Today’s junk is tomorrow’s history, or so they say. Unfortunately we live in an increasingly mobile and throwaway age. For most of us it is a rare treat to find an old newspaper or a scribbled note from the past. But for Charlotte Moore it couldn’t be more different. The past is the present. 

The dining room is one of the oldest parts of the house. A tiny white imp grins down from the top of the pillar, a copy of an original carving from Lincoln cathedral purchased by Norman Moore. Charlotte has ensured that this beautiful wedding dress and lace parasol have been specially restored to their former glory

The dining room is one of the oldest parts of the house. A tiny white imp grins down from the top of the pillar, a copy of an original carving from Lincoln cathedral purchased by Norman Moore. Charlotte has ensured that this beautiful wedding dress and lace parasol have been specially restored to their former glory

Back in the 17th century Hancox belonged to the Sackville family and while not on the same scale as Knole, their family seat in Sevenoaks, was nevertheless one of the grandest houses in the neighbourhood

Back in the 17th century Hancox belonged to the Sackville family and while not on the same scale as Knole, their family seat in Sevenoaks, was nevertheless one of the grandest houses in the neighbourhood

In 1961 when Charlotte’s mother went into hospital to have her youngest son Rowan, she stuck on the back of the cupboard doors housekeeping details for the person coming in to look after the family. They are still there

In 1961 when Charlotte’s mother went into hospital to have her youngest son Rowan, she stuck on the back of the cupboard doors housekeeping details for the person coming in to look after the family. They are still there

Full of boots, saddles and carthorse harnesses the utility room is another part of the house that hasn’t been touched for years

Full of boots, saddles and carthorse harnesses the utility room is another part of the house that hasn’t been touched for years

“I can’t see any reason not to use the perfectly good pots and pans that came with the new Aga in 1934 and I’m strangely proud of the fact that I’ve never needed to buy a new towel,” says Charlotte

“I can’t see any reason not to use the perfectly good pots and pans that came with the new Aga in 1934 and I’m strangely proud of the fact that I’ve never needed to buy a new towel,” says Charlotte

The drawing room: part of the most recent (Victorian) extension added by Milicent. It is a big room that features tall ceilings and has as air of austerity. The William Morris curtains suggest how grand this room might once have been

The drawing room: part of the most recent (Victorian) extension added by Milicent. It is a big room that features tall ceilings and has as air of austerity. The William Morris curtains suggest how grand this room might once have been

The drawing room, with its impressive grand piano, is still used for big family gatherings such as Christmas

The drawing room, with its impressive grand piano, is still used for big family gatherings such as Christmas

Last decorated in 1907, the impressive anaglyptic borders of the drawing room are now peeling in a rather stately droop

Last decorated in 1907, the impressive anaglyptic borders of the drawing room are now peeling in a rather stately droop

Enviably, the boys’ bedrooms are a virtually plastic-toy-free zone

Enviably, the boys’ bedrooms are a virtually plastic-toy-free zone

Many of the rooms upstairs, the boys’ bedrooms, the bathrooms and spare rooms, are all very simple in their decoration and contents. But what is most charming are the graffiti and drawings left by generations of Moore children

Many of the rooms upstairs, the boys’ bedrooms, the bathrooms and spare rooms, are all very simple in their decoration and contents. But what is most charming are the graffiti and drawings left by generations of Moore children

Charlotte’s writing desk looks out over the farm buildings. “I can see the great roof of our cathedral-like barn, the stables, the old coach house and the brew house. It’s a view that hasn’t changed for several hundred years.”

Charlotte’s writing desk looks out over the farm buildings. “I can see the great roof of our cathedral-like barn, the stables, the old coach house and the brew house. It’s a view that hasn’t changed for several hundred years.”

Charlotte’s office

Charlotte’s office

Recent finds from the property await inspection laid out on a chair

Recent finds from the property await inspection laid out on a chair

“My family, present and past, are disinclined to throw anything away. If you live in a house as large as Hancox, there’s no pressing need to dispose of stuff, so it just silts up,” says Charlotte

“My family, present and past, are disinclined to throw anything away. If you live in a house as large as Hancox, there’s no pressing need to dispose of stuff, so it just silts up,” says Charlotte

The attic rooms are crammed with family heirlooms waiting to be sorted through

The attic rooms are crammed with family heirlooms waiting to be sorted through

Charlotte Moore has written a richly detailed and fascinating portrait of Hancox, the remarkable family and a valuable account of Victorian and Edwardian society. “Hancox, a House and a Family” is published by Viking, for £20 hardback

Charlotte Moore has written a richly detailed and fascinating portrait of Hancox, the remarkable family and a valuable account of Victorian and Edwardian society. “Hancox, a House and a Family” is published by Viking, for £20 hardback

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

17th Century Sandstone Farmhouse

Stella Hayes initially fell in love with the property's glorious garden. She has gone on to create a beautiful home.

60s Themed Seaside Holiday Home

I’m sure we’ve all thought about buying a house by the sea – perhaps after an idyllic holiday, or a bracing walk, even just a drive along the coast. On the morning we visit James Rourke’s house, as the sullen...

A Butterfly Unfurled

When Sally Harrington opens the huge front door of her Kentish weatherboard home I assume that the 1950s bungalow that once stood here was demolished to make way for the new house. “No,” she says, “it’s still in here somewhere,...