- A Residence (associated with the Rothschild family) of circa 6486 sq/ft,
- A combination of the original Farmhouse and of an adjacent Shop and Barn,
- The Property is not Listed,
- Five bedrooms three bathrooms and two drawing rooms plus one study and one dining room,
- An orangery party room constructed in the gothic style,
- Some useful and independent ground floor space has planning permission for office use and the spacious single office,
- The two tiered garden enjoying mature trees bounded by stonewalls,
- Also has an independent lower access via a Gothic gate leading to the rear of the nearby Bell Hotel
- Development opportunity – the residence
The Old Farmhouse was, in the past, the residence of Dr Charles Lane, son of the iconoclastic biologist and Nature Conservationist the Hon. Dr Miriam Rothschild OBE, DBE, FRS. Dr Lane – the current owner – is the co-inventor with Drs Marbaix and Gurdon of the much used “exogenous mRNA expression technology” (think Covid Vaccines!). Charles resided at the Old Farmhouse with noted medical research worker and expert on sepsis Dr Carmen Wheatley. Carmen with the help of gardening expert Robin Lane-Fox designed the pleasing two tiered garden. The lack of a larger green space can perhaps be assuaged by the purchase of a few acres of land at nearby Hill Farm Taston, also owned by this branch of the Rothschild family. One can walk through charming countryside from the Old Farmhouse to Hill Farm, Taston – a distance of only circa 1.6 miles. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but Hill Farm lays claim to being a most charming element of the Cotswold Escarpment.
The Old Farmhouse itself seems to have been built in the late 18th Century or early 19th Century, as was the adjacent and presumably related barn. The ground floor of the barn was converted into a shop, in recent times bearing the name “Caigers”, in honour of the owner, Mr Caiger – by repute an allegedly skilled and daring World War II fighter pilot.
Caigers now enjoys permission for office use, and enjoys both an internal access and an access out to the public highway, thus out on to Sheep Street.
Remodelling and extension of the property occurred, and at a somewhat leisurely pace, between circa 1989 and 1994. As the residence of two somewhat unusual owners the house enjoys some interesting and surprisingly features. Not everyone could add a Gothic Style Orangery to a Georgian Style residence with a courtyard reminiscent of an Oxford College! A key attribute of the house is the spectacular view across the valley towards Cornbury House and towards Wychwood Forest. To optimise the view, the windows are well designed, and most importantly the vast and magnificent barn now leads, via double doors, to a charming balcony.
The craftsmanship in the Old Farmhouse varies from the exquisite – for example, the barn room, the rear Elm-wood staircase, and the sauna room , to the decidedly modern – for example the tiled floor takes in the somewhat under equipped kitchen.
To understand the layout of The Old Farmhouse one must be prepared to go round in a large vertical asymmetric circle.
The Sheep Street – entrance – dining room, study – sitting room – staircase – master bedroom – bathroom – second bedroom – third bedroom – staircase – third floor room (the third floor room is not habitable space, and can only be used as a thoroughfare) – bedroom – landing – sauna – ground floor lobby – and downstairs bathroom – office space– and orangey style gothic drawing room and top tier of the garden (with steps to the lower tier) and gated exit to the rear, the Bell Hotel. Because the Old Farmhouse and the former barn are different heights, this asymmetric circle involves several small different levels.
The Old Farmhouse is a really unusual house, well suited for entertaining, and the product of some unusual thinking.
The grounds are two tiered and bounded by a stone wall replete with niches for statuary. The garden is laid in part as lawn with well stocked borders and mature trees giving the setting a good degree of privacy. Beyond the lawn is a box topiary garden with fruit trees. ‘The small circa 3 metres x 2 metres area of land is subject to a right of way amd thus may not be used as a parking space. However, by custom, this area of land has been used to park vehicles on a permanent basis. Further details are available
Contact John D. Wood to view the property.
Residential Sales Manager
235 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7HN | 01865 311 522 | 07825 367 860