39 Strand Street
A rare opportunity to own a piece of History as well as an impressive period home situated within the heart of the market town of Sandwich and just yards away from a wealth of local amenities. ‘Harfleet House’ is steeped in history and dates back to circa 1250. Originally a wealthy merchant’s house and now a Grade II listed dwelling boasting an array of period features and oozing character. This superb example of a medieval hall house is amongst the best surviving merchant houses in the whole of England offering impressive and practical accommodation over three floors plus an under croft (Stone cellar) which dates back to Norman times. Set within Strand Street in the historic Cinque port of Sandwich which has the longest row of timber framed houses in Europe and claims to be ‘the completest medieval town in England’, the property has been modernised internally by its present owners, whilst retaining many original features, including fine timber framing and exposed beams throughout, with an amazing ‘King Post’, vaulted ceiling and some charmingly uneven floors. ‘Harfleet House’ offers a great versatility in terms of the configuration of rooms and is currently used as a five bedroom home with plenty of options and possibilities to give the new owner. In the past few years the current owners have enjoyed being hosts and the property has been a successful bed & breakfast which can be lucrative and provides an extra income. Internal inspection is the only way to appreciate this delightful home so call now to book your appointment.
Harfleet House is 79 miles from Central London, on the South Coast. London Gatwick Airport is as little as a 1 hour 30 minute drive and London Heathrow Airport from 1 hour 50 minutes.It’s a short walking distance to Sandwich Railway Station. There is a fast train service to London St Pancras International Station of 1 Hour 29 minutes. Onward train journeys to the very heart of the European cities of Paris, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Rotterdam and Amsterdam with high speed Eurostar services can be taken there.
Entrance: – Oak front door to:
Kitchen/Breakfast Room: – This spacious area hosts a handmade bespoke kitchen with oak units and granite work-surfaces over and incorporating a double Belfast sink unit and integrated appliances including ‘Miele’ microwave oven, inset electric oven, gas hob, freezer, fridge and dishwasher and there is an ‘Esse’ Range cooker set within a fireplace (not tested).There is Limestone floor tiling with under-floor heating, leaded light windows to the front with secondary glazing, wrought iron spiral staircase leading to the first floor (in addition to the main first floor staircase) door and window to the courtyard, and door to:
The Grand Dining Room (Galleon Room): – This grand room features high ceilings, Inglenook fireplace housing a gas fired ‘Log effect’ stove on a tiled hearth, leaded-light window over-looking the courtyard, exposed beams and timbers, Limestone floor tiling with under-floor heating. Door to the courtyard and staircase to:
Note: – The window in the dining room which over-looks the courtyard known as the ‘Galleon’ window was said to be that from a Galleon Ship as research and historic records suggest.
Drawing/Living Room: – Fireplace housing coal effect gas fire, exposed floor boards and wood panelling with ornate detailing, radiator, dual aspect windows over-looking the courtyard garden.
Landing: – Exposed beams and timbers, staircase to the second floor plus built-in cupboard, and access to:
Principal Bedroom with Ensuite: – Exposed ceiling, wall beams and timbers, fireplace with log burner style gas stove, radiator, dual aspect, and door to:
Ensuite: – ‘Starck’ designer bathroom suite, contemporary styled suite comprising bath, wash hand basin, WC, exposed ceiling beams, ladder rack style radiator/towel rail, wall and floor tiling, and window to the rear.
Family Bathroom: – Designer suite comprising shower cubicle, contemporary styled wash hand basin and WC with concealed cistern, ladder rack style radiator/towel rail, wall and floor tiling exposed ceiling beams, and window to the side.
The Grand Hall Room: – (Drawing room/Library room/Reception) Vaulted ceiling with exposed ceiling beams and featuring a ‘King Post’ and a stunning array of exposed timbers. Fireplace with coal effect gas fire, exposed floor boards painted in ‘chequered’ pattern and sash windows.
Reception Room/Bedroom 2: – Vaulted ceiling with again exposed ceiling and wall beams and timbers, Oak flooring, radiators, and windows.
Landing: – Oak flooring, leaded-light window to the front, built-in cupboard, radiator, stairs to two bedrooms, and doors to a shower room and bedroom.
Bedroom 3: – Fireplace with coal effect gas fire, wood panelling to walls, Oak flooring, radiator, cupboard housing boiler, and leaded-light single glazed window to the front.
Shower Room: – ‘Starck’ designer suite, contemporary styled with white suite comprising shower cubicle, wash hand basin, WC, exposed wall beams, wood panelling to walls, ladder rack style radiator/towel rail, and leaded-light window to the side.
Bedroom 4: – Exposed beams and timbers, coal effect gas fire, ‘chequered’ pattern painted floorboards, radiator and dual aspect with leaded-light windows to the front.
Bedroom 5: – Exposed wall and ceiling beams, ‘chequered’ pattern painted floorboards, radiator and leaded-light windows to the side.
Courtyard Garden: – Block paved and enclosed, offering a delightful view of the brick and timber elevations of the property. Doors to the passageway to the rear courtyard garden and door to the Undercroft (Stone Cellar).
Undercroft(Stone Cellar) – This useful cellar boasts a combination of Flint and Stone and exposed beams and timbers, it has power and light and radiator, the ideal place for a wine cellar, hobbies, entertaining/gym area or cinema room.
Rear Courtyard Garden: – Secluded and enclosed with paved flooring and raised planters containing plants and shrubs, two internal shed/tool stores.
Summer House: – The summerhouse, currently being used as a studio as it has good light, French doors, windows, radiator, light and power, and floor tiling.
Garage: – The garage has an electric ‘up and over’ remote controlled door.
Total approximate floor area of 3473 square feet.
Council Tax Band: B –
A brief History of Harfleet House
The name Harfleet (swift runner) was brought into England in the wake of the Norman invasion in the form of HARFOTR.
Now a medieval hall house of timber framed construction with three floors, two of which overhang Strand Street. The house once formed the frontage to the quayside and was originally owned by the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury.
1170 St. Thomas Beckett landed at Sandwich Haven and stayed at Strand Street before travelling to Canterbury where he was later murdered.
1250 The under croft at the rear of the house formed part of a larger Norman house which occupied the site of both 39 and 41 Strand Street. The limestone used is the same as in Canterbury Cathedral and is from Caen in Normandy. Graffiti can still be seen dating from 1700. It is the only under croft in Sandwich that has a fireplace and is thought to have been the site of Sandwich Mint. The coins minted in Sandwich can be seen at Sandwich Guildhall Museum and the London British Museum. The house, which had a private quay on the waterfront, is thought to have been built and owned by a wealthy wool merchant.
1255 The first captive elephant was landed at the quayside for delivery to Henry 111.
1287 The disastrous storm greatly widened the quayside from the Norman line allowing the house to be built forward. The timbers in the building above the under croft have been dated 1300 and were erected in two stages, followed by the hall and street range in 1334. Nottingham University used Dendrochronology to date the house timbers, commissioned and financed by English Heritage.
1559 Queen Elizabeth 1st visits Strand Street, Sandwich. Elaborate arrangements were made to clean and decorate the town. The houses were painted white with black timbers for the visit of the Tudor Queen.
1606 The plaque in the courtyard was erected by Francis Boughton, whose daughter Rachel went on to be one of the first settlers in Bermuda. Francis Boughton was enrolled as a Freeman in 1592 and was both Treasurer and Councillor in Sandwich up to 1613. His carved initials can be seen in the under croft. He made major alterations to the house adding an upper floor in the hall with the great chimney breast, fire places and the installation of the ‘Armada’ window which is Jacobean and from a galleon. The window bears the coat of arms of Sir Thomas Septvans alias Harfleet and the Solleys. The wagon entrance to the street was sealed at this time.
1622 Francis Boughton’s daughter Rachel marries Richard Norwood mathematician, diver, surveyor and author. They were amongst the first settlers in Bermuda. He has been called “Bermuda’s outstanding genius of the seventeenth century”. Isaac Newton noted Norwood’s work in his Principia Mathematica.
1660 William Harfleet, Wool Merchant names the house Harfleet House.
1660 Wool exports were forbidden, and two years later the death penalty was introduced for smuggling wool. A ‘smugglers hide’ made of red brick was discovered in later years at the rear of the house, under the paving, measuring some 8 x 12 feet. There are two similar in Folkestone and one in Canterbury.
1736 Richard Solly “The Younger” resident of Harfleet House becomes, for the first of three times, the Mayor of Sandwich.
1759 Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, radical reformer of international repute, and the author of “The Rights of Man” was in business in Sandwich as a master stay maker. He married Mary Lambert at St Peter’s Church in Sandwich on September 27th 1759.
1920 No. 39 was ‘The Chintz Tea Rooms’ and No. 41 was ‘The Alma’ then later Barclays Bank.
1927 Harfleet House was renamed ‘The Pilgrims’ by Lady Grace Pearson. She later added No. 41, No.43 and built a Squash Court at the rear. ‘The Pilgrims’ was used as a Hotel, Club, Restaurant and Antique Shop.
1980 At auction ‘The Pilgrims’ was sold off in its original lots. Harfleet House regained its name.
**Price reduced from £995,000 to £925,000**