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Richard Michalski
Written by Richard Michalski 16th February 2016

A perfect period property… just minutes from modern Milton Keynes

Being a ‘child’ of the 60s, Milton Keynes is still a relatively young place so it’s natural to assume the area is dominated by modern buildings and contemporary architecture.

How surprising, then, to see character homes dominating this feature about the seven most expensive properties sold in the area in 2015. From local newspaper website oneMK, the piece suggests that despite being a new town, Milton Keynes does indeed offer unique period properties – and they attract premium prices.

Top of the list is Stratford House – and it holds a special place in our heart because we handled its sale. A beautifully-refurbished, Grade II-listed property, the home is in the charming town of Stony Stratford, just off the Market Square. It was sold in March 2015, for £1,700,000.

Responsible for the marketing and sale of the six-bedroom home was Sales Negotiator Alex Naylor, who works in our nearby Stony Stratford branch. He said: “Stratford House is truly exceptional. It was bought by a property developer and though it has always been an impressive building, it needed a lot of work and investment.

“The building and its annexes were completely renovated, and no expense was spared in the work – for example, the chimney was entirely rebuilt and the double garage was overhauled to include an upstairs office. The kitchen is especially superb – it is a conversion of the original chapel, with its original vaulted ceiling.”

Given the home’s 17th-century origins, its modernisation did not require or result in an entirely modern presentation. Many of the original period features have been sympathetically restored, honouring the property’s long and unique history.

Once work on the home was complete, it was sold on to a couple from a rural location who sought a more ‘urban’ lifestyle. But since Stratford House has extensive gardens, and is only a few minutes’ walk from the north Buckinghamshire countryside, it means the new owners have the best of both worlds.

The sale and refurbishment also means the historic property will remain an icon of Stony Stratford for many centuries to come – but what of its past?

“We believe it used to be called Tann House around 1600,” said Alex. “And it was connected to Penn family – members of whom founded Pennsylvania in the US. We think they set up a tannery at the back of the house, with evidence of the tanning pond in the gardens still present today.”

Other records, available from Findmypast, suggest the property was, in the mid-1800s, owned by distinguished veteran Lieutenant-Colonel Page, of the Royal Engineers. More recently – in 1952 – Stratford House was in an auction where it was ironically described as a ‘small residence’.

“We’re always very interested in a property’s heritage,” added Alex. “It helps us market the individual features of home. And although in Stony Stratford we’re on the edge of the very modern Milton Keynes, there’s always centuries of fascinating history in this area to discover and promote.”

What period properties do you treasure? Or do you prefer more modern architecture? Let us know through our social media channels, links below.