• fb icon
  • fb icon
  • fb icon
  • fb icon

This boat-inspired house by the river in East Sussex helped James Strangeways to find his feet on dry land.

tv house exclusive east sussex

Described by Kevin McCloud as ‘one of Britain’s last great eccentrics’, self-confessed boat obsessive James Strangeways is the first to admit that he’s not a fan of houses. Having spent much of the past 35 years on the water, hopping from vessel to vessel, he was going to require something pretty extraordinary – and unconventional – to anchor him on dry land. He was determined that if he did have to live in a building, it wouldn’t look like your average domestic property at all.

Instead, James commissioned his nephew, the architect Ben Hebblethwaite (who claimed during filming that he was ‘rather bemused and surprised’ at the request), to build a timber structure that was a halfway house between a dwelling and a boat. It was designed to appear as if floating on stilts, with deck-like terraces and open doors either side to provide views over the nearby River Rother and the surrounding East Sussex countryside. The property also needed to have direct access to the water, with moorings, so that James could be river-bound whenever he pleased.

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
grand-designs-the-street-episode-1
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs The Street Episode 1: The Details

We've got all the details of episode 1 of Grand Designs: The Street, aired on 4th April 2019, at 9pm on Channel 4 and hosted...
amazing-grand-designs-tv-houses
Grand Designs TV Houses

10 most memorable Grand Designs TV houses

We round up the most amazing, unique and memorable Grand Designs TV houses ever featured.
grand-designs-tv-house-britain-first-u-build-house
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs TV House: Inside UK's first U-Build house

Look inside the UK's first U Build box house to be featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs: The Street, hosted by Kevin McCloud.
riba-house-of-the-year-preview
Grand Designs TV Houses

7 RIBA House of the Year 2018 builds in detail

Take inspiration for your own self-build or renovation project from the extraordinary homes longlisted this year's RIBA House of the Year award.
grand-designs-seventh-episode-2018
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs TV house: East Devon cob house revisited

Take a look inside Kevin McCabe's finished cob castle in East Devon home featured on the finale of the 2018 series of Grand Designs.
grand-designs-third-episode-2018
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs TV house: look inside Britain's first hypoallergenic home

Take a look inside Grand Designs' first-ever healthy home TV house, which featured on the third episode of the 2018 series.