This is Black House Farm; it’s surrounded by protected forests and fields within the South Downs National Park, close to the village and country estate of Hinton Ampner and the town of Alresford,. Now, most of you may not need to know that, but one of you may be so enchanted by the mix of old and new that you’ll travel to England just to see this house.
The original home is a meticulous renovation of a Grade II-listed 17th-century farmhouse and the conversion and modernization of the 19th-century threshing barn into a modern home. The combination of the old and the old-turned-new is as amazing house set on almost 20 acres.
To reach the house one must travel along a secluded woodland lane which ends in a private driveway with a plant room, garage, and parking space for several vehicles. From this vantage point you face the original 17th-century farmhouse, unable to see the modern black mass behind it.
The farmhouse is thatched and composed of flint walls of oak framing and hand-made red brick, all of which was repaired by local artisans and craftsmen to retain every inch of character; the only new part of the farmhouse are the new hardwood windows, a few spots of lime plastering and oak repairs.
The same care was taken inside the old house, where new oak doors have been handmade in traditional methods and the wide-board oak floors were repaired as needed. The home is three floors, with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a guest cloakroom at ground level, and a stone-floored entrance with an inglenook fireplace and working bread oven as its central hub.
To the right of the entrance is a nearly 100-foot-long hallway that leads into the former threshing barn; the floor shifts from original, centuries old clay tiles to polished concrete with underfloor heating that runs through the entire home.
This single-story structure connects the historic buildings creating one magnificent home around a central courtyard. Inside the renovated barn you’ll see the timber cladding and old beams of the original structure set against black corrugated sheet steel over the high-pitched roof profile.
In this new section are the primary bedroom along with two more bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a cloakroom and a studio/study with full sliding doors looking out over a wildflower meadow and to the forest beyond.
The newly built section of the home wraps around the courtyard lawn moving from the atrium, with a large kitchen and family room beyond, to the living room, where huge sliding doors open onto the enclosed garden.
From the atrium is another section of the barn, where the ancient beams are exposed, featuring the kitchen, dining room, and a sitting room. Enormous windows and a towering glass door flood the interior with light from three sides while framing views of the surrounding greenery.
The home sits in acres of wildflower borders and tall rye grass meadows, ideal for cultivating vines or fruits, bordered by an historic, protected and actively managed evergreen forest. There are tree-lined meadows to the north and another wild meadow to the east past the orchard garden and ending at a swimming lake fed naturally by rainwater.
It’s an amazing home, a monster of a home, but it mixes the centuries old way of living and then moves into a very modern space filled with light and incredible views. I’d maybe live in the new part and rent out the old as a B&B.
If I had £6.25M or $7.5M USD handy …
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