Kent architecture

A remarkable Gothic-style Victorian mansion in Kent with expertly designed interiors

Lewins is a spectacular mansion in the village of Crockham Hill, with stylish interiors that are modern, yet very much in keeping with the property’s origins. Penny Churchill takes a look.

The renovation of Grade II listed Lewins in Crockham Hill, 10km from Sevenoaks, Kent, was a labor of love for interior designer Ashton Taylor Smith, whose home it has been since 2017.

The elegant 5,485-square-foot house comprises most of a Gothic-style Victorian mansion designed in the mid-1870s by architect JM Brydon, a colleague of Richard Norman Shaw, for Peter Robinson, the founder of the first department store in London. It is now on the market through Savills in Sevenoaks at an indicative price of £2.995million.

Once the focal point of a grand Victorian estate, Lewins had interiors designed by suffragettes and interior designers Rhoda and Agnes Garrett, who apprenticed at Brydon before founding Britain’s first interior design firm. Britain run by women. Agnes also worked alongside William Morris and one of her wallpapers now adorns Lewins’ library.

Miss Taylor Smith’s renovation translates the dynamic spirit of that era into today’s interiors with a touch of airiness that enhances the elaborate Victorian architecture: a particular note is the light-filled grand central room with its molded ceilings and its ionic pillars.

Lewins stands in 3¾ acres of lovely gardens and grounds on the outskirts of the village of Crockham Hill with stunning views to the south.

The house offers elegant accommodation over two floors comprising, in addition to the Great Hall and the library, a large living room, an office, a kitchen/breakfast room, a pantry and a garden room. Upstairs, the five bedrooms have either a bathroom or an adjoining bath/shower room with lovely views over the gardens.

Lewins is currently on the market through Savills with an indicative price of £2.995m – see more photos or inquire with the agent for details.

Crockham Hill: what you need to know

Location: In Kent, just under 10 miles from Sevenoaks. Trains depart from Edenbridge, Edenbridge Town and Hurst Green.

Atmosphere: The village is home to a primary school, village hall, pub, tennis court and recreation grounds. Edenbridge is less than three miles away and has a full range of shops.

Things to do: Many hiking trails in the area as well as golf at Hever, Westerham and Tandridge among others. There is a leisure center in Oxted and several stately homes open to the public.

Schools: Crockham Hill Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Four Elms Primary School and Hollan Primary School have all been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. Other schools in the area include Tonbridge Girls Grammar School and Judd Boys Grammar School as well as Hazelwood Prep.

See more properties for sale in the area.


Check out the best country homes for sale this week that have hit the market via Country Life.