Previously, we had seen the struggle for survival of the ‘Parrott House’ in Stretton on Dunsmore. Threatened with demolition, a solution had been found where the house was bought by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC) for re-erection. Great care is taken with the house’s removal and Paul Woodfield, conservation officer for MKDC, draws the building in detail, including elevations1. The plans to restore the house in Milton Keynes fall through, however, and the frame is stored at Bradwell Abbey.
A new decade
The frame is still at Bradwell Abbey in 1981 when a report on the building and its possible uses is written – part of a request by the EMC in 1979 for a “comprehensive report and recommendations on all MKDC owned properties including proposed uses”. This is not to say, however, that the building is forgotten. Indeed, showing a care for its history and heritage, the relatives of Mr. Parrott are contacted in 1979, to say the house is in safe keeping. It is a conscious decision by Mr. Woodfield to keep the relatives informed, both for their own interest, and because they may have been able to help with information when the house came to be rebuilt.
Part of a larger building
By the time the house is rebuilt, however, its original saviour has moved on from the MKDC. The frame is used as part of a larger building, a detached family home. In Woodfield’s view, he does not find the building satisfactory where it is. The original intention to rebuild it properly, and restore it, has not been followed; the resultant house is not as intended.
In context, however, there is a trend towards timber framed buildings where it is erected, so it does not look overly out of place. The house from Stretton has found a home itself, after a number of years looking.
With thanks to the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies for their assistance in finding archive material within their work in progress MKDC catalogue.
1 Interview with author.