moated site that once had a Manor house at its centre who was part of Henry V111 court at Leeds Castle. Upon finding the site it took real vision as all the outbuildings and barns were concealed with Rapunzelesque brambles - completely hidden until after purchase interventions included the insertion of a three-storey void to bring light into the heart of the home.
Creating a home for a modern family with strong equestrian links with a love of the English Countryside was the main brief. A visual tranquility, which envelopes you in this remote but connected part of the world - sitting above the infamous Pilgrims Way just like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tale.
Archer Humphryes triumph after two years of negotiation and methodical work with the council and English Heritage have recently been awarded consent to create a substantial 10,000 square foot cluster of properties with the Listed building being retained at the heart of the proposal. Retained are the character of the period stable, a modern mid century barn, a Victorian dairy and various flint buildings. Intertwined with the historic are the charateristically modern architectural elements that link buildings together. A floating glass pavillion which allows views of the Ponds through its transparency is more akin to a modern age - although not like Mies Van der Rohe’s Farnswoth House, more empathy with a contemporary zen Japanese Tea House.
English Heritage, now Historic England in there letter of support for the scheme described the significance that the grade II listed farmhouse derived from its historic and functional relationship with the surrounding agricultural buildings and landscape beyond. “The scheme seeks to retain the compact form of the farmhouse and in doing socreates a clear distinction between the farmhouse and agricultural buildings both in form and design. In this way, we feel that the scheme in its current form responds in a much more sensitive way to the significance of the listed farmhouse, its surrounding agricultural buildings and landscape.”
Beginning on site shortly, this project is very connected to the landscape is sits within, which include an Ancient Woodland called Four Acre wood that has an abundance of bluebells. Materials will be sourced from local skill and craftsmanship, Faversham bricks, Kent Down flint, re - use of slate and green oak. The real merit of the scheme is to achieve something of beauty, functionality, liveability, to a tight budget. Completion Soon.