Early 16th century cottage thought to have once been monks’ dwelling

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IF you’re interested in owning a little piece of local history, this fascinating cottage in Ditchling Way, Hailsham - new to the market with Fine & Country – could be the ideal purchase.

Thought to date back to the early 16th century, yet not listed, the comprehensively refurbished two bedroom property is believed to have a past association with Michelham Priory and at one time been home to Augustinian monks.

Research by the vendor indicates that the Ditchling Way, Hailsham, building occupies an area where a terrace of three cottages once stood at an entrance to the Priory estate.

The presence of a priest hole in both the cottage for sale and the adjacent property adds considerable credence to the theory that this may have been part of that early structure.

A later use for the building may have been as a coaching inn as the drive to the front is thought to have formerly been the main road between the ancient market town and the Priory.

Today the cottage is approached through tall and attractive wrought iron gates. These open to a plot which includes parking for three cars, together with a useful detached garage.

To the side is a lawn, pergola and shed, while at the rear is a pretty sheltered cottage garden with a further area of grass, beds, a paved pathway, pond and shed.

Inside this tucked away home is an almost 16ft by just over 9ft triple aspect living room with a charming inglenook-style fireplace with stone hearth, beamed mantle and copper hood.

Timbered ceilings and walls abound in this and other rooms.

Opening from the lounge is a similarly long kitchen with deep enamel sink, wooden worksurfaces, cupboards and drawers.

There is a four-ring hob, an oven and space for another appliance. An arched window, a skylight and an old brick arch also feature and the floor is part brick/part stone.

A narrow staircase climbs to a first floor landing and two bedrooms with sloping ceilings.

In the larger of the two, which extends to 13ft by over 9ft, is the concealed priest hole. A shower room completes the layout.

Priced at £299,500, this historic home makes recommended viewing and arrangements can be made by contacting Fine & Country on 01825 767575.