An outstanding historic Georgian gem in the centre of town, sympathetically finished with a glorious mature walled garden.
Oxford Cottage was built in 1760, the year of the coronation of King George III, at a time when Great Marlow, as it was known at the time, was a smaller but similarly important market town on the River Thames. Oxford Cottage pre-dates much of the majority of the town (including the Grade-I listed suspension bridge) and retains its historic feel, providing a surprisingly rural feel to the gardens belying its proximity to the centre.
The property remained true to its original form for much of its life, with later additions and alterations added in the early 1900s before being Grade II listed in 1949. The listing has preserved the integrity of the house whilst not inhibiting the property being kept up to the requirements of modern family life. Planning permission to further extend the house from its current form was granted as recently as 2006 (lapsed 2009) suggesting that further sympathetic alteration might be possible, subject to obtaining new consent.
Notable prior owners include the novelist George Payne Rainsford James (1799 to 1860) who resided in the home with his wife whilst holding the title British Historiographer Royal. A prolific traveller both socially and through the Army, seeing action during The Battle of Waterloo, regular returns to Oxford Cottage and Marlow must at the time have provided a welcome break and an air of tranquillity. Whilst now a very different time, Marlow is still seen as a haven for weekend recuperation particularly for those residents who take advantage of the town's proximity to London and regularly commute to the City. Oxford Cottage itself undoubtedly still provides such an opportunity for respite, some 150 years later.
The property is approached from the rear into an enclosed courtyard, gated to provide privacy and with space for parking.
The property has at some time in its past been handed back-to-front, the courtyard parking area providing access to the main reception hallway, originally to the rear of the house. Despite the reversal of the layout, the property flows particularly well with a layout that allows good use of the space on offer.
A formal drawing room is to one wing of the house, a dual aspect room with large picture window to the front and rear giving lovely views over the gardens, accessed through a charming snug that was originally the entrance to the home. The formal drawing room is complemented by a formal dining room with fitted cabinets. There is a lovely spacious open plan kitchen, breakfast and family room that leads around to a set of garden French doors. A good size fitted utility room and a substantial office complete the ground floor accommodation.
To the first floor are a master bedroom with dressing area and en suite shower room and a second double bedroom with bathroom, both of which have views to the south overlooking the landscaped garden. To the second floor are two further double bedrooms with storage.
The gardens are a particular feature of the property being beautifully landscaped and south facing. The garden is flanked to both sides by perimeter walling, the eastern wall being an historic Grade-II listed brick-and-flint wall. The wall to the west runs along the boundary with the landscaped gardens of Quoitings Gardens beyond. Mature planted borders and trees provide interest and good privacy, yet allow sunlight onto the rear of the house and the patio areas.
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Oxford Cottage is one of those homes that is immeasurably attractive in every sense - its architecture, location, presentation and privacy for example, all combine to provide an outstanding home.Richard Maby