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Sunday, 22 September 2019
FIRST published in 1889, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome is a classic Victorian novel originally intended to be a Thames travel guide.
The author found his comic voice while he was writing, however, and the book evolved into a funny tale of three friends and their dog, Montmorency, on a journey up the river from London to Oxford.
One day, having already passed through Henley and Reading before going for drinks in Wallingford, the book’s hapless characters attempt to wash their clothes in the Thames, but succeed only in making them dirtier still.
So they find a laundry in Streatley and pay a washerwoman to do it for them.
This laundry, thus immortalised in literature, was originally a separate building but is now incorporated into White Hart House, a beautiful family home currently on the market with Warmingham estate agency.
At the end of White Hart Yard, off Streatley High Street, this 18th century brick and flint cottage is situated in a quiet and secluded spot at the end of a small row of period terraced houses.
The cottage has been refurbished throughout but many of its original character features are still intact, including log burning stoves, stripped pine doors, sash windows, open fireplaces and exposed timber beams.
On the ground floor there is a sitting room, a dining room, a kitchen and a drawing room — all of which have windows at the front and the back of the house.
The stylish kitchen has hand-built Shaker-style units and granite work surfaces, and there is a magnificent glass orangery off the drawing room that opens on to the garden.
Upstairs, the part of the house that was once the loft of the laundry in Three Men in a Boat has been converted into the master bedroom suite, complete with its original lantern roof.
There are two further bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor.
Looking at the property as a whole, there are two separate front doors and two staircases in this house, and the dining room incorporates a kitchenette and a cloakroom, so there may be scope to divide White Hart House into a main house on one side with separate guest or family accommodation on the other.
The private back garden is enclosed by fences and a brick and flint wall, with views over the countryside beyond.
It has been professionally landscaped and has some lovely mature trees and shrubs, two terraces, a lawn, a vegetable patch and a hot tub that could be included in the sale under separate negotiation.
There is also a detached garage outside, a timber storage shed, a greenhouse and a brick store. This house has a fantastic claim to fame, having featured in one of the greatest novels of all time.
The Guardian included Jerome K Jerome’s book in its list of 100 Best Novels writing: “Three Men in a Boat is about the camaraderie of youth, the absurdity of existence, camping holidays, playing truant, comic songs, and the sweet memories of lost time. In short, like all the finest comic writing, it’s about everything and nothing.”
White Hart House has a guide price of £850,000. For more information or to arrange a viewing, call Warmingham estate agency on (01491) 874414.
At a glance...
WHITE HART HOUSE, STREATLEY
• Bedrooms: three
• Receptions: four
• Bathrooms: two
• Internal area: 2,400 sq ft, 223 sq m
• Guide price: £850,000
• Agent: Warmingham on (01491) 874414
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