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Cadence | Modern Luxury Self-Catering House | Petworth, Sussex


Petworth, West Sussex, UK

Tarkovsky’s 1970’s sci-fi film Stalker was the unexpected inspiration for this playful modern retreat in Petworth, home to architect Adam Richards and his family. Intended to evoke the ruins of a Roman villa, its sheer volume and position within the poetic scenery of the South Downs National Park make this luxury self-catering home an enigmatic force. A brick exterior conceals the calm, contemporary haven within; this is the new English country house.



Once a rambling farmhouse, this statuesque Sussex home sits in a hidden valley of the South Downs National Park near Petworth and is a sight to behold for those who appreciate creative modern design. Cadence's backdrop of leafy woodland contrasts with its sleek modernity, wrapped in brick and made from concrete derived from recycled materials. The romance of the surrounding scenery and owners’ futuristic concepts combine to present a luxury self-catering retreat which takes both the environment and aesthetics into consideration. Semicircular details echo the hills and arched windows allow natural light to flood through, in a space that blurs outside and in, fantasy and reality.


Rendered walls give way to secret stairwells and hidden reading nooks, calling to mind sci-fi themes of dark and light, space and height. White oiled floorboards and sisal carpets create a calming, contemporary interior, adorned with a colourful array of tapestries and ceramics to tell the story of the house as a ‘spiritual journey’. Gourmet cooks can hold court at a central kitchen island while fellow guests chat over drinks on bench tables. Bedrooms have wide windows overlooking the treetops, some with private staircases to en suite bathrooms. Even children, in a scaled-down living zone, have their own sofa, TV and writing desk. Design references come from nearby follies, towers and churches, adding celestial flair throughout.


The sweeping private drive gives a sense of grandeur before you've even rattled over the two cattlegrids: the setting is rural, with inquisitive sheep your only nosy neighbours. Patios around the circumference of the house make peaceful arenas for lazy lunches and balmy suppers in summer, birds tweeting as glasses clink and children play in the surrounding meadows. Affording access to areas that might otherwise be off-limits, guests are given the key to a private gate leading to the nearby stately pile of Petworth House, where the owner grew up. Marvel at the art collection before exploring the majestic 700-acre deer park and gardens, designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 10 guests from £5,250 per week
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThe house has four double bedrooms, one with en suite bathroom and super king-size bed, one with en suite bathroom and king-size bed and two double bedrooms that share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom with freestanding bath and separate shower. There is a further twin bedroom and family bathroom, as well as a downstairs WC.

    View bedrooms
  • PetsTwo well-behaved pets are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyYes, children are very welcome. A highchair and cot are available.
  • PracticalitiesThe house has ample parking on its large drive. The kitchen has a microwave, five-ring gas hob, oven, two dishwashers, a double American fridge-freezer with ice and water cooler, a larder, and a cafetière. There is also a utility room with a washing machine and tumble dryer. The garden is not enclosed and there are free-roaming sheep around the grounds, so please exercise due diligence if you are travelling with children or dogs. Kindly be aware that the thick walls may result in weak phone signal. In pursuit of tranquillity, the architect has kept technology to a meditative minimum; however, a small TV can still be found in the children´s laid-back living zone.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper, linen and towels, logs and kindling to get you started, Goldring Lenco turntable with a valve amplifier, board games, children´s toys and books...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Eco-friendlyThe house is clad in Sussex brick on concrete, 50% of which was made from recycled materials and high thermal mass
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questions

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Bespoke artwork against exposed concrete juxtaposes old with new
Blue cloth art helps give the cavernous kitchen a modern edge
Modern wall art highlights a hidden corner in the living room

Prices & Availability


Think quirky antique shops, cobbled streets and the sweeping South Downs right on your doorstep: Petworth in West Sussex is the perfect base for anyone needing a country break not far from London city.

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Getting there

  • On the map The house is located between the market busy towns of Chichester and Horsham, in the rolling South Downs of west Sussex.
  • By car The house is approximately one and a half hours by car from London, and under an hour from the sparkling south coast.
  • By train This rural family home is located close to Haslemere and Pulborough train stations which both have direct lines to London.
  • By plane Gatwick Airport is just over an hour by car, while London Heathrow is about an hour and a half.

From the owner

“So much of the house is based on my love of film. I based the whole house on the Russian science-fiction film Stalker, about a place where your deepest desires can come true. The house definitely conjures up that feeling for me.”

From the owner

The farm was part of the Leconfield Estate, and the surrounding fields are still farmed by the estate. It has been used for both sheep and dairy farming in the past. I completed the house you see today in 2019, when it won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ South East ‘Building of the Year’ and a year later, Wallpaper magazine’s Best New House.

The house is unique - it’s style combines a Roman ruin with minimalist artwork. It rises to form a tower at the south end, referencing the two nearby folly towers. It’s as though a Roman ruin has been wrapped around a modern concrete house.

We hope that our guests will feel at home, all the while enjoying the modern construction and wall art.

Read the books, play with the toys, have fun creating delicious meals in our spacious kitchen, or just sit on the living space enjoying our gorgeous views; and don't forget to pay a visit to beautiful Petworth, just a stroll away.

I built this house to last for many years, and it certainly evokes that timeless feeling. We think our visitors will enjoy the same sense of space and serenity that we feel whenever we come back home.

Adam Richards and family

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Petworth with an insider’s perspective.

Tiffins Tea Rooms, Petworth

To Eat

Tiffins Tea Rooms, Petworth

This cosy family-run café welcomes walkers, children and dogs with a full menu; from full English breakfasts to afternoon teas. They also do takeaways and they’re licensed for drinks, which means you can have wine with your cake!

Petworth House and Park

To Do

Petworth House and Park

Since guests have their own private key to access Petworth house and gardens, it makes sense to pay a visit to this sprawling stately home, stuffed full of art and set in a 700-acre deer park. Pack a picnic then choose one of several beautiful trails.

Shimmings Valley Walk, Petworth

To See

Shimmings Valley Walk, Petworth

Step out on foot and enjoy the breath-taking views from this five kilometre ´moderate´ circular route. Hikers will pass through the town and into the Shimmings Valley, before hitting Byworth village then following the river back again.

Upperton Vineyards, Tillington

To Do

Upperton Vineyards, Tillington

A family-run concern dedicated to producing delicious English sparkling wine from around 6,000 vines. Tuck into a cheese platter with panoramic views from the terrace and, if there are 10 or more in your group, book a private 45-minute tour around the grounds.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Cadence and Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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