Oak Lodge Farm
Hillesden, Buckinghamshire, MK18 4DE
- A Cotswold stone built detached country house
- Seven bedrooms, two en suites, two bathrooms
- Kitchen/breakfast room, garden room, pantry
- Drawing room, dining room, family room, study
- Cinema room, two cloakrooms, utility & plant room
- Detached car barn - double carport, garage, studio
- American barn, barn with stables, large tractor barn
- 15 acres - paddocks, woodland and manege
A modern, seven bedroom neo-classical country house with gardens, woodland, equestrian facilities and paddocks.
The small Buckinghamshire village of Hillesden is about 3 miles south of Buckingham, in the picturesque Aylesbury Vale. Hillesdens name reflects its Anglo-Saxon origins. It was then, and is now, in a landscape dominated by farming and natural woodland. While the village retains its rural roots, trains access London in under an hour. The property has been purpose built in a Georgian style, designed to facilitate a traditional, but efficient country life. On the ground floor there is an entrance hall, a drawing room, a dining room, a study and a guest cloakroom leading through to a kitchen and family/ breakfast room, a TV room, a utility room and a further cloakroom. The first floor has five bedrooms, two of which have en suite bath or shower rooms, and a family bathroom. The second floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom; in the basement there is a cinema room, plant room, a pantry and hall/boot room.
History and Heritage
Designed by local architects, the property resembles a Georgian rectory. Built in 2003, meticulous care was taken to create a modern, efficient home, which deferred to 18th-century style. The front elevation of the house has nine sixteen-pane, sash windows arranged symmetrically to the central front door, in a harmonious rhythm redolent of neo-classical architecture. Limestone for the build was sourced from the Cotswolds, laid in random courses, with sawn stone from the Syreford quarry, used for the lintels, the key stones, the sills, the canopy and the decorative quoins framing the front windows and door to achieve the more formal looking front elevation. Hand-made clay tiles were used for roofing the house and garage and reclaimed brick used for the chimneys. Continuing the period attention to detail, traditional cast-iron guttering, downpipes and iron supports were used. The terrace is of York stone style paving complementing the house and throughout, the windows, mainly sash, are hard wood, finished with micro-porous paint. The flooring is mainly of travertine limestone and reclaimed oak floor boards, with carpeting to the bedrooms, cinema room and stairs.
Energy efficient, the house has a Villavent heat recovery ventilation system. The basement, ground floor and first floor have underfloor heating and the second floor has traditional radiators heated by an oil-fired boiler. The more formal drawing and dining rooms each have traditional open fires, more for aesthetic and atmospheric reasons than for any heating benefit. In the basement, there is a plant room for the boiler, under floor heating systems, with the water tank in the understairs cupboard. The house has high speed, direct fibre connection and full, wired-in Cat5 cabling throughout. There is also a recently installed discreet SKY dish.
Understated console brackets support the bracketed portico over the front door, which, in the same 18th-century style, is panelled hard wood with two glazed panes at the top. The ground floor rooms have moulded cornices, skirting boards and door frames with panelled doors. Rising from the entrance hall is a formal staircase with painted turned wood balusters and a mahogany moulded hand rail. The entrance hall has a travertine tiled floor which extends through most of the ground floor, except for the reclaimed oak floors in the office, drawing room and dining room. To the left of the front door is the dining room, to the right the drawing room. Beyond the stairs there is a wide decorative arch with the office to the left, guest cloakroom to the right and four steps up and along a short passage to access the TV room, and the kitchen and Family/breakfast room. Other rooms on the ground floor include a utility room and a cloakroom.
Kitchen and Family/Breakfast Room
Two sash windows overlook the side of the house. The kitchen is bespoke by Plain English, featuring Long House base units and an island with a granite work surface, an inset stainless steel sink and taps and Spitalfields glazed wall cupboards. Under the window there is a wooden work surface with another inset sink. Above the four oven oil-fired Aga, backed with handmade cream tiles, is a painted Plain English wooden mantel. There is an electric Siemens oven and a LPG gas hob (with extractor above). The family/breakfast room has two sets of French doors to the terrace and rear garden. This conservatory takes in the kitchen and the family/breakfast area, partially wrapping round the rear of the house. This already bright area is further illuminated by two double glazed powder-coated lanterns set in the clay tiled roof. The handmade conservatory was the work of the local firm Willow Bank Joinery. Steps with balusters and a rail lead down to the drawing room. The whole floor has travertine tiles.
The utility room is conveniently near the back door and to the right of the secondary staircase leading down from the principal bedroom suite on the first floor. There are base wooden painted cupboards and a wooden work surface with an inset butlers sink as well as space and plumbing for a washing machine and tumble dryer. The floor is travertine tiled. The next door cloakroom has a window, a WC, and a basin.
Drawing Room and Dining Room
The dual aspect drawing room has French doors to the garden and to the family/breakfast room part of the conservatory, with two sash windows overlooking the herbaceous border at the front. Adding character to the room, the Manor House stone fireplace surround, is in the 18th-century Gothic style, with a reclaimed quarry tile hearth and an authentic cast iron fire back. The dining room has the same reclaimed oak flooring and decorative plaster cornicing as the drawing room, including a ceiling light rose, and a similar Gothic style fireplace with a quarry tiled hearth. Flanking the chimney breast are two glazed alcove cupboards with double doors below and arched glazed doors opening to the shelving above.
Study and Family TV Room
Before the steps up to the passage, the office is the last reception room accessed from the entrance hall. With a reclaimed oak floor, it has a sash window overlooking the side of the house, towards the garage, a moulded dado rail runs round the entire room, and there is cornicing. Opposite the study is a guest cloakroom featuring Villeroy & Boch porcelain and travertine flooring. Up the steps and through a glazed door is the TV room which overlooks the side of the house. On one wall there is a custom-made arrangement of shelves designed to house a 55 in. television and books. Beneath are double doored cupboards. The ceiling has down lights.
The galleried first floor landing is well lit from the sash window above the front door and there is ample room for a sofa. The landing accesses the family bathroom and five bedrooms, including the principal bedroom suite which, like bedroom two, is accessed by taking a few steps up to a short passage, (with a window overlooking the rear garden). There are dressing room cupboards, leading to the secondary staircase from the principal bedroom, going down to the ground floor beside the back door, the cloakroom, the utility room and basement.
Principal Bedroom Suite
The double aspect principal bedroom overlooks the front and the rear garden. While high, and airy, the room has the characteristic slopes of the eaves. Handmade floor-to-ceiling, fitted cupboards with panelled doors cover one wall. They are built around doors accessing the dressing room, which is lined with more fitted cupboards, and on the right the en suite bathroom. This has dormer windows over the Villeroy Boch bath and twin basins set in travertine stone above more bespoke cupboards. The Travertine floor is complemented by similar stone panelling around the sides of the bath. At the end of the room a step leads up to a travertine tiled shower cubicle. There is also a heated towel rail and a Villeroy & Boch low level WC.
Four Bedrooms and the Family Bathroom
There are four more bedrooms on this floor. Bedroom two is on the higher level with the principal bedroom and overlooks the side of the house. Off the main landing, to the left, bedroom four has two sash windows overlooking the front of the house and an en suite bathroom with a window. This en suite comprises a WC, a pedestal basin, a bath with a shower above and travertine flooring. The areas around the bath and basin have mosaic tiling. Also off the main landing is bedroom three, with similar sash windows overlooking the front. Opposite the family bathroom is bedroom five with a sash window overlooking the rear garden. Directly ahead of the stairs the family bathroom overlooks paddocks. It has a white suite comprising a WC, a bath and a shower and twin basins set in travertine stone.
The main staircase continues to the second floor which has two further bedrooms and a bathroom, all of which have reclaimed oak wood floors.
Second Floor Bedrooms and Bathroom
Bedroom six is a double room and has two dormer windows and eaves storage accessed by four cupboards low in the walls. Also dual aspect, bedroom seven has a window in the gable end and a dormer window to the front, three eaves storage cupboards, one of which has access to a Villavent ventilation unit. The bathroom for this floor has a dormer window and eaves. The traditional freestanding bath has a roll top, ball and claw feet and a rain shower. There is a WC, and a white pedestal basin, with mosaic tiling above the basin and on the wall above the bath.
Basement with Cinema Room
Accessed from the ground floor via the secondary staircase, by the utility room, the basement has a cinema room, a plant room and a pantry. The cold water storage tank is in an under stairs cupboard. The plant room has laminate flooring and contains the oil fired boiler, underfloor heating system, pumps and pipework for the heating. The spacious cinema room is carpeted and has a sound system and speakers with down lighting in the ceiling. Used for storage, the walk-in pantry has laminate flooring and deep wooden shelves line two walls
The triple garage resembles an 18th-century agricultural building. Chamfered oak piers on stone blocks support the two bays in the open sided area of the garage, while double timber doors enclose the other side with an access door to the right. The building is of block construction, clad with featheredged wood boarding, roofed with hand-made clay tiles and guttering of cast iron. The ground floor is concrete. There is a timber stairway leading up the side of the garage (with a timber framed window below), to a stable door accessing the first floor, which has a reclaimed oak floor and two Velux windows overlooking the lawn. This space is currently used for storage but with the correct planning permission could be converted to a gym or studio.
Gardens and Grounds
Witness to the Civil War skirmishes in Hillesden, a majestic oak, believed to be six centuries old, marks the entrance to the property. The drive accesses the garage ahead or past the wisteria clad front of the house. Small areas of lawn directly in front and to the side of the house are retained, like the rest of the drive, by granite sets. At the front of the house a belt of trees screens a second driveway that leads to the barns. One side of the house is vine covered, overlooking the paddocks beyond, while the gable end towards the rear garden, has a Virginia creeper climbing over the blind windows (a nod to 18th-century window tax). At the rear steps lead to a terrace outside the sitting room, the kitchen and the family/breakfast room. The garden is mainly laid to lawn; opposite the terrace is a crescent shaped herbaceous border with a beech hedge. Beyond, the lawned garden is enclosed by beech hedges and there are mature ornamental and fruit trees.
Woodland and Paddock
Three sides of the garden are enclosed by approximately 8 acres of paddock, divided up by post and rail fencing. At the back of the paddocks and beyond the menage is approximately 5 acres of deciduous woodland. Extremely private, it cannot be accessed from the road and currently requires no formal form of enclosure. It is natural, indigenous woodland, which over time has become colonised with daffodils and bluebells.
From the front of the drive, where there is a reinforced concrete gulley, a separate drive turns right towards two large equestrian buildings, the larger barn on the right is used for stabling and storage, the open barn on the left for storage. Opposite the larger barn there is a parking space for six cars on gravel. Behind willow fencing on the left in the screening of trees is the domestic oil tank for the house.
The larger barn is approximately 4,050 sq.ft. There are two substantial sliding doors. The first opens to an area used for storage and agricultural equipment. With a breeze block partition dividing the space, the second set of doors opens to five American barn stables. Immediately opposite the stables, within the building, is a breeze-block partitioned tack room and cloakroom. Beyond the stabling area is an extension to the back of the barn which is lower than the main body of the barn. Further along the gravel drive and situated on the left is a smaller second barn of approximately 1,800 sq. ft. with four open-sided bays, used to store farm implements, horse boxes and for general storage. Carrying on past the buildings a track is enclosed on either side by post and rail fencing enclosing various paddocks. Ahead is a modern, well-kept menage with a Combi-Ride and silica sand surface 144 ft. by 72 ft.
Hillesden is a rural area approximately 3 miles from the market town of Buckingham where there is a range of shopping and leisure facilities, a library, and dental and GP surgeries. Hillesden Hamlet is in the catchment area for the Royal Latin (grammar) School in Buckingham. A wider range of facilities can be found in Milton Keynes (16.5 miles) and Bicester (11 miles).
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