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Features > Spring Homes > Period Homes > Escape to the Country
RG023: Escape to the Country
Photos: Richard Gadsby / Narratives
Text & Styling: Janet McMeekin / Narratives

Josie and Mark Parsley jumped through hoops to track down a converted
pub that they’ve transformed into their own rural idyll.
Although many people dream of living in a quaint old cottage complete with
low ceilings, rickety beams and a snug intimate feel, Josie Parsley can think
of nothing worse.
‘I grew up in a Tudor house and now, as a five foot ten adult, I really can’t
cope with a lack of headroom,’ she confides. ‘I find that many of these
properties have wobbly walls, tiny windows and tend to be a little too dark
and claustrophobic for my taste.’
Josie’s dislike of Tudor homes led to a predicament when the
businesswoman and her husband Mark decided to relocate with their
children Tom, Jamie and Grace, from a suburban part of Surrey to leafy
‘Virtually all the character houses within our budget seemed to fall into the
Tudor category – exactly what I was trying to avoid,’ Josie recalls.
Despite this, Josie remained optimistic and, when details of a converted
Victorian pub dropped through her letterbox, she was very excited.
‘The house had huge windows, a lovely airy feel and, despite being quite
tired, it was a project we could really get our teeth into.
‘The location was stunning. Not only is the village on top of a hill with
breathtaking views over the Weald of Kent, the house is right at the village
centre, at the heart of the community, next to the pub, shop and church.

Country Homes, Spring, Period Homes, Feminine
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