The Austin Friar's Monastery, circa 1380, is situated in the centre of the Citadel of Rye, on a quiet 'no through road' cobbled hill leading onto the High St. Despite being conveniently located in the hub of a small thriving destination town, The Monastery has a country house feel to it and it is very private with most windows facing inwards and around an unusually large garden for a town centre. The Monastery consists mainly of a two floor 14th chapel, which was converted for various utilitarian uses in 1907. Hence it is an unusual combination of 14th-century monastic and brutal industrial architecture; with four original 14th-century stone tracery windows on the first floor, which has a height of 8.7 meters from the floor to the apex of the roof. The industrial ground floor is also a lofty space with chunky riveted iron beams spanning the ceiling, concrete floor and factory-style doors leading to the main garden. In addition to these two main spaces, there are several interesting ancillary spaces; including a mezzanine overlooking the monastic first floor, a walkway/gallery overlooking the industrial ground floor, a double height study with 14th century stone archway to the attached cottage. The double height entrance hall which you enter from street level leads into a low beamed room with parquet flooring and a further room above with a 19th century marble bath, luxury ensuite with twin marble sinks & showers. All 4/5 bathrooms exude old school glamour with polished brass Thomas - Crapper cisterns/fittings and timeless hand made and designed marble trough sinks. The entire building has recently been upgraded with fine attention to detail, including Buster & Punch light fittings/door handles and decorated in corical lime paints imported from Belgium. The brick Georgian cottage is attached to the monastery on the west side and an annex added in 1927 on the east side of the building, contains the kitchen and leads onto a pretty walled courtyard garden with tree palms and 19th century copper plunge pool.. The main garden is very large and private for a town centre, mainly gravelled with a large mature tree; surrounded by a stone wall and corten steel panelled fence. It is landscaped in a minimal style which combines formal italian and mediterranean planting including 15ft cypress trees in corten steel containers along the main facade and olive trees in patinated 19th century terracotta pots. The position within the town and views from the building over the surrounding countryside are stunning and the atmosphere and play of light within the building on a sunny day is quite magical.
Within M25: No
Nearest station: Rye