Thursday, 23 May 2019

Single-storey cottage has a ferry interesting tale to tell

Single-storey cottage has a ferry interesting tale to tell

AN unusual single-storey Victorian property with an interesting tale to tell attracted a lot of interest as soon as it went on the market.

Roebuck Ferry Cottage was built in 1880 on the riverbank at Purley.

The story goes that a farmer on the Berkshire side of the river refused to allow the towpath to run through his land.

To resolve the issue, the towpath was moved north to the riverbank at Mapledurham, on the Oxfordshire side, and a ferry service for the villagers was put in place.

The cottage was built as a working ferry cottage and the ferryman lived there, so the house had an important job to do.

Despite its age and unique character, Roebuck Ferry Cottage is not listed.

Therefore it has great potential as a renovation project and could be updated or extended, subject to planning regulations and permission.

This detached cottage has more than 300 feet of private river frontage, along with its own mooring, and a separate storage shed and wood store of almost eight metres in length.

It has a pale yellow timber façade and a steeply slanting tiled roof, with a tall brick chimney rising from the middle of the house.

The front door opens into a cream-coloured living room with a high ceiling, a traditional fireplace that makes the room feel cosy and inviting, and French doors that lead out to the garden.

Off the living room there are two good-sized double bedrooms and a walk-in cloakroom for coats, shoes or general storage. There is also a small study/dining room.

The kitchen is a long narrow room with an Aga for cooking, three windows that let plenty of light in, and a door leading to the outside. Off the kitchen there is a shower room with a WC and sink.

There is a security system in place, fresh water is pumped into the house and there is septic tank drainage.

For boating or nature enthusiasts, the location of this house is idyllic, with the River Thames just a few feet away, boats and waterfowl gliding past, and majestic mature trees in every direction.

Estate agent Sara Batting said: “The owners of Roebuck Ferry Cottage had lived there for over 30 years and they approached us and asked us to sell it for them. We have had over 100 calls and 30 viewings so far, and the cottage is now under offer to a young couple from Henley with a boat.”

She added: “The market has been affected by Brexit, but this highlights that there has never been a more important time to appoint an experienced agent who will price a property correctly and is hard-working enough to show it over weekends when most buyers are available.”

Dating back many centuries to Anglo-Saxon times, the pretty village of Purley is situated a few miles to the south west of Henley, in between Reading and Pangbourne.

It is located conveniently close to the M4 motorway, the outdoor spaces of Calcot Park and Prospect Park, Mapledurham and Caversham golf clubs, and the massive Ikea furniture megastore at Theale.

Purley’s residents benefit from easy access to a wide range of beautiful country walks throughout the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, of course, all the leisure opportunities that the river has to offer.

Tilehurst railway station provides Purley with a train link into Reading, from where there will soon be a high-speed train service into and across London courtesy of Crossrail’s Elizabeth line.

The old Victorian ferry service between Purley and Mapledurham no longer operates, of course, so people now cross the river either at Mapledurham Lock or over the bridges at Pangbourne or Reading.

The Sara Batting estate agency, based on King Street in central Reading, has been selling properties throughout the Thames Valley area for over 30 years.

Roebuck Ferry Cottage attracted a great deal of attention when it came on the market at a guide price of £300,000, and it is now under offer.

However there are many other properties of different types and to suit all budgets currently available for viewing.

For more information, call 0118 950 2341 or visit

At a glance...


Bedrooms: two

Bathrooms: one

Receptions: two

Gross internal area: 682 sq ft / 63.4 sq m

Other: riverside location, interesting history without Grade II-listing, 300 feet of river frontage, private mooring for boats, separate storage shed, wood store

Guide price: £300,000

Agent: Sara Batting on 0118 950 2341


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