Denis Healey's 'earthly paradise' up for sale

Seven-bedroom house needs a bit of work

Pingles Place

A country house owned by Labour peer Denis Healey for 40 years has gone on the market for £1.9 million.

Pingles Place, near Alfriston in East Sussex, was built in the 1930s, and is believed to have been designed by a student of Sir Edwin Lutyens. It stands in eight acres of grounds with glorious views.

Lord Healey and his wife Edna bought the seven-bedroom house in 1977, and the couple's three children inherited it after their parents died.

One of the reception rooms.

Inside, the place needs a bit of renovation, according to agents Strutt & Parker.

"There are a wealth of features within the house including some exposed timbers, beautiful arched oak panelled doors, a number of attractive fireplaces, some with stone surrounds and others with Delft tiles, and some wood block and oak floors," they say.

"Both the drawing room and dining room have attractive fireplaces and there is extensive book shelving to one wall in the drawing room."

The kitchen.

Other features - some of which were salvaged from elsewhere - include a wide turned oak staircase, a flagstone floor and linen fold panelling.

Downstairs, there's a reception hall, drawing room and dining room, as well as a good-sized kitchen with a four-oven Aga - although the decor's looking a bit tired.

Upstairs, there's a large, vaulted galleried landing, seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and a shower room. There's also a large attic room on the second floor.

Outside, the eight acres include a swimming pool and paddock - and a now disused croquet lawn. A double garage could, say the agents, be converted into extra accommodation, subject to planning.

Described as an 'earthly paradise' by Lord Healey and his wife, the house looks out over the South Downs National Park.

"The surrounding countryside provides spectacular walking and riding opportunities, and a nearby footpath provides access to a riverside footpath which leads to both Alfriston and the sea," say the agents.

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