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8 bedroom character property for sale

Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire

Sold STC £1,300,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Three reception rooms
  • Kitchen /breakfast room
  • Six bedrooms
  • Bathroom
  • Two bedroom apartment
  • One bedroom studio flat
  • Two bedroom mews cottage
  • Two bedroom cottage
  • Double and single garage
  • In all approximately 1.95 acres (0.79 hectares).

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

A former Vicarage enjoying a prominent position on the edge of the village and surrounded by its own mature grounds.

Reception hall. Drawing room. Dining room. Sitting room. Kitchen /breakfast room. Boot room. Master bedroom suite. Guest bedroom suite. Four further bedrooms. Family bathroom. Two bedroom apartment. One bedroom studio flat. Two bedroom mews cottage. Two bedroom cottage. Double and single garage. Formal gardens. Croquet lawn. Two former grass tennis courts. Orchard. Wildlife area. In all approximately 1.95 acres (0.79 hectares).

The former Vicarage is Grade II Listed and is believed to date back to 1694. William Butterfield, the well respected Gothic revival architect, was responsible for the restoration of All Saints Church within the village and it is believed that he also played a part in remodelling and extending The Vicarage in 1836. The house enjoys a wonderful position on the edge of this accessible and popular north Bedfordshire village, and is set in attractive and mature grounds of just under two acres.

Following its sale by the church it was renamed Woodlands and has until recently been used as an international grass tennis coaching school, along with separate language school. Following the retirement of the principals the house has been divided to provide four independent residential units that have been producing an investment income.

Woodlands is a very flexible property and is equally adaptable as a substantial family home with independent annexe facilities or suited for business purposes. The main house retains many period features and provides generous well proportioned family accommodation currently over two floors. The apartment, studio flat and mews cottage could easily be reincorporated into the main house, still leaving the cottage across the courtyard as independent annexed living facilities.

The property is approached over a gravelled drive which sweeps past the front door and leads into the rear courtyard from where the studio flat and two cottages are accessed. The mature grounds afford the property great privacy and provide wonderful leisure/entertainment opportunities which can only be fully appreciated on viewing.

The Accommodation

The part glazed front door is partly protected by a stone porch and opens into a wonderful reception hall, which runs through the middle of the house with main reception rooms radiating off. The drawing room benefits from a marble fireplace and in one corner there is a recessed drinks cupboard. The bay window has working shutters with French doors onto the garden. The sitting room has a more informal feel with exposed timber floor and book shelving to either side of the stone fireplace with wooden surround and mantelpiece, housing wood burning stove. This room also benefits from a bay window with working shutters and French doors. The dining room is in a wonderful deep purple and leads through to the kitchen/breakfast room in a farmhouse style with fitted light oak units, pantry and recessed cupboards to the side of the chimney breast. Appliances within the kitchen are freestanding. Beyond the kitchen is the rear hall featuring original servants bells and providing access to the apartment and former kitchen/boot room and boiler room. Further rooms downstairs include a cloakroom and utility cupboard with steps leading down to the vaulted wine cellars with brick divisions.

First Floor

Decorative dog leg staircase with oak handrail rises to a generous galleried landing with views out over open countryside and inner landing leading off. The master bedroom has an en suite shower room, together with recessed wardrobe and connecting door to bedroom six. Bedrooms two, three and four are all doubles with bedroom three having an original marble fireplace, bedroom four having an en suite shower and bedroom five being a single. The family bathroom comprises a white suite including panelled bath, shower cubicle, pedestal wash basin and low level W.C.

The Apartment - Currently accessed from the rear hall with staircase leading to the first floor rooms including fitted kitchen with integral appliances, sitting room with corner fireplace, bathroom and separate W.C. A further flight of stairs lead to the bedrooms both with original corner fireplaces.

The Studio - Accessed from the courtyard with bed/sitting room with original fireplace, galley kitchen and bathroom.

Mews Cottage - Door from courtyard into a hallway and providing access to galley kitchen, sitting room with brick fireplace, dining room with sliding patio doors onto a rear garden. The main double bedroom has an en suite shower room with bathroom serving the other double bedroom.

The Cottage - The detached cottage lies across the courtyard and provides annexed living accommodation. The new galley kitchen is well equipped. The sitting room has exposed beams and stonework with sliding French doors opening onto rear paved terrace with steps up to part enclosed garden. The two bedrooms are served by a bathroom.


Within the courtyard is a Single Garage 4.9m x 2.3m and to the rear is a Double Garage - 7.0m x 5.5m. Electric up and over door. To the side of the drive is a former store, dovecote and store room.

The Grounds

A particular feature of the property are the private mature grounds which are divided into rooms and extend to approximately 1.95 acres. The grounds are partly enclosed behind stone walls with mature hedgerow boundaries. The formal lawns gently fall away from Woodlands down to the croquet lawn, edged by mature yew hedging. An archway through the laurel hedge allows access to the two former grass tennis courts. To the south is a wooded wildlife area with timber storage shed and wooden poultry house. Rising away from the tennis court and divided by a dwarf stone wall is a paved patio with well. Beyond is the former kitchen garden which is currently laid to lawn with wooden pergola over which roses and clematis climb. The orchard is at the top of the garden and stocked with fruiting apple and pear trees, together with wildflower area and it is from here one enjoys views back to woodlands and out over rolling countryside.


Milton Ernest is located in the attractive Ouse valley five miles to the north of Bedford. Facilities within the village include a pub, village hall where a toddler group meets during term time, playing field and Church of England lower school, which has an excellent reputation. It is within the highly respected Sharnbrook Upper School (and Community College) catchment area and school buses run through the village. The village of Sharnbrook to the north offers a good range of shopping facilities with more extensive shopping and leisure facilities available in the towns of Bedford, Rushden and further afield at Milton Keynes, with Bedford also featuring the renowned Harpur Trust Independent Schools.


Whilst the village enjoys a very rural location, it is accessible with the A6 Trunk road providing access to other trunk roads which link to the M1 motorway and the A1. Excellent rail communicating services are available from the main line station at Bedford with East Midland train service to London St Pancras in under 40 minutes and First Capital Connect to the City. Air travel is accessible from Luton, Stansted and Birmingham airports with Heathrow and Gatwick slightly further afield.

Mains water, electricity and drainage.

Central Bedfordshire Council. Tel: 0300 300 8000

Woodlands - Council Tax Band G
The Cottage - Council Tax Band D
Studio Flat - Council Tax Band A
Apartment - Council Tax Band B
Mews Cottage - Council Tax Band C

Tenure: Freehold.

Viewing: Strictly by appointment through the sole agents Jackson-Stops & Staff. Tel - 01525 290641.

Directions:- From Bedford proceed north on the A6 and on entering the village of Milton Ernest turn right signed to Thurleigh and into Thurleigh Road. After passing the church, the drive to Woodlands will appear in front of you on the left.

Messrs Jackson-Stops & Staff for themselves, and for the vendors or lessors of this property whose agents they are, give notice that: i) the particulars are set out as a general outline only for the guidance of intended purchasers or lessees, and do not constitute, nor constitute part of, an offer or contract; ii) all descriptions, dimensions, references to condition and necessary permissions for use and occupation, and other details, are given without responsibility and any intending purchasers or tenants should not rely on them as statements or representations of fact, but must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to the correctness of each of them; iii) no person in the employment of Messrs Jackson-Stops & Staff has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatever in relation to this property; iv) while every care has been taken in preparing these particulars some descriptions are inevitably subjective. All measurements are given to the nearest 0.1 of a metre only and photographs are representative of the property, at the time of instruction, and no assumptions should be made from these in respect of other parts of the property not shown, or the locality. Mileages are approximate. v) none of the appliances in the property have been tested by the vendors agents. The purchaser must make his own investigations prior to exchange of contracts.

June 2010

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Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
07 September 2010

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