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Cherry Tree Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Weston Underwood, Milton Keynes

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Latitude: 52.1462 / 52°8'46"N

Longitude: -0.7382 / 0°44'17"W

OS Eastings: 486437

OS Northings: 250518

OS Grid: SP864505

Mapcode National: GBR CYZ.D5M

Mapcode Global: VHDSN.5B32

Entry Name: Cherry Tree Cottage

Listing Date: 27 February 1984

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1212994

English Heritage Legacy ID: 351143

Location: Weston Underwood, Milton Keynes, MK46

County: Milton Keynes

Civil Parish: Weston Underwood

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Weston Underwood

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Weston Underwood

Listing Text


91/1/235 HIGH STREET
27-FEB-84 (Northwest side)
Cherry Tree Cottage

Cherry Tree Cottage is a house, originally three cottages built in the C17 with early C19 and C20 alterations. It is built of coursed local limestone rubble with partial ashlar stone dressings to openings in the front elevation; all roofs are slate, and there are two brick chimney stacks. The house has three bays and two storeys and consists of a main range with single storey extensions to the rear from the south-west end: there is a long single storey outbuilding against the north-east boundary.

EXTERIOR: The main elevation is to the south-east. There are two sixteen-paned unhorned sash windows to the ground and three to the first floor (representing the three original cottages). The ground floor window to the third cottage at the east end has been replaced by double garage doors. The original arched entrance to the through passage is to the west of the garage doors, and there is a front door with glazed panels at the west end of this elevation. The rear elevation has three two-light casement windows in the first floor and a central three-light casement to the ground floor. The arched through passage opening is to the east of this window. There is a small dormer in the roof. The extensions to the rear are lean-to structures built against the wall of the neighbouring house and the boundary wall: the smaller brick extension which serves as a utility room is connected to and accessible from the larger extension, now a kitchen.

INTERIOR: Although all ground floor rooms are now interconnected, the essential three-room plan survives. Each room retains a fireplace, although that in the west room (now dining room) has a new early C19 style surround and grate: there are also new cupboards to the left of the fireplace. There is a chamfered beam in each of the two living rooms. The staircases of the middle and third cottages, now the living room and garage, have been removed. The surviving staircase is an enclosed winder stair behind a plank and batten door with strap hinges, beside which is an understairs cupboard. The kitchen has been enlarged since 1955 to incorporate the whole of the rear extension, open to the smaller brick built extension beyond. In the west wall of the kitchen is a blocked doorway, with a frame with shiplap joints. A loft hatch gives access to the roof space above the door, where the original horse hair tempered plaster of an earlier interior wall can be seen.

The first floor has three bedrooms, one to each of the original cottages, with original stud walls to the bedrooms in the west and central room. The east bedroom has a new stud wall creating an en suite bathroom. A stair to a converted attic room has been inserted from the landing at the west end. The roof has a ridge piece and rafters of sawn timber, and (may date to the late C19 when the original thatched roof was apparently destroyed by fire).

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The single storey outbuilding to the rear is built as a lean-to against the east boundary wall. It seems to have been constructed in two phases, represented by different materials, brick and stone, but has a single slate roof. The south-east end is of brick construction and has a tiled floor and brick fireplace.

HISTORY: Available evidence based on examination of the building and documentary sources demonstrates that Cherry Tree Cottage was built in the C17 as three cottages, with a through passage between the second and third cottages to a yard at the rear, and with main entrances probably either to the rear or from the passage. Different stonework around the sash windows in the front elevation indicate that these are later insertions, and this is confirmed by two early prints, one of which is dated to 1820. Both prints show the building as having three-light stone mullioned windows partly set in pointed dormers: the roof was steeply pitched and thatched, and the only door to the front of the building was to the through passage. The building has undergone at least three phases of renovation or alteration; the roof is also said to have been replaced following its destruction by fire in the 1880s. The first recognisable phase of renovation is represented by the early C19 sash windows in the front elevation. Ordnance Survey maps from 1882 and later show that it was still three dwellings throughout the C19 and into the C20, and that the plan of the extension and outbuildings, which may date to the late C18 or early C19, have remained unchanged since at least the late C19. A formerly thatched roof is believed to have been destroyed by fire in 1880 and replaced with the present roof. The building remained as three cottages until the 1950s, when the first two were converted into one dwelling, absorbing the third cottage at the north-east end in the 1960s to become a single house. This process involved the loss of two staircases, while the ground floor of the third cottage was converted into a garage, its front window replaced with double garage doors. The house has also been renovated by the current owner. The main change has been the removal of the south-west wall of the through passage to enlarge the living room.

In the C17 much of Weston Underwood was owned by the Throckmortons, a family of recusants (Roman Catholics refusing to attend services of the Church of England) whose manor house was at the north end of the village; only the stable block of this house survives. The cottages may have been part of the Throckmorton's estate, and it has been suggested, based on the quality of the construction of the cottages, that they were built as almshouses, or for some similar purpose.

SOURCES: Archaeological Services and Consultancy Ltd (2007) Historic Building Assessment : Cherry Tree Cottage, Weston Underwood, Bucks.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Cherry Tree Cottage is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special architectural and historical interest for its origins as three C17 cottages, renovated in the early C19.
* Despite its conversion into one dwelling in the mid C20, the house and outbuildings retain a significant proportion of their original fabric, plan form and interior detail.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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