THE future of a village sub-post office is in question after the historic building and village store in which it trades was put up for sale on Thursday, writes Anne Wise.
Sudbury estate agent Thorntons is marketing the Grade II listed Bridge House and Boxford Stores, in Swan Street, for £630,000.
The building, which incorporates a five-bedroom house with a double garage at the back, has gone up for sale because its owner Catherine Lee died earlier this year.
Postmaster Richard Gates said: “It is being sold because it is a requirement of her will, and it is the only way the proceeds can be realised. She has a relative, but I understand she does not want to run it so it has to be sold.
“Whoever buys it will, essentially, get a Grade II shop with a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house which is a key part of the village’s history. It has been a shop since the 1400s, linked to Boxford’s wool trade.”
Mr Gates said former owners Major John Gaussen and his wife Christina bought the premises when Major Gaussen retired from the Army in 1963.
Major Gaussen died 15 years ago when he was in his 70s and his wife eight years ago, aged 89.
It was a this point that the property was left to Mrs Gaussen’s sister, Miss Lee, who had lived in Lavenham and subsequently moved to live at the property. She died in January, aged 94.
“The post office and stores are a viable business and are an important part of the village,” said Mr Gates.
“The next nearest post offices are Sudbury, Hadleigh, Nayland and, to the north, Monks Eleigh, so we hope it will be sold with the post office left in tact as a going concern.
“The hope is it might attract a family, perhaps from a city, who want a change of lifestyle or perhaps someone who is 10 to 15 years off retirement who might see it as an opportunity for a business.”
Sam Thornton, from Thortons, said the company had organised for a full historical survey of the house because of its heritage. The survey describes the building as one of the “most fascinating and beguiling buildings in Suffolk”.