Friday, 17 September 2021

A beautiful blend of old and new

AS soon as the current owners of 3 Waterside Cottages stepped into the lobby, they knew it was the house

AS soon as the current owners of 3 Waterside Cottages stepped into the lobby, they knew it was the house for them.

3 Waterside Cottages in Sonning is a beautiful, terraced cottage with a wealth of character features throughout including exposed beams, ceramic flooring and open fireplaces but this wasn’t always the case.

When Andy and Tricia first viewed the property in 2007 it was very dated and in quite a sorry state.

Tricia said: “As soon as we stepped over the threshold we both knew we had found ‘the one’, even though it was in a bit of a state with an old-fashioned kitchen and a pink bathroom suite, an overgrown garden and a lean-to extension that was virtually falling down.

“We tried to see beyond the surface. We liked the fact that the cottage looks quite small and cosy from the front but is actually very deceiving in terms of space. Dating back to 1650, it was things like the fact that there were initials carved on the beams that really sparked our interest.”

Tricia credits her husband Andy with much of the design inspiration, describing him as being very creative for a corporate man.

Once they had moved in, and after getting all the relevant permissions for a property in a conservation area, they ripped out the dilapidated old part and set about rebuilding, making a conscious decision to have a very definite break between the old and the new.

They created a new kitchen/family room and rebuilt the inglenook fireplace in the living room.

Upstairs they stripped all the beams to their original condition, created a new shower room and installed fitted wardrobes to the master bedroom, sourcing old beams from a brewery to match the existing with such success you would think they were truly original.

Today the juxtaposition of old and new is a real success with the light, bright spacious kitchen area creating a wonderful summer space while the original part of the cottage offers the perfect place to get cosy in the winter. The upstairs also feels very light and spacious, having vaulted ceilings to let the light flood in.

Accommodation includes the sitting room which has an exposed brick fireplace, fitted with a wood-burning stove. The dining room is a good size and is a great entertaining space and there is a kitchen/dining room fitted with a range of floor and wall mounted modern units with granite work surfaces and a number of integral appliances. The recently rebuilt kitchen/ breakfast room opens out on to the garden while off the kitchen is a utility room and WC with fully fitted floor and wall mounted cupboards.

On the first floor there is an impressive master bedroom with hand-made, fitted cupboards and en-suite bathroom. There is also a further double bedroom and bathroom. On the second floor is a third bedroom and office/ storage area. To the front of the property is a private gravelled parking area for three cars. There is also a separate single garage. The rear garden has a patio terrace leading to the remainder of the garden which is mainly laid to lawn.

Tricia added: “The garden is very practical we have a patio for entertaining and it is relatively low maintenance and easy to tend to we really treat it like another room to the house.” The cottage also enjoys views to the front over the lake.

Now looking to move on for more outside space and maybe another project, the couple, Andy, a company director and Tricia a school business manager, are looking to stay in the area but the previous owners would certainly not recognise Waterside Cottage as it is today.

And they have since created some very happy memories at the cottage, getting married from the house and having their reception in the village of Sonning. “We will have very mixed emotions about leaving. If we could pick the cottage up and move it onto a plot with more land then we would happily stay in it we really are just looking for more outside space.

The property is available through Savills for a guide price of £599,950. For more details, call 0(1491) 843000.

NEXT week there will be the opportunity to bid for two beautifully presented thatched cottages in South Oxfordshire.

Morgan & Associates, village property consultants for contemporary and classic homes in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, is to stage the public auction of the two thatched cottages on Saturday, April 27 at Great Haseley village hall with bidding beginning at 11.30am.

Shepherds Cottage is a stunning grade II listed thatched character property with a detached barn sitting in approximately 0.66 acres of grounds in the attractive and highly sought-after village of Berrick Salome, around 14 miles from both Oxford and Henley and five and 11 miles respectively from the market towns of Wallingford and Thame.

Believed to date back in part to the Tudor period, circa 1550, this beautiful chocolate box cottage is spacious, well maintained and superbly presented to a high specification.

Downstairs, both the drawing room and sitting room retain large open inglenook fireplaces and exposed beams and provide access to the rear garden.

There is a breakfast/dining room, utility, lobby and cloakroom and the fitted kitchen is Mark Wilkinson designed with granite work surfaces, a York stone floor and integrated appliances. Upstairs are three bedrooms, the master with a superb Mark Wilkinson designed en-suite bathroom, and a shower room.

In addition to the main house is a spacious, semi-converted two storey L-shaped timber frame barn incorporating a garage, double car port and offering huge potential to create further living space and three additional bedrooms or an excellent entertaining area.

Shepherds Cottage is approached through a set of electric oak gates leading on to a gravelled parking area in front of the house and barn. The front gardens are mainly laid to lawn bordered on one side by a stream. A paddock sits to the side and rear of the barn, and the rear gardens are lawned with established ornamental shrub beds, borders and an irrigation system, separated from the drive by a rose covered trellis and a gate. In addition, a York stone terraced area runs the length of the property.

Shepherds Cottage and Barn, Berrick Salome is available at auction for a guide price of between £700,000 and £750,000.

Originally two properties, 5-6 Priory Bank is a delightful thatched character cottage forming part of a picturesque row, set within a conservation area in the pretty and popular South Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, around 10 miles from Oxford, seven miles from Thame and 12 miles from Abingdon.

In the village is a shop and post office, public house, nursery, primary school and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Raymond Blanc’s renowned luxury hotel and two Michelin star restaurant.

In need of updating, the grade II listed late 17th, early 18th century timber-framed stone cottage comes with an attached stone barn, a mature cottage garden and parking and offers enormous potential, subject to the necessary planning consents.

Downstairs are two reception rooms a living room with inglenook fireplace and bread oven as well as a sitting room kitchen and rear porch. There is also a cellar. On the first floor are three double bedrooms and a large family bathroom.

Richard Worrall, highly experienced auctioneer will be taking the rostrum at the auction.

He said: “The auction presents a rare opportunity for buyers to purchase a beautiful period property in rural Oxfordshire. The road and rail links to London, which is only around 50 miles away, are excellent; the area boasts numerous golf clubs and there is a superb selection of highly acclaimed schools and educational facilities nearby. Both properties are attracting a lot of interest and we expect a busy sale room.”

5-6 Priory Bank, Great Milton, is available for a guide price of between £375,000 and £400,000.

Viewing of both cottages is by appointment with Morgan & Associates. For further information or to arrange a viewing, pop into the Morgan & Associates office at the Old Post Office on Haseley Road in Little Milton, call 01844 279990 or visit

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