Historic property snapped up… by old neighbours

Brian and Sally Prosser with auctioneer Mark Hill

Brian and Sally Prosser with auctioneer Mark Hill

An historic but neglected house in the Cotswolds market town of Fairford has been sold at auction… to a family that used to live two doors down.

On Friday the Prosser family – who now live in nearby Quenington – were raising a glass to winning Milton House at auction, while admitting that there is a lot of work to be done before they move in to the 18th century property.

Built during the boom years of the 18th and 19th centuries, when the town rapidly expanded with the arrival of the stagecoach, Milton House continued to be one of Fairford’s most important residential properties into the 20th century.

In 1908 it was the first residential property to be assigned a telephone number – Fairford 6; the first five were snapped up by businesses, and even the local constabulary, the doctor and the railway station were pipped to the post.

The house, which has four bedrooms, three reception rooms, flagstone floors, and a remarkably large garden for a town centre property, has been unoccupied for a number of years.

But, said auctioneer Mark Hill from Cirencester estate agent Moore Allen & Innocent, it provided “a wonderful project for somebody.”

“Milton House has been vacant for a number of years, but is in remarkably good condition,” Mr Hill assured bidders, adding that the estate agent had facilitated “a tremendous number of viewings.”

Indeed, competition at the auction was fierce, with bidding quickly escalating from £250,000 to £310,000.

After the hammer fell, Mr Prosser – who will move to the property with his wife Sally and their children Thomas (8) and Emma (6) – said he was delighted to have won the auction, but admitted he had found the process ‘nerve wracking’.

“We used to live two doors away,” he said, “so we’ve been aware of the property for some time.

“It’s a big project, and we’ll be getting some help in to do it up. But it’s going to be a wonderful family home. The children have been to see the property, and they love it – especially the big laurel tree in the back garden.”

The property was auctioned at the nearby Bull Hotel in Fairford Market Place, which coincidentally was the registered address of the person who sold the property to its previous owner.

For more information about buying and selling Cotswold properties at auction, log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk

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