Firstly, let me introduce to you, ourselves and Old Blakehurst. We are Nathan and Kelly Lee and we have lived at the cottage since 2010 with our two young boys Morgan and Aaron. The cottage dates back 250 years and the original parts of the cottage were built from the remains of a manor house that was built on the site 400 years ago. The initial use of Old Blakehurst Cottage was a shepherds dwelling and was not originally a cottage but more of a barn with a small area were the shepherds could sleep and cook food in bad weather. The site was known as Blakehurst Farm before the new farm was built in the Georgian era when it was renamed locally as Old Blakehurst.
The cottage and grounds are a special place and make a wonderful setting for a wedding. Kelly and I held our wedding reception here in 2010 and have first hand experience of the magic it creates for your special day. The cottage is owned by the Duke of Norfolk Estate and has a wealth of history. We are a part of that continuing story, as are all the couples that choose to have their wedding reception here.
We have been running our marquee company, Party On The Grass from Old Blakehurst since 2007, and originally we only rented the barn as storage. The cottage become available to rent a few years later and was a dream come true for us. We had always wanted to run our own smallholding, and rear our own produce. We both had been heavily inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage TV series, and his fantastic early books. We have over the years cleared and rediscovered the land around the cottage and continue to develop the space as an organic small holding, and a haven for wildlife practising traditional farming techniques.
We are very lucky to have two dew ponds at Old Blakehurst and this brings a wealth of insects and amphibian life, thus drawing an array of birds and other animals to feast on the summer harvest. Old Blakehurst is nestled on the edge of a 30,000 acre estate that is home to herds of Fallow and Roe deer, and is know for the large collection of striking white deer. They can often be seen grazing in the fields behind the cottage of a summers evening, and it is not unusual to see a herd of 30 to 40 at one time.
We feel very blessed to be able to live at the cottage, and work the land. It was always a dream of ours, and we welcome you to start your dream life together here with us in the beautiful South Downs National Park. With enough positive energy and hard work, dreams can come true, we are the proof and we will do everything in our power to help you start your dream life together, with memories to treasure for a life time.