Francis Darwin was in the family business of botany. The third son of pioneer Charles, Francis and his wife Amy Richenda Ruck lived in this refined unlisted 19th Century Country house, which recently came onto the market via Hamptons. Boasting a detached cottage, barn, stable, paddock and six acres of grounds, it is in the village of Downe, not far from where Charles Darwin himself lived.
Having been a family home for the past 50 years, the property is now in need of updating and refurbishing but the raw material is here in spades: a country house only 17 miles from central London that you can really put your stamp on without compromising its unique historical features. Think high ceilings, large cellars, parquet floors, period bathroom fittings, a knockout staircase and a variety of fireplaces: that, if one was so minded, could show their own theory of evolution.