We have loved Rye for a long time,” says Rosemary as she ushers the WT team into her home in the centre of the historic ‘citadel’. “Every year for about 20 years my husband Richard and I came to stay at various hotels in the town at New Year and in the summer and every time we went home to Surrey, we really missed it. Every weekend there seems to be so much going on including the famous Arts and Scallop Festivals.

From the front step, the visitor steps straight into the main reception room

From the front step, the visitor steps straight into the main reception room

In one corner of the reception room stands a long scrubbed pine refectory table unadorned apart from a bowl of fragrant pine cones and cinnamon sticks. Set against the bare brick wall, it has an honest simplicity.

In one corner of the reception room stands a long scrubbed pine refectory table unadorned apart from a bowl of fragrant pine cones and cinnamon sticks. Set against the bare brick wall, it has an honest simplicity.

Three stone steps that lead up to the mezzanine. A panel in the floor at the foot of the steps can be opened to reveal the cellar below

Three stone steps that lead up to the mezzanine. A panel in the floor at the foot of the steps can be opened to reveal the cellar below

Rosemary has used the colours of the building materials as her basic palette and then added accents of stronger hues. Vibrant coral cushions punctuate the neutral decoration of the mezzanine level, which has been kept very simple with just the sofa and a wooden cupboard

Rosemary has used the colours of the building materials as her basic palette and then added accents of stronger hues. Vibrant coral cushions punctuate the neutral decoration of the mezzanine level, which has been kept very simple with just the sofa and a wooden cupboard

In the kitchen, a stainless steel range cooker has been placed in the wide fireplace

In the kitchen, a stainless steel range cooker has been placed in the wide fireplace

At the far end of the kitchen French windows lead into the sunny courtyard garden

At the far end of the kitchen French windows lead into the sunny courtyard garden

In the glamorous master bedroom a bed dressed with cotton and satin bedclothes is set against a feature wall of Sanderson wallpaper. Plain muslin is draped across the window for privacy during the day and a pair of working shutters with louvred panels can be drawn across at night

In the glamorous master bedroom a bed dressed with cotton and satin bedclothes is set against a feature wall of Sanderson wallpaper. Plain muslin is draped across the window for privacy during the day and a pair of working shutters with louvred panels can be drawn across at night

In the study a large photograph printed on canvas echoes the vivid purple and green soft furnishings that Rosemary has used in the room. The bathroom next door features black and white diamond floor tiles, a roll top bath and a Savoy style pedestal basin...

In the study a large photograph printed on canvas echoes the vivid purple and green soft furnishings that Rosemary has used in the room

The bathroom next door features black and white diamond floor tiles, a roll top bath and a Savoy style pedestal basin underneath a piano black framed and bevelled mirror

The bathroom features black and white diamond floor tiles, a roll top bath and a Savoy style pedestal basin underneath a piano black framed and bevelled mirror

The study across the landing

The study across the landing

The guest bedroom

The guest bedroom

The music room is the perfect place for the couple’s son, who is at Cambridge studying music, to practise

The music room is the perfect place for the couple’s son, who is at Cambridge studying music, to practise

The peaceful, sheltered courtyard features high walls covered in climbing roses and fragrant clematis armandii. Raised brick beds are planted with hydrangeas, camellias, lavender and pinks

The peaceful, sheltered courtyard features high walls covered in climbing roses and fragrant clematis armandii

Raised brick beds are planted with hydrangeas, camellias, lavender and pinks

Raised brick beds are planted with hydrangeas, camellias, lavender and pinks

  • 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,...