New homes in Keston:Helena Bonham Carter's former ancestral seat is now seven swish apartments with townhouses in the grounds

Keston in the wooded valleys of the Kent Downs is just 15 miles from Charing Cross and offers up new homes in two historic houses, one of which was the family seat of Bonham Carter’s ancestors.

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Head south from suburban Bromley and you quickly reach the wooded valleys of the rolling Kent Downs, barely 15 miles from Charing Cross.

William Pitt, who became Britain’s youngest prime minister at just 24, had a country estate in this part of the world and it was here in 1788, while gazing across the vale of Keston, that he and philanthropist William Wilberforce agreed to fight for the abolition of the slave trade.

There remains a rich legacy of historic houses, some of which are being converted to grand flats aimed at prosperous downsizers and affluent City traders.

Helena Bonham Carter’s ancestors had a family seat at Keston until the Thirties. The actress is the great-granddaughter of former prime minister Herbert Asquith.

Prices from £1,245,000: the Bonham Carter family’s Victorian mansion has been split into grand flats (Ravensbourne)

The family’s Victorian mansion has been split into seven flats, while four townhouses are being built in its grounds. Known as Ravensbourne Collection, prices start from £1,245,000. Call estate agent Alan de Maid on 01689 813333.

Water’s Edge at Keston Ponds is a scheme of 13 flats in a restored Tudor-style manor house that was built by the Earl of Dartmouth. Prices from £395,000. Call Millgate Homes on 0118 9348046.

Keston has a common and a medieval village and is a great start and end point for country walks.

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