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Stanmer House's north wing restored to former glory
When the north wing of Stanmer House was demolished in the 1950s it was feared that a little piece of Sussex history was lost forever.
But after a year of building work and 31 planning and heritage constraints – the section of the elegant mansion is ready to be lived in once more.
The man behind the project is Albion director Derek Chapman and the development is now in the running for National House-Builders Council and Local Building Control awards The 54-year-old had to first commission an archaeological survey before submitting detailed plans of how he intended to retain the area’s character and historical charm.
He said: “It wasn’t easy. We had to use all original materials – Westmorland stone, a special slate for the roof, iron for the drainpipes and a special oak for the doors. We even worked on the well in the courtyard which the donkeys used to drink from.
“Before it was little more than a shingle car park, so to see it brought back to life was quite special.”
The origins of the house date back to the early 1700s when the Pelhams, who later became the Earls of Chichester, commissioned the building of a country manor.
As their wealth grew, they built various extensions, including the north wing, stables and a nursery.
During the Second World War it was requisitioned by the War Office and was eventually bought by the Brighton Corporation with the Pelham family being hit hard by the inheritance tax.
Mr Chapman added of the buildings: “They are unique in that the exterior is all as it was in the 1750s but the inside is very 2012. You can even control the central heating and security gates from your smartphone.
“Best of all it is in the beautiful national park with fantastic views all around.”
There are seven, three and four bedroom houses in total being jointly sold by Mishon Mackay and Hamptons International.
An open day is being held at the site on Sunday between 10am and 2pm.