Spectacular Gothic architecture, sublime gardens from the 1800s and centuries of rich history meet at Oxney Court in Margarets-at-Cliffe, Dover.
The fascinating story of Oxney Court far predates the 17th century beginnings of the current property (not to mention its fresh appearance on the property market at Â£ 6.5m), with records showing a house on the site hundreds of years ago.
The small parish of Oxney was indeed first registered in a charter in 1038, then a few years later in the Doomsday Book.
Other references to the property include Hasted’s Tale of Kent, Thomas Philpott’s 17th Century Kent Study, and the 1825 Series on Gentleman’s Seats by JP Neale in 1825.
The first documents show that the house belonged to the Auberville family, which is believed to have remained their property until the reign of Henry VII. After which it was purchased by John Smedley who carried out work on the property before a bold Gothic style was introduced by the Jeken family in 1764.
Further changes were made to the vast crenellated property in the 19th century for John May – a man who prospered through the Napoleonic Wars; and a newspaper advertisement for the Oxney Court auction in 1901 described the 17-bedroom, 865-acre estate as “a medium-sized manor house of old English design, approached by a long carriage ride and two entrance pavilions “.
In 1907, the Oxney House was used as a preparatory school, before being requisitioned by the military during the First World War.
Shortly thereafter, the property suffered a damaging fire which left it in a state of repair. dilapidation. Numerous attempts were made to restore Oxney Court during the 20th century, however, it was not until 1997 that planning was considered appropriate and ‘the owners obtained permission for a sympathetic reconstruction of the mansion and implemented a careful restoration and improvement program. to restore the house to the highest quality. ‘
Grade II listed Baronial Gothic Manor House – on the market via Sotheby’s for Â£ 6.5million is the result of years of hard work and dedication to restore the original mansion. It comes with 35 acres of land plus a four bed family cottage and a two bed staff cottage.
The main living space is presented over three floors, with each room showcasing a combination of high-level architecture and fascinating Gothic elements.
The result, as described by the agents, is a “rare and beautiful home” which is “the most wonderful environment in which to live and play”.
The fantastic gardens and grounds surrounding the property were planted in the 19th century by Joseph Banks, the owners’ nephew. Banks was well known for bringing exotic plants to England and for his later work at Kew Gardens.
Many rare tree specimens survive today and help further showcase the deep level of history upon which Oxney Court is built.
Within the grounds is also an incredible treehouse – complete with monkey bridges and a hobbit house. An outdoor oak dining area houses a fireplace and kitchen, making it the perfect entertaining space.
It’s clear to see the dedication and hard work that has gone into Oxney Court, which Sotheby’s describes as creating a property that “is a gracious and tranquil oasis in which to retreat”.
St Margarets-at-Cliffe: what you need to know
Site: St Margaret’s Bay is a coastal village spread over rural Kent farmland. The nearest stations are located at Martin Mill and Dover Priory, offering services from the South East. Dover is just over 5 miles away and the Folkstone Eurotunnel is 15 miles away.
Atmosphere: Considered the hidden gem of White Cliffs County, the village is well-equipped with amenities, thanks to its visitors year round.
Things to do: There are countless activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained. Visit the English pub in France – The Coastguard, and the many teahouses and cafes in the area. Explore the breathtaking coastline on foot or by bike, or venture further inland to the Kent Downs. The area is also a birding paradise, and avid swimmers (as well as spectators) can watch those brave enough to cross the Chanel, from the beach trailhead at St Margaret’s Bay.
Schools: Portal House School, St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe Elementary School and the Royal Duke of York Military School all received “good” or “exceptional” ratings in the most frequent reviews. There are plenty of options for high school as well, including Dover College, Astor College, and Dover Grammar School for Girls.
Credit: Strutt & Parker
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