Set on a quiet lane overlooking green paddocks, this charming four-bedroom cottage in Milton Keynes is a fine example of 18th-century long and low vernacular architecture. Extended in the latter half of the 20th century, the beautiful house now unfolds across some 2,300 sq ft with three sweeping reception rooms and a large country kitchen. Unusually for a house set in the heart of a city, it sits in a rural area called Woughton on the Green and abuts grazing fields at the back of the plot. Wonderful pastoral views of the local countryside abound, and plenty of footpaths are accessible straight from the front door. Exceptionally well connected, Milton Keynes train station is a ten-minute drive from where it is possible to catch a train to London Euston, taking only half an hour.
Setting the Scene
Milton Keynes was put on the map by some of the 20th century’s most eminent architects; however, the history of Woughton on the Green stretches well back into the Middle Ages. Listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, the village’s parish church dates back to the 13th century, and a number of vernacular 17th and 18th-century buildings are dotted around the area. The village itself has been relatively undisturbed by later modern town planning and retains a great deal of its original architectural integrity. For more information, please see the History section.
Entry to the house is via a gabled porch, which leads directly into the large kitchen. Dual-aspect windows frame views of the lane at the front and the grazing fields at the back; a skylight lets in additional light. Finished in a rustic style, original beams have been exposed and treated with a lye wash, and warm terracotta tiling runs underfoot. Wooden kitchen cabinets have been painted in the moody ‘Off Black’ by Farrow & Ball, setting the tone for the rest of the house, which has been finished in various shades of dusty greens, accentuating its bucolic position. A working cream gas-fired Aga is nestled in the original brick fireplace, and there is plenty of space for a table and chairs meaning the room is perfect for family suppers and low-key dinner parties alike.
Next door is a lovely snug. Painted in the calming ‘Treron’ by Farrow & Ball, it is currently used as a TV room and is the perfect place to retreat after a long day. An enveloping dining room is painted in a ‘Railings’ by Farrow & Ball, creating a mood that is at once grand and cosy. At one end, a window overlooks the lane, and at the other French doors open to the back garden, framing views over the field, meaning the room has a feeling of opening directly to the countryside. A further large reception room is at the far end of the ground floor. Here, a wood-burning stove is set in an inglenook fireplace, and windows on three sides of the room mean it is exceptionally light.
The rear of the house is home to the extension, which houses a WC and a utility and boot room which opens to the back garden.
Upstairs, the primary bedroom suite sits above the main reception room. An expansive space, it has been painted in ‘Top Hat’ by Fired Earth and has views over the tranquil fields. A walk-in wardrobe adds a touch of luxury and extra storage, and a lovely en suite bathroom has a shower, a vanity and a WC, as well as beautiful Victoriana-style floor tiles.
A beautiful guest bathroom sits at the rear of the first floor. Clad in tongue and grove panelling and painted a calming ‘Hardwick White’ by Farrow & Ball, the space has a roll-top bath, vanity and WC, and picture windows that are perfect for peering out of while relaxing in the bath. A large balcony tucked between the primary bedroom and the guest bathroom is the perfect spot for a morning coffee.
There are three more double bedrooms (one with dual-aspect views), all of which are finished in the same chalky green colour palette; one is en suite.
The garage building has room for one car and has useful storage space above.
The Great Outdoors
A clipped hedge sets the boundary of the front garden, adding privacy. Behind it, and in front of the house, is a manicured lawn, climbing clematis and lovely, rich, established flower beds. A block paved driveway is concealed to the side, leading to a double-height external garage.
At the back of the house, the garden has been sectioned into lawn and patio areas overlooking the grazing fields. The fields beyond are sectioned off by a picket fence, and a selection of magnolia and flowering cherry trees are dotted around the circumference of the garden.
Out and About
Newport Road is in a brilliant position with beautiful walks easily accessible from the house. A footpath leads from the paddocks opposite the house through local fields. Ouzel Valley Park is also on the doorstep, home to the Community Orchard, where the apple trees are all of old English varieties, and the apples are free for anyone to take and munch on as they please.
Nearby, eateries such as the Olde Swan (a historic tavern dating back to the 17th century) is within walking distance, as is the Cross Keys and Barge. There is an established village centre with a church, hotel, paddocks and a sports ground – there is also a Waitrose within walking distance. The surrounding areas are home to excellent schooling, the renowned stables venue at Wavendon and even the largest indoor snow park in Europe.
Milton Keynes Central is a short drive away, with more extensive eateries and amenities, including a cinema, theatre, and road links to the M1. Trains run to London Euston from the main station, taking around half an hour.
Council Tax Band: F
Milton Keynes was built in the 1960s, and although a new town, the site’s history stretches back well into the Middle Ages. As a result, there is a wonderful blend of old and new, traditional and contemporary architecture. The historic town of Woughton on the Green itself was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the parish church dates from the 13th century.
Nearby, Ouzel Valley Park is dotted with the remains of the medieval villages and their associated fish ponds. Some of these villages were wiped out by the great plague in 1686, though most were simply abandoned as increased trade reduced their reliance on fish for food. An undulation in the surface of the grassland here, known as a “ridge and furrow”, are the remnants of an old field system, nodding to the lands’ medieval agricultural origins.
The nearby Grand Union Canal was instrumental in the village’s development from a small hamlet to a thriving village, and according to legend, Woughton on the Green was one of the bases of Dick Turpin (his ghost, and that of his mare Black Bess, have occasionally been reported to have been seen in the area).
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