Sep 21, 2017

Project | Grade II Wealden Hall House | Surrey

It was an enormous privilege to be chosen to restore and extend this Grade II listed Wealden Hall House.

Adapted over the years, the original house had been extended during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with further outbuildings added within the last 100 years.

For our clients this unique house, with it's extensive gardens and accessibility to London, had all the potential they were looking for to create an exceptional family home.

More commonly found in Kent and East Sussex, a Wealden Hall House is of a medieval structural type. Timber framed, it is characterised by having an open hall which is flanked by floored jettied end bays, all under a single roof.

With a brief to completely renovate, reconfigure and extend, it was important that the final design connected the different spaces effectively, achieving a successful flow.

The design took the team at CDMS Architects an extensive number of reviews with the conservation team.  

It was eventually agreed that whilst the features and floor plan of the original Hall House must be retained, flexibility was possible with the more recent additions.

With permission to demolish and remove the Edwardian kitchen a new, contemporary extension could be created.

The former dark kitchen lacked height.

Delivering a much greater head height, the new open plan kitchen, living and dining space opens directly out onto a large patio area overlooking the beautiful gardens.

Cleverly avoiding the need for a handrail, the steps that connect the kitchen to the original rooms provide informal seating for extra guests when entertaining.

The spacious, light filled dining space makes the most of the views out onto the garden, whilst the kitchen leads round into a play area for our client's three small boys.

With the added inclusion of a pantry and utility room, plus a shower room and WC, the extension flows round to an impressive snooker and games room.

The result is stunning, whilst delivering on all of the practical needs for a perfect family home.

In contrast to the new extension, the original house with it's distinctive medieval structure was constructed during the time of the Tudors and the Stuarts.

One side of the hall would have housed the family accommodation, including  a 'parlour' for receiving guests.  On the other side of the hall, the 'service end' would have included a 'pantry' and 'buttery' for storage and would have been where cooking took place.

During the restoration works there was a pause whilst the possibility of asbestos was investigated. Any delay during such a large project creates challenges, however in this case it led to the ability to install underfloor heating further than planned and throughout the ground floor.

A programme of careful sandblasting tackled not just decades of paint but centuries of dust.

Exposing the beauty of the ancient timber beams.

With simple white decor allowing the beams to be the centre of attention.

With many thanks to Chris Scarr of CDMS Architects for helping us share the history and journey of this beautiful restoration.

Photography by Andrew Beasley.

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