Area: Polebrook

White Admiral Cottage, Polebrook

White Admiral Cottage, Polebrook

A charming cottage in a lovely village location: a dwelling associated historically with the Rothschild family.

  • Sitting room
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Three Bedrooms

Polebrook is a delightful village with a 12th Century Church, a primary school, a number of notable houses, and a local pub namely “The Kings Arms”. The village borders the famous Ashton Estate, which is considered to be of National Importance, and which estate combines beautiful countryside with heritage quality buildings. The area is characterised by attractive undulating countryside. There are public rights of way through parts of the Ashton Estate.

The beautiful market town of Oundle, situated on the river Nene, lies about three miles to the east end, is famous for its Georgian streetscapes and for its public school. Within the town there is a good range of leisure facilities, including galleries, a theatre, a library and a number of sports venues and clubs. There is also a country park and several riverside walks. The choice of schooling for all age groups is considered excellent.

Commuters can choose from the following three train stations for relatively easy access to London providing a door to door journey time of approximately 1 hr 30 min.
Peterborough train line – approx.50 min (Peterborough is about 14 miles away)
Corby train line – approx.1 hr 15 min (Corby is about 12 miles away)
Kettering train line – approx.1 hr (Kettering is about 16 miles away)

White Admiral is at the northern end of the three cottages. The cottages are of stone construction under thatched roofs and have dressed stone mullioned windows with leaded lights: the gardens are quite pretty but could be much further developed. The cottage was completely re-thatched in the 1980’s and the thatch was restored in 2011: all thatching work was carried out by the renowned firm of Dodson Brothers, recipients of several awards for thatching. As with the other cottages, White Admiral is offered for sale for the first time ever having been owned and managed as part of the Ashton Estate by the Rothschilds and their lineal descendants since (as far as we can ascertain) the turn of the 19th century.

Prospective purchasers may offer for on, or for two, or for three cottages. Subject to gaining the appropriate permissions, these three cottages would combine well to form one residence.

The Accommodation
From the garden, the front door opens into a vestibule which leads into a sitting room, the latter featuring a modern fireplace. Beyond the sitting room is a fitted kitchen with space for a cooker, fridge and washing machine whilst adjacent to the kitchen there is a bathroom.

A dog leg staircase with an attractive mullion and leaded window on the half landing leads up to three first floor bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has a built in wardrobe, whilst one enjoys a cast iron combination fireplace.

The Outside
The gardens extend around three sides of the property and are contained within walls and picket fences. There is an attractive willow tree, a seating terrace and also there is the opportunity to buy a Shepherds Hut supplied with electricity. To the rear there is parking for all three properties.

The property is to be sold freehold and with vacant possession.

The Cottage enjoys oil fired central heating, mains Electricity and mains drainage and sewerage. Broadband service within the Village is deemed generally acceptable.

The Rothschilds, the Polebrook Cottages, and Architect William Huckvale
It is highly likely that all three Polebrook Cottages were designed by the fashionable Edwardian/Victorian era architect William Huckvale (1848 (circa) – 1936). Whilst there are no records establishing Huckvale as the architect, these picturesque cottages bear the hallmarks of Huckvale’s work, being similar in form and design to the typical “Rothschild” cottages found on the adjacent Ashton Estate (please see the website for some relevant history and photographs). Huckvale was an architect who enjoyed the patronage of the Rothschild family: there are other examples of Huckvale’s work on the famous Waddesdon Estate, near Tring, Hertfordshire, and Huckvale even designed the Hon Walter Rothschild’s fabled Zoological Museum as well as much of Tring High Street. Pendley Manor (Tring) is an elegant example of Huckvale’s architecture.

It seems probable that the Polebrook Cottages were designed for employees of the Rothschild family: nonetheless, these buildings were, (in our albeit subjective opinion) constructed to an high standard, with a view to providing picturesque yet functional rural dwellings. The Hon Charles Rothschild was quite famous as one of the first landowners to provide, for his workforce cottages enjoying a wide range of “modern” amenities. This Utopian vision was developed further via the concept of a “Model Farm Settlement” which provided employment and services as well as useful buildings. The Hon Charles, according to family tradition, first became interested in the Ashton Estate whilst on a butterfly collecting expedition with the Vicar of Polebrook. The Ashton Woodlands contain several interesting species of butterflies. The Polebrook Cottages were named by The Hon Charles’ daughter, The Hon Miriam Rothschild, after famous butterfly species – specifically as “Ringlet”, as “Swallowtail” and as “White Admiral”. This nomenclature is somewhat fanciful in that Swallowtail butterflies are probably absent from the Ashton Woodlands!

Viewing is by strict appointment through the selling agents, Fisher German LLP, tel. no. 01858 410200, and email The property may be viewed on all days of the week because Managing Agents OHL Ltd (Tel: 01832 272264 Mobile: 07802 356171 and email: may conduct viewings on the instruction of Fisher German. Visitors can also view and walk along the public rights of way through the Ashton Estate, and OHL Ltd Ashton Estate personnel may be available to accompany visitors and/or direct such visitors to the right pathways.

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