Mad About The House
In September 2018 we made a leap of faith move out of London to our dream home in a little slice of Sussex countryside. Our 16th century cottage is situated on the outskirts of a pretty West Sussex Village.
In a round about way the cottage found us, so we like to think it was meant to be! We were viewing a different property down the road and were shown this one at the last minute on the same day. It hadn't popped up in any of our property searches so it was a welcome surprise when the agent suggested it. We felt a sense of belonging the minute we walked into the cottage and we both just knew right then and there it was going to be our little family's new home.
The cottage, although dated in decor was in amazing condition. The last lovely owners had taken such loving care of it and the surrounding gardens, and had recently extended the cottage with a beautiful Oak Orangery. This gave the cottage so much more space and light and works well with the cottages original character and features. Moving from our tiny two up, two down terrace cottage in London with its square of concrete garden, I pinch myself daily that we get to call this beautiful place home.
The garden is the most wonderful space and has saved our sanity during lockdown. I'd never realised I had remotely green fingers until we moved here and I had no choice but to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty. We inherited a beautiful orchard where the previous owners had also created a kitchen garden, the children and I spend a lot of our time growing fruit and vegetables. We've added more big cutting beds and a polytunnel in the two years we've been here to accommodate all the flowers we grow. This started as a project to grow our own wedding flowers which was a huge success crop wise, but unfortunately like so many others, thanks to Covid the wedding didn't happen and is still on hold for 2022 (everything crossed)!!
The flowers didn't go to waste, and I made up bouquets and gave them to friends around the village. The rest were dried and I made them into my wreaths, which is what will happen again at the end of this summer (I currently have a waiting list for these, please get in touch if you'd like me to add you to it).
I look forward to showing you my flower journey this year. I learnt a lot in 2020, so hopefully there will be buckets full of beautiful flowers and my drying room will be full to bursting in a few months.
The cottage is around 400 years old and full of beautiful original features from stunning beams to secret staircases. It would have originally been two cottages with the north end of the cottage added at a later stage. We have been told it was the Gate Keepers cottage to what would have been the neighbouring estate and forest. The forest is still there and it's a dream to live right on the edge of it. Once upon a time our cottage would have been where you paid a toll to enter the estate forest and use the road. Unfortunately that is the only bit history we know about the house so far. I'd love to find out more and if i do I'll keep you posted!
Along with the cottage came a small paddock in which has the most beautiful ancient Oak Tree as a centre piece We have been told the Oak is older than the cottage itself!! It's absolutely huge and really quite magical, especially against the sunrise.
I am truly, truly mad about this house and its gardens. I look forward to sharing our home with you in this blog and if you'd like to see more of it now you can find me on instagram under Cherryvintagehome.