Knight Frank sells Burrswood Estate, Kent, during lockdown

On the market for offers in excess of £8 million and receiving strong interest from potential purchasers, the 103-acre site was sold on a freehold basis to a UK based private equity SPV. The Burrswood Estate has long been a focal point within the Kent community, and the purchaser intends to re-establish it as a care and wellbeing centre.

The estate comprises an impressive Grade II listed building, designed by Decimus Burton for Alderman David Salomons, who became High Sheriff for Kent and Sussex .Originally built in the 1830s, with later modern extensions providing both residential, respite and day care.

The buildings extend to over 70,000 sq ft across the estate. Standing in an elevated position with far reaching views across Kentish countryside, the grounds comprise extensive lawns interspersed with specimen trees, woodland and farmland.  Beyond the main buildings lie further properties, including 11 cottages, a large chapel, café and therapy pool, as well as an estate office and staff accommodation.

Like many large country houses, it was requisitioned by the military during the Second World War, before being purchased for use as a hospital in 1948. The property then operated as a health and wellbeing facility, run by the Dorothy Kerin Trust charity, until its closure in April 2019.

Emma Cleugh, Head of Institutional Consultancy at Knight Frank, said: “The Burrswood Estate provided an incredibly rare freehold opportunity of scale in a location that combines a wonderful rural aspect that is also within easy reach of Tunbridge Wells. The careful planning put into the marketing and our broad reach across a range of markets has given our client the very best result. Given the challenging circumstances with regards to Covid-19, we’re delighted with the outcome – especially as it was achieved during lockdown.”

Mark Newman, Head of Recovery Solutions at Crowe U.K. LLP and a Joint Administrator of The Dorothy Kerin Trust said: ‘In a challenging environment the successful sale of the Burrswood Estate will enable us to proceed to the next stage of the Administration process”.

Steven Edwards, a Director at Crowe U.K. LLP, added: ‘We are pleased to have completed the sale in these difficult times. As a result, the Administrators will shortly make payment in full of all monies owed to the Company’s former employees and creditors, leading to the ultimate objective of passing the Company back to the Trustees so that they can continue The Dorothy Kerin Trust’s charitable work’.”

On behalf of the purchasers, David Martin, Managing Director at Martin Investment Management, based at 1 Knightsbridge London said: “The Burrswood Estate acquired by Martin Homes Burrswood Ltd adds another exclusive project to the Martin Homes stable of assets. To complete this transaction during lockdown was achieved with sheer determination and cooperation of all involved. With future plans to restore the Manor and care facilities, we are extremely excited to have acquired such a wonderful opportunity.”