Elysian Residences has undertaken the grand launch of Wildernesse House in Sevenoaks which consists of a Grade II listed house set in grounds of 24 acres, formerly the country estate of the Marquess of Camden and later Lord Hillingdon, which has been skilfully and sympathetically transformed into Kent’s finest new and exceptional retirement community.
Following refurbishment work by Elysian Residences, the newly opened Wildernesse House comprises 23 luxurious apartments in the main house, complemented by eight newly built contemporary mews houses. All the properties benefit from the exclusive use of on-site 5-star hotel style facilities, including the Great Hall with bar and lounge area; the library curated by award winning Sevenoaks Bookshop, the Pavilion restaurant and health spa with swimming pool and treatment rooms, set in 24 acres of gardens and landscaped grounds, with croquet lawn.
Tracing its origins back to 1327, between 1705 and 1884 Wildernesse House was the country house of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marquess of Camden and after 1884 was owned by banker Lord Hillingdon and family. The front wing, including the Great Hall and library, were built in 1884-1885 by Lord Hillingdon, with the rear Georgian wing largely built in 1803-1804 by the Marquess of Camden.
Under the Marquess of Camden guests at Wildernesse House included the Duke of Wellington, Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and Clementina Churchill, a relative of Winston Churchill. When Lord and Lady Hillingdon lived at Wildernesse House guests included the Rothschild family, Lord Randolph Churchill, Viscount Chelsea, the 10th Duke of Marlborough, and the Harewood family, including HRH Princess Mary, the Princess Royal.
From 1954 onwards Wildernesse House became a school which closed in 2013 and in 2016 plans were prepared to return Wildernesse House to its residential origins as a new retirement community.
In 2020, Elysian Residences acquired Wildernesse House and undertook enhancements to the specification, amenities and interiors of the main house into order to transform the country house into Kent’s finest luxury retirement community, combining beautiful properties with the 5-star amenities of a great hotel, along with outstanding service and additional care and support, if needed, available on a totally flexible basis.
Arriving via the tree-lined drive, a fitting approach to such a remarkable location, Wildernesse House is entered via a pillared stone portico, leading into reception, Great Hall and library, the original principal reception rooms.
With 18 ft high ceiling, baronial fireplace, parquet flooring and full height windows overlooking the gardens the Great Hall features a concert grand piano and uses credenzas to create a series of individual entertaining areas within the room. Elysian Residences has introduced a new cocktail and coffee bar into the Great Hall, creating a focal point for homeowners to meet and entertain.
In the library new lighting and beautiful joinery matching the classic interiors of the Great Hall has been installed, restoring the library to the elegance once enjoyed by Lord and Lady Hillingdon and their famous guests. The library is arranged to either side of the main staircase and was curated over a two month period by Fleur Sinclair, Vice President of the Booksellers Association and proprietor of the Sevenoaks Bookshop which was first opened in 1948 and under the custodianship of Fleur Sinclair won The British Bookshop Awards prestigious Independent Bookshop of The Year Award in 2021.
Providing over 600 books, the newly restored library provides non-fiction books along one side of the staircase and fiction and children’s books on the other. The library’s bays are organised to offer 13 sections containing classics, fiction, prize winning authors, travel, food, sport, biographies, art, fashion, interiors, nature writing, gardening and children’s books.
In the apartments, some layouts were enhanced and Elysian specification fixtures and fittings were installed, including bespoke door handles, custom joinery and lighting. Kitchens and bathrooms were also styled to provide the signature Elysian quality including marble, stone and high-gloss finishes.
The result is a beautiful collection of 23 apartments in the main house all with individual layouts and features, with large open-plan living, dining and kitchen areas. A limited number of the apartments are heritage apartments which encompass the state rooms of the house, creating genuinely one-of-a-kind homes, some with 18ft high ceilings, ornate plasterwork and full height windows. A further 53 new build apartments, set in the leafy southern section of the grounds will be open in 2023.
On the lower ground floor of the main house is the luxurious health spa, for homeowners and guests, offering a sauna, steam room, treatment rooms, gym, changing rooms and a swimming pool that benefits from lots of natural light, cascading in through tall windows.
Across the lawn from the main house is the Pavilion restaurant where homeowners, their guests and the local community can enjoy a range of menus throughout the day, using locally sourced Kent ingredients: facilities include a café, kitchen, coffee bar, private dining area and outside seating.
In the beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds of Wildernesse House homeowners will be able to relax and entertain, using the large paved front and rear terraces that overlook the formal lawns, and enjoy the gardens and grounds.
Now officially opened by Cllr Diana Esler, Chairman of Sevenoaks District Council and Cllr Dr Merilyn Canet, the Mayor of Sevenoaks, Wildernesse House is becoming a thriving new retirement community. So well received is the new launch that Elysian Residences has now sold over 40% of the main house apartments and the newly built mews houses.
Elysian Residences Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Stein, said, “Setting a new benchmark for quality and lifestyle, Wildernesse House is a classic English country house transformed into the most luxurious and exceptional retirement community in the Home Counties.
“With its 700 years of history, grand rooms and beautiful grounds Wildernesse House provides a unique opportunity to live in either a modernised period property or a newly built mews house, and all our homeowners can enjoy the rich heritage of the estate and all the 5-star amenities such as the spa, swimming pool, Great Hall and Pavilion restaurant.
“What makes Wildernesse House so special is that it is staffed by a superbly well-trained Elysian team whose purpose is to attend to the needs and requirements of the homeowners. It is this matchless day-to-day service and warm personal approach to customer care that sets an Elysian Residences’ retirement community apart and makes this magnificent estate a home.”
Prices at Wildernesse House start from £970,000 for an apartment in the main house and £1,150,000 for a mews house, with the new builds available from 2023 priced from £580,0000 (other fees also apply). For further information please contact Elysian Residences at Wildernesse House Tel: 020 3918 7997 or visit: www.wildernessehouse.com