JUST as the country-house market seemed to be coming off the boil, three small manor houses, each set in gardens of distinction in a prime South of England location, have suddenly burst onto the scene.
Paul Finnegan of Savills (07967 555513) is handling the sale of historic, Grade I-listed Rymans in the parish of Appledram, West Sussex, a picturesque coastal area three miles south-west of Chichester, bounded to the west by the main channel of Chichester Harbour, to the north by the River Lavant and to the south by a stream that runs into the harbour below Birdham Mill.
He quotes a guide price of £4.5 million for Rymans, described by Pevsner as ‘a delightful small 15th-century manor house’, which takes its name from William Ryman, a prominent merchant and lawyer who was knighted in 1420 and appointed Sheriff of Sussex in 1434. He built the house of stone from the Bembridge and Ventnor quarries in about 1410. This oldest part of the T-shaped house, which remains largely unaltered, comprises a three-storey stone tower with trefoil windows and a south wing of two storeys under a tiled roof.
In 1654, the Ryman family sold the house to the Smith family of Binderton, who, in 1656, renamed it Appledram Place. The Smiths lived there until 1730 when it passed by marriage to the Bartellot family who owned it until 1913.
The two-storey east wing contains the former hall, built in the early 17th century and extensively remodelled in 1913–14 by the architect and historian Walter Godfrey, who also added the service wing to the north. In 1913, he replaced the original main staircase to the first-floor Great Chamber with the present 17th-century staircase and rebuilt the fireplace. Godfrey restored and adapted a number of important historic buildings and gardens throughout the South of England, including Chelsea Old Church, the Memorial Chapel at Eton College and Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, where his reconstruction of the interior was deemed ‘exemplary’ by Pevsner.
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