Quirky Sidlesham home dating back to Elizabethan times offers lots of character in a coastal location
A secluded and quirky coastal house has been a happy home for the past 24 years, but has roots stretching back to Elizabethan times and beyond.
A stone’s throw from environmentally protected Pagham Harbour, The Old Poor House is steeped in history and boasts secret paths, Tudor beams and rural tranquillity, as well as plenty of space for a growing family.
The house’s vendor said: “What is special is how each generation has added more history to the home and shaped its story.”
Echoes of the past can be found in the sixteenth-century timbers and panelling to be found in the oldest parts of the building, which harks back to when agricultural buildings were turned into a dwelling.
Other links through time include curved timber beams in the stone-flagged dining room, which, although not scientifically dated, are reputed to have come from a wrecked vessel from the Spanish Armada.
The vendor said: “The story goes that, when a ship which was part of the invasion force sank off the coast at Bracklesham Bay in 1558, locals salvaged materials from the wreck.
“The beams certainly look as if they were carved to follow a ship’s bow line.
“There are records that suggest Drake gave orders to try to lure vessels onto rocks on the nearby coastline, but there’s no hard evidence that this was successful!”
The next recorded chapter in the house’s history was its transformation into a ‘poor house’ in the years before the 1834 reform of the Poor Laws.
“Local people who had fallen on hard times were given board and lodging paid for by the parish in designated premises. Records in the local history archives show the house fulfilled that role for only about 30 years in its long history, but the name has persisted.”
Today, the vendor says the house’s key points are that it is ‘secluded and private, without being remote’.
The spacious garden is another big plus: “The house has a garden of about an acre wrapping around the house, with lawns, herbaceous beds, fruit trees, a kitchen garden area and an espaliered lime walk.
“Surrounded by farm land, it has wildflower areas which blend into the fields beyond.
“It’s a great garden for children, completely safe and enclosed – but with lots of secret paths to explore, and trees to climb – and provides a special opportunity to observe nature, from owls to roe deer, pheasants and woodpeckers.”
The vendor said the house is situated just a couple of minutes’ walk from Sidlesham Quay and its well-known local pub and restaurant.
“The harbour and nature conservancy are on your doorstep, with footpaths crossing the harbour out to Church Norton and Pagham.
“It’s a particular joy to be able to walk from your front door out to the nature reserve and the unspoiled coastline.”
One more fillip for residents at the Old Poor House and other properties around the harbour is that they are permitted to use light craft on the water from Sidlesham Quay, which is otherwise closed to sailing.
For more information contact Strutt & Parker, 31 North Street, Chichester. Telephone 01243 832600.
A six bedroom character residence with historic interest on a sizeable plot in the sought-after harbourside hamlet of Sidlesham.Origins dating back to the 1600s and offers a wealth of character and original features.Extended over the years and offers almost 3,300sqft of bright and flexible accommodation arranged over three floors with retained features.Set within a good-sized plot set well back from the road.Located in the Sidlesham Quay Conservation Area, about 5.5 miles to the south of Chichester.Guide Price £995,000