Milfield Hill House

The original building consisted of the three upper windows and two lower ones with the main entrance between them at the front.

The front part was not the oldest. The house was really six separate buildings which were connected together. The front faced onto a lawn separated from the front field by a ha-ha. On its left a new extension built by George Annett Grey. Behind this the granary which was the oldest part. The triple bay windows look like later additions. Behind the granary was the kitchen. Behind this the house used by the Hinsons in the 1930s, who were caretakers, estate managers and gardeners. To the right of the front, where the car can be seen, was a new front door also added by George Annett Grey and behind it, with a flat roof, another new extension containing a dining room ( which later became the kitchen) downstairs and a bathroom upstairs.

The other buildings in the photograph are the black roofed harness room and stables which still stand today and at the top of the picture, on the left of the path leading to the stack yard, a building with vented turrets for hanging game, and next to it a wash house with an old copper boiler.

A carved wooden board which used to hang over the fireplace of the dressing room attached to the big bedroom has 1793 carved on the front and on the back is written ‚ÄĚThis house was built for George Grey in 1793. But it is possible that this carving was made for Middle Ord House. On one of the two original stone gateposts "G 1799" is carved.
Above and below: The side of the house facing the yew hedge which separated it from the garden. From the left the caretakers house, the kitchen, the old granary with its added bay windows and the corner of what on the plan is marked "lounge" but was built as a room for dancing and completely empty and used as a playroom through the 1930s to 1950s.

Below: The house viewed from the back. Because of the way the buildings were constructed there were odd gaps between them. Below right: The yard at the back, in the gap where the pantry met the back of the granary.

Left: Looking at the flat roofed dining room with the harness room on the right from the back drive. The dining room looked onto a group of box and holly bushes cut into various shapes and a path led to the harness room. There were two drives but the back one was more generally used. On the left of this picture just out of shot was the old estate manager's office. This was where George Henry Ivar Grey and his brother Eric worked as land agents. The single story building was turned into a cottage and lived in by Kathleen and Angela Grey while work to alter the main house was done in the 1950s. See below. It is available to rent from the current owners of the house.

 

Above the front door was a carved stone scaling ladder, and inside above the door a stone ram's head. Opposite the front door was a circular group of elm trees, now all dead and cut down, and always full of wood pigeons. The bed was ringed with a low yew hedge, there were low laurels in the middle and an acacia and a lime tree stood near the door. Drunken bees used to fall from the lime onto the front steps. At the back of the circle the drive linked to the back drive. Two small stone pillars stand just beyond a swing at the house end of the drive. One carved "G 1799" and the other with "JNG 1896", with a scaling ladder and the family motto. The front drive could have taken you to the front gate in the 1940s but by the 1950s it was overgrown. In the 1930s it was always used and had fine iron gates which were taken to make spitfires in WW2. The stone pillars that supported them were decorated with flags and bunting by Robert and Lina Grey at the time of King George the fifth's Jubilee.
Below: The scaling ladder from above the front door saved by Doreen Grey when the house was demolished.
Left: Hounds coming up the back drive in George Grey's time. The estate office on the right.

The front door was always a good place to take photographs.

Right: Grey Family and friends in 1930s.

 

 

 

Left: Eric and Boyd Grey in WW1.

 

 

 

Right: Ivar Grey.

 

 

 

 

 

The very old photograph left may be the original front door. It appears to have the carved stone at the top which was kept when the door was turned into a window.
Josephine Butler in a letter refers to the extensive home improvements at Milfield carried out by her brother, including the building of a tennis court.
Left: Anne Grey, Angela Grey, Valentine and Claire with John Straughan.