Anne of Cleves' House, Ditchling, East Sussex, England

I'm back! Took a bit of a blog break because we're remodeling a bathroom that is currently half pretty and half complete chaos. (Partially due to Hurricane Hilary and L.A.'s inadequate storm drains.) 

If anyone knows a good pale gray-blue paint that will go with my tile and won't make me look depressed when I put on my makeup, please let me know!

This design is serving as my inspiration photo:

That's a good segue to talking about Anne of Cleves, because her life and house both weathered their share of renovations. (Not because her portrait makes her look like she put on her makeup in a dim bathroom.)

Anne was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. They were only married for six months, but for some reason she made out much better than his other wives. After their marriage was annulled in 1540, she was given this house, known as Wings Place.

There's some debate about whether or not she actually lived there. The house dates back to at least 1095, when it was part of the Priory of St. Pancras. It was surrendered to the king when he closed the monasteries in 1537.

If the cottage was anywhere as cute then as it is now, I think Anne made out pretty well. 

Here's how the living room looked when it was on the market in 2014:

I'm glad that Kelly of Old House Dreams still had those photos, because they include rooms that the current listing does not. 

The current listing did include this cozy library corner...

but it didn't bother to show us this dining room:

The old photos also show us that the kitchen has been recently remodeled. In 2014 it looked like this:

Today it looks like this:

Legend has it that there is a priest hole at the top of the stairs, when Catholic Mass was held in secret after the dissolution of the monastery.

There are five bedrooms and three bathrooms in over 5,000 square feet (460 square meters).

Another opportunity for some before and after. Here's a child's bedroom now...

and in 2014:





All that's missing is an English "duck or grouse" sign as a warning to watch out for those low beams.

The gardens are just as enchanting as the rest of the house:

There's even a miniature version of Wings Place, made by Lilliput Lane:

Working this week on Wings Place instead of my place is making me reconsider my paint choices. I thought I wanted gray-blue Mount St. Anne (Benjamin Moore), but Anne of Cleves is making me see the light of historic white.

The listing is here.

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