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Lurking deep in the idyllic Sussex countryside is an opulent mansion which doubles as a Russian diplomatic mission.
Half-hidden behind hedges and trees, Seacox Heath boasts 50 rooms and well-kept grounds.
Built back in 1871 there is little sign of the property’s Russian occupants except for a security camera mounted on the entrance gate.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the mansion off the road between Flimwell and Hawkhurst has become a target for protestors.
Owned by the Russian state since 1946, Seacox Heath has seen the entrance spray painted in Ukrainian colours and Ukraine’s flag hoisted on planted outside by angry residents.
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Local florist Lindsay Barrow told the Daily Mail: “I have known about it for some time and if you look closely you can see multiple CCTV cameras and barbed wire surrounding the place.
“I’ve also seen long, black Mercedes cars going in and out of the front gates and then we had the protests.”
English statesman Lord Gushen gifted Seacox Heath to the Soviet Government following the Second World War.
Lord Gushen is said to have gifted the property in thanks for Russian sailors who had saved his son during the war.
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Another local Eliza Hart, 22 told KentOnline that the mansion’s history and current owners came as “quite a surprise”.
She said: “I drive up and down that road so much, but had no idea what was there.
“I thought it was just housed along there but to hear what it actually is quite a surprise.
“It’s quite crazy really to think you can live somewhere for so long and not really know what or who is living in the same area.”
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