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Conservation Area

Milford The historic centre of Milford-on-Sea is protected by two conservation areas. The larger one covers the High Street, village green and the Danes Stream valley south of Barnes Lane and Vinegar Hill while the smaller one covers the area around the church. There are a small number of listed buildings, the best of which is All Saints Church. The majority of early buildings date from around the 18th century and these are interspersed with some good examples of late Victorian and early 20th century development which give the village centre the air of being pleasantly caught in a time warp.

Milford was an established Saxon settlement by the time it was recorded in the Domesday Book. The first church was probably built of timber around 1080 and replaced by a stone building in the 12th century, remnants of which can be seen today. The village green is all that remains of the ancient common land but the manor, vicarage and mill buildings still exist although none retain their original function. Until early this century Milford was essentially an agricultural settlement centred on the village green and the High Street. The beginning of modern Milford is connected with the fortunes of Colonel Cornwallis-West of Newlands Manor who in 1886 tried to model the village into a fashionable resort as his friend the Duke of Devonshire was doing at Eastbourne. Unfortunately the attempt failed due to lack of capital and an outbreak of typhoid which kept potential purchasers away. Recent development has made the village into a local centre as well as a popular destination for daytrippers headed for the beach.

adobe icon View the Milford-on-Sea Conservation Area map [1Mb].
adobe icon View the Conservation Area Appraisal [2Mb],

These are key features in the conservation area:

  • The church of All Saints is by far the most important building in the village. Much of it survives from the 13th century. It forms an important group with the old manor - Milford House - now three dwellings. The centre portion of the house dates from the 1730s and the wings from the Adam period of the 1790s. Church Hill originally ran to the south side of the house.
  • The early 20th century shops, in particular those to the east of the garage.
  • The traditional shapes and mouldings of original windows give a building much more character than upvc replacements.
  • The village green is overlooked by two very interesting but different cottages, Myrtle Cottage and Milford Cottage, both built in the 1780s. The lamp-post at the bottom was erected in 1921 to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.
  • The late Victorian houses at the eastern end of the High Street are built of yellow bricks from the Lymore Lane brickworks.
  • Orchard Cottage - a Victorian "cottage ornee" - built of yellow brick with a central chimney and thatched roof, was formerly the lodge to Milford Lodge.

These are some of the things that make Milford special - they need to be looked after:

  • History
    The unchanged historic street pattern.
  • Buildings
    The small 18th and 19th century cottage style dwellings of red or yellow brick, sometimes rendered, which open straight onto the pavement.
    18th and 19th century windows of three or six pane sashes and turn of the century sashes with plain lower sections and small panes above.
  • Landscape/Townscape
    The village green is an important remaining historic space.
    The churchyard links the old vicarage and the manor house to the church in traditional fashion.
    The wooded valley of Danes Stream.
    The range of attractive early 20th century shopfronts with straight sunblinds.
  • Setting
    Views across the green, especially northwest to Myrtle and Milford Cottages and south to the High Street.
  • Potential for enhancement
    The car park at the junction of Barnes Lane and High Street is at present very bleak.
    It is important to try to stem the tide of inappropriate replacement doors and windows which are seriously affecting the character of the conservation area.
    Shopfronts also make an important contribution to the scene and should be sympathetic to the period of the buildings.
Updated: 7 Mar 2019
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