This glorious country mansion near Brighton has two claims to fame separated by 150 years – it was the subject of a Victorian novel and it is now being sold by comedian Steve Coogan.
Ovingdean Grange dates from the 17th century and in 1651 Charles II reputedly hid in the chimney breast for 24 hours before fleeing to France, but not before finding time to father a child there.
William Harrison Ainsworth – a close friend of Charlies Dickens – wrote about the incident in his 1857 novel, Ovingdean Grange: A Tale Of The South Downs.
Coogan paid £2.45 million for the grade II-listed house in 2011 but the home was briefly listed for sale two years ago before being taken off the market. The home has reappeared on Rightmove with an asking price of £3.25 million.
Steve Coogan’s country house near Brighton
The main house covers a very generous 7,400sq ft, but if even then you want to keep your guests at arm’s length, there is a two-bedroom flint cottage in the grounds, which has recently been refurbished, and features an entrance hall with stained-glass panels and a courtyard garden.
The centrepieces of the main house are a triple aspect drawing room with marble fireplace and an orangery with a glazed roof and a bay window overlooking a beautiful courtyard garden.
In the basement is a cinema room, while a former dairy in the grounds – which cover nearly three quarters of an acre – is now a splendid billiard room, complete with wood-burning fireplace.
The kitchen also has a magnificent inglenook fireplace as well the obligatory Aga.
The ground floor of the house has a self-contained suite, with a shower room and stairs to a bedroom on the first floor, where there are four other en suite bedrooms.
Two other bedrooms and a sitting room lie on the second floor.
The walled gardens include a formal front garden, laid to six beds each enclosed by box hedging and with a yew tree at the centre, with brick and gravel pathway meandering between.
A wrought-iron gate leads to the side garden, with lawn, terraced area and lavender beds.
Next to the terrace is an octagonal summer house, while an enclosed courtyard provides a secluded outdoor entertaining area.
Beyond the garage, which has room for four cars, is a spacious annexe-cum-office suite, which features its own 30ft reception room with oak floors and fireplace and a kitchen.
The house sits at the end of a drive set behind electric gates on the edge of the village of Ovingdean.
Ovingdean is about four miles from Brighton and eight miles from Lewes. The house is just three miles from Brighton station, with frequent trains to London Victoria taking as little as 54 minutes.
Ovingdean Grange is for sale for £3.25 million through Hamptons International