PROPERTY OF THE WEEK
A cottage in a Site of Special Scientific Interest with a truly smashing history
Serious conservationists and schoolchildren alike will fall for this rural cottage in Northamptonshire, writes Lauren Davidson.
Cherry Tree Cottage is in Ashton, a model village built in the late 19th century for workers of the nearby manor, home of the Rothschild family.
The estate was built for Charles Rothschild, the youngest son of the first Baron Rothschild; he founded what would become The Wildlife Trust (and collected 260,000 fleas, now on display at the Natural History Museum).
Ashton then passed to Charles’s daughter, the zoologist Dame Miriam Rothschild, who worked as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and housed Jewish refugee children at Ashton Wold. Dame Miriam renamed the village pub The Chequered Skipper after a rare butterfly, and it is in this pub that the World Conker Championships were born.
In 1965, a group of regulars who were unable to agree on the details of a planned fishing trip decided to play conkers instead. The 51st championship, which now takes place in nearby Southwick after outgrowing Ashton a few years ago, will commence tomorrow.
Cherry Tree Cottage – once home of the first world conker champion, Ron Marsh – is an end-of-terrace property built with stone from the local quarry and thatched in Norfolk Reed.
The three-bedroom house is Grade II listed, with stone mullioned windows, high ceilings and a front door painted in the distinctive estate livery, Rothschild Blue.
The property is for sale through Purplebricks for £350,000 (0800 810 8008; purplebricks.co.uk).