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Friday, 15 February 2019
HENLEY is blessed with many well preserved and historically interesting terraced townhouses from centuries past.
Oakfern Cottage, on the south side of New Street, is one such property. It is on the market with Philip Booth Esq at a guide price of £700,000.
This quaint three-bedroom house is bigger than it looks from the outside, as it stretches quite far back and has three storeys and a basement.
Oakfern Cottage is in need of modernisation, and as such it presents a good opportunity for someone to create a unique and cosy home with heaps of character.
In addition to its great refurbishment potential, Oakfern Cottage is special on account of its neighbouring properties.
It sits a short stroll away from St Mary’s Church and the river, and Henley’s wide variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants.
The cottage is also opposite the Kenton Theatre, Henley’s pride and joy and the fourth oldest working theatre in the country, making it a convenient spot for dinner and a night at the theatre.
A few doors down on New Street, Anne Boleyn Cottage and Tudor Cottage are two charming timber-framed houses that have been around since the 15th century.
A plaque on the wall indicates a row of five small period homes, Barnaby Cottages, which were gifted in 1582 by Henley philanthropist William Barnaby, who also gave loaves of bread and clothing to the town’s poor and needy.
Further up on the corner of New Street and Bell Street sits The Old Cottage, where Asquiths Teddy Bear Shop now occupies the ground floor — originally two cottages from the 16th century that were knocked through to make one large dwelling.
Oakfern Cottage’s façade, which is currently painted pale blue but this could be changed, dates back to the 18th century. The rest of the building is even older.
The interior is a treasure trove of delightful character features, including original exposed timber beams, wooden floors and a few slightly wonky walls.
The front door opens on to a long hallway that leads to the stairs that go up to the bedrooms and down to the basement.
On the right at the front of the house is a square living room with a cast iron fireplace and fitted bookshelves.
At the back of the house there is an L-shaped dining area which leads to the galley kitchen and has a door to the back garden.
This room has the potential to be amazing when it is refurbished as it is at the heart of the house and has some lovely quirky character features.
In the kitchen there are wooden worktops, fitted shelves and cupboards and a Belfast sink.
This room needs some attention but, with the benefit of some thoughtful design and an efficient use of space, it has the potential to be a neat, bijou kitchen.
A stable door opens out to the private courtyard back garden, which is enclosed within classic brick and flint walls and bedecked with potted plants and climbing ivy.
There is great potential here to create a lovely garden oasis in the centre of town — there is decking by the back door and, up some steps, a raised brick tiled area with a small storage shed.
Beyond the kitchen is a shower room and utility area with plumbing for a washing machine.
Upstairs on the first floor there are two bedrooms. The one at the front is currently being used as a sitting room and has a bay window overlooking New Street.
On the second floor, under the sloping eaves of the roof, there is a family bathroom that has some useful large storage cupboards in it.
The third bedroom has two windows that offer views over Henley, and a dark wood floor.
The basement is currently not being used as living space. It has a steep set of brick steps, the original stone walls that have been painted over, a concrete floor and a door to the outside.
Being an old heritage property, Oakfern Cottage is Grade II listed in a group, along with house numbers 2 to 76 (even), 1 to 33 (odd) and the walls associated with numbers 32 to 40 (even).
With a strong vision and a creative eye, this special place in its unbeatable location could be transformed into a lovely town centre home.
For more information about this cottage, which has development potential in abundance, or to arrange a viewing, call Philip Booth Esq on (01491) 635343.
At a glance...
OAKFERN COTTAGE, 46 NEW STREET, HENLEY
Additional features: town centre location, four floors including basement, refurbishment opportunity, Grade II listed
Gross internal area: 1,455 sq ft / 135 sq m
Guide price: £700,000
Agent: Philip Booth Esq on (01491) 635343
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