S haron Barton has a thing about medieval houses. Back in the early Noughties she and her husband, Peter, spent ten years restoring a hall house in the Kent village of Mersham — and no sooner had they finished that project than the urge struck again.

In 2014 Sharon, an interior designer, was driving to a job in nearby Smarden when she took a wrong turn. “I ended up in a part of the village I’d never seen before, ” she says. “There was a church, an oast house and some timber-framed houses. It felt as though I’d been transported back 500 years. And then I saw a ‘For Sale’ board — it belonged to a really obscure agent that didn’t use Rightmove, so I’d never seen