Distances are calculated in a straight line and may not reflect actual travel distance.
Bylsborough is an outstanding Grade II Listed Country House, listed as being of ‘17th Century or earlier’ origin and comprises the major part of an exceptional period house. The smaller northern part of the property, known as Bishops, is under separate ownership and benefits from its own private gardens and separate entrance drive from the lane.
Bylsborough offers extensive family accommodation arranged over three floors (plus basement cellar) and extends to approximately 5,500 sq. ft. The property has been sympathetically refurbished during the current vendors’ ownership of the last 13 years to offer accommodation of tremendous character and style with many comforts of modern living. Features include extensive exposed natural oak beams and timbers with period fireplaces to several rooms including a fine inglenook to the drawing room; a bespoke fitted kitchen opening to the family/dining room which creates a superb entertaining and family facility in the heart of the house; a well fitted utility room and cloak room space; extensive fitted wardrobes to the bedrooms and four modern bath/shower rooms. The accommodation includes spacious main living and entertaining areas, five bedrooms and three bath/shower rooms on the first floor (two ensuite) with two further bedrooms, landing/study/play area and a bathroom on the second floor.
Bylsborough lies just over 1 mile to the east of Henfield village and is approached by a shared private lane from the High Street which boasts a wealth of local shops, trades and services situated in a traditional High Street setting. The village has a thriving community with many varied events taking place throughout the year and provides facilities including health and sports centres, a library, and churches of most denominations. There is an excellent selection of both state and private schools in the area including St. Peter's Church of England Primary School in Henfield, Brighton College (which has a dedicated bus service from Henfield), Lancing College and Hurstpierpoint College. Over the surrounding countryside there are many miles of beautiful walks and rides which are easily accessible from the property.
Hassocks is about 8 miles to the east, which has a mainline railway station with services to London Victoria/London Bridge (from 58 minutes). The coastal City of Brighton and Hove is about 12 miles (sea front) to the south-east and Horsham is about 12 miles to the north. Both offer an excellent range of shops, trades, services and entertainment facilities. Henfield is situated between the A24 (about 5 miles to the north-west) and the A23 (about 4 miles to the east) both of which give good access to the major routes in the area including the M23/M25 and national motorway network.
Sporting and Recreation
Golf at Singing Hills (Albourne), The Dyke (Brighton), Mannings Heath and The West Sussex (Pulborough). Show jumping and eventing at Pyecombe, the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead and Borde Hill, near Cuckfield. Sailing at Brighton Marina. Theatres at Brighton, Crawley, Horsham and Chichester. Opera at Glyndebourne.
From the lane a private entrance drive with a double garage to one side opens to a carriage sweep to the front of the house. The front oak framed elevation with part brick and part rendered infill and traditional leaded light windows is adorned by a mature wisteria and has substantial sandstone and brick chimney stacks to each end.
The mature and extensive gardens are a real delight with daffodil filled lawns bordering the entrance drive. Sweeping lawns stretch away to the south and are divided by mature yew hedging and a fine selection of mature trees. To the South side is a small paddock area which has previously been used as a golf practice green. From the wide flagstone south facing terrace, which adjoins the house with a pretty Virginia Creeper, steps lead between an old rockery to the partly sunken swimming pool with mixed planting around. A nearby outhouse contains the twin oil fired boilers which also serve the house. A stone path extends from the terrace and leads between gently terraced formal lawns which are enclosed on three sides by mature shaped yew hedges. There is a further area of level lawn to the north-east and additional hidden areas of garden including a former grass tennis court to one side.
In all the gardens and grounds extend to approx. 4.75 acres (1.91Ha).
Bylsborough, formerly Bilsborough Farm, lies in the parish of Woodmancote. There has been a settlement at or near the site of the house since at least the 13th Century and a tithing called Bilsborough is recorded in 1262/3. The 1937 sales particulars of Bylsborough describe it as ‘A Remarkably Choice & Beautiful Property’ which extended at that time to 155 acres and included a Home Farm with farmhouse, plus three cottages and a bungalow although, in the previous Century, the property is understood to have extended to an even larger acreage. In the 1930’s the house is understood to have been purchased by Janet Aitken Kidd, daughter of Lord Beaverbrook (aka Max Aitken, founder of The Daily Express). Janet was one of the ‘Bright Young People’ who made up the social scene of London and whose pursuit of fun and the high life was tireless. There are reputed to have been a number of star studded ‘Society Parties’ held at Bylsborough during her tenure. In 1935 she married for a second time to Drogo Montagu, a first-rate pilot who inspired Janet to learn to fly. On his death, early in the War, Janet became determined to use her house to provide a rest-stop and convivial environment for any of her pilot friends on 48 hours leave. In so doing she met and married her third husband the Canadian, Captain Edward Kidd. One of her many guests at Bylsborough - which Janet’s father had renamed ‘Tracadie’ in reference to their family’s Canadian roots in Nova Scotia - was Sq. Ldr. Antony Bartley, a Spitfire fighter ace from the Battle of Britain. He stayed at the property on numerous occasions, including to recuperate from injury, with Janet being so well known for her hospitality that Antony Bartley mentioned in his book, “Smoke Trails in the Sky” the fact that ‘the Beaver’ (Lord Beaverbrook) offered his daughter £1,000 to remove the bar that she had installed, but she never did! The same book includes a photo of Clark Gable being entertained at Bylsborough. Janet’s autobiography, “The Beaverbrook Girl” also outlines the occasion when she and her daughter were strafed by machine gun fire from an enemy Heinkel plane whilst working in the fields. Thankfully they were unharmed, as were the villagers of Henfield when the Heinkel went on to fire along Henfield High Street before being destroyed by an RAF pilot friend of Janet’s on patrol with his squadron. The property was sold by Janet on her emigration to Canada at the end of the Second World War, retook its original name of Bylsborough and remained in the same family’s ownership for about 30 years until subsequent owners divided parts of the property and the acreage. The property, as now offered for sale, forms the core and principal part of the original house and encompasses all its great history.
5 principal bedrooms & 3 bathrooms
2/3 further bedrooms and bathroom
in all about 4.75 acres
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