The property was built as farm laborers’ cottages in the 1850s by the Fitzroy family on their country estate at Euston. When looking for a suitable name, they settled on New Zealand Cottages, as the then head of the family, the Duke of Grafton, was the first Governor of the recently colonized New Zealand. The cottages were, perhaps coincidentally, located on the extreme edge of the estate, just as New Zealand found itself on the far edges of the empire.
The barns and cottages that make up the property were lived in by farm workers for nearly 120 years. Home to four families, at one stage we know that nearly 30 children were living at New Zealand Cottages, and it was a favorite haunt not just for them, but also children from neighboring farms. If you listen carefully, you can still sometimes catch the sound of giggling from the rafters.
In the post war years, mechanization reduced the number of hands required to run a farm. By the mid sixties only one family remained and by 1970, New Zealand Cottages was surplus to requirements. We fell in love with and bought this somewhat dilapidated collection of buildings in 1977, and spent the next 40 years repairing, restoring and improving buildings and garden.
The Mill and the Barn were home to our cabinet making business, which until 2016 produced some of the world’s finest furniture and wooden accessories, supplying shops such as Asprey, Harrods, Fortnum & Masons and Linley.
In 2017 we began the conversion of our timber machine shop, known as a ‘mill’ into guest accommodation, giving another lease of life to this already historic little piece of England.