World's oldest bungalow hits the market

World’s oldest bungalow hits the market: Six-bed grade II listed home that was built in 1874 and overlooks Kent beach goes on sale for £2million

  • The Grade II listed building in Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, boasts six bedrooms and two large reception rooms
  • Sitting just a stone’s throw away from the Birchington Promenade, the property is on the market for £2million 
  • Built in 1874 by architect John Taylor, who designed stations on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway

The world’s oldest bungalow which overlooks the beach in Birchington-on-Sea has gone on the market for £2million.  

The Grade II listed building in Kent, originally dubbed Fair Outlook for its stunning views over the cliff edge, boasts six bedrooms, two large reception rooms and two en-suite bathrooms.

Sitting just a stone’s throw away from the Birchington Promenade, the property is the oldest surviving example of a bungalow in the world, according to the heritage group Historic England. 

The building was built in 1874 by the architect John Taylor, who designed many of the stations on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, as a holiday home. 

The Grade II listed building in Birchington, Kent, boasts six bedrooms, two large reception rooms and two en-suite bathrooms

The property, which sits just a stone’s throw away from the Birchington Promenade, providing picturesque views of the sea front and is the oldest surviving example of a bungalow in the world

A step inside the property reveals a large dining room which comes with wooden flooring and large windows that look out to the garden

The word bungalow, which derives from the Hindi word meaning ‘a house in the Bengali style’, began to be used in England after a journalist at the time likened Taylor’s new single-storied property to houses in Bengal.

After the property was constructed, English surgeon Professor Erasmus Wilson, who was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1881, championed the style of building and purchased the first four of Taylor’s bungalows himself.

Professor Wilson, who pioneered dermatology in England, believed that a bungalow was the best sanitary home for a family. 

He wrote at the time: ‘The idea of Bungalows seems to take people’s minds immensely. They are novel, quaint, pretty and perfect as to sanitary qualities. The best sanitary home for a family is a Bungalow.’  

The single-storied dwellings were initially considered ‘a symbol of bohemianism’ and the building type became a popular choice for the aspiring upper-middle class searching for a second home in which they could travel to for a weekend break.    

The bungalow now for sale in Birchington boasts a grand 60ft hallway, and a lavish bar, or ‘Manston’ room, to entertain guests.

A step inside the property also reveals a large dining room which provides stunning sea views, a separate utility room and a fitted kitchen.

The main reception room comes with an open fireplace and has large windows overlooking the rear garden.    

Meanwhile a step outside reveals a large ‘L’ shaped garage and an annexe which consists of a bedroom with shower and an attached kitchen.

The garden, which looks out to the sea front, also provides access to the Promenade below through a staircase.

Estate agents Fresh Estates describe the home as ‘immaculate’ and say it is on the market for the first time in almost 40 years.      

The single-storied dwelling in Birchington, which is now on the market for £2million, boasts six large bedrooms and two en-suite bathrooms

The property also comes with a grand 60ft hallway, a fitted kitchen and a lavish bar, or ‘Manston’ room to entertain guests.

The living room inside the bungalow is fitted with wooden flooring and comes with large windows that allow plenty of light to flood through

A step into the property, which also comes with a separate utility room, also reveals a large kitchen which looks out to the garden 

The property come with a large ‘L’ shaped garage and an annexe which consists of a bedroom with shower and an attached kitchen

The garden, which looks out to the sea front, also provides access to the Promenade below through a staircase. Estate agents Fresh Estates describe the home as ‘immaculate’ and say it is on the market for the first time in almost 40 years

How architect John Taylor established the first bungalows in England

The bungalow was built in 1874 by the architect John Taylor, who designed many of the stations on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, as a holiday home

English architect began to design the first modern bungalows at Westgate-on-Sea, Kent between 1869 and 1870.

In 1874, the six-bedroom property in Spencer Road, Birchington, which overlooked the sea, was built by the architect as a holiday home for himself.

The single storey dwellings came to be known as bungalows after resembling houses in the Bengali region of India, with the word meaning ‘house in Bengali style’ in Hindi.

During the 19th century, bungalows came to be known as a ‘symbol of bohemianism’ and were popular among the aspiring middle class.    

Dr Andy Brown, Analytics Director at Historic England, said: ‘The bungalow became both a symbol of bohemianism and the building type of choice for the aspiring upper-middle class seeking an affordable second home in which to enjoy the new concept of ”the weekend”.’ 

Before designing the property in Birchington, Taylor, who is believed to have been inspired by German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, designed many of the stations on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. 

He also designed stations for the Lincoln Loop line with his father, John Henry Taylor. 

After purchasing the first four of Taylor’s bungalows himself, the famous Professor Erasmus Wilson said: ‘The idea of Bungalows seems to take people’s minds immensely. 

‘They are novel, quaint, pretty and perfect as to sanitary qualities. The best sanitary home for a family is a Bungalow.’

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