Early birds can look forward to something much tastier than a bog standard wriggly worm if they’re among the first buyers to view architect-designed apartments at a heritage property in 17 acres of green belt on the edge of Wycombe.

The flats are on the site of the former headquarters of the Nationwide Building Society.

Buyers who swoop in during the open day at the development planned for July 31 need to have made a prior appointment with the agents selling the apartments, Fine & Country.

Buyers are guaranteed are warm welcome from the hosts, all the more so if they decide to roost there permanently.

Not only will they get their legal fees paid but also a contribution towards their deposit.

Because of the nature of the development, no two flats are the same at Uplands in Four Ashes Road, Cryers Hill.

Prices currently range from £475,000 for a two-bed with two bathrooms and two reception rooms to £625,000 for a three bed with two bathrooms plus patio and balcony. Allocated parking is a given.

Some of the flats are in the old house built in gothic style between 1858 and 1862. Others are in the neighbouring more modern building in the grounds.

Not surprisingly the hilltop position gave rise to the name.

The first family to live at Uplands were the Hewetts. They had five children – two born in Hughenden, one in Wycombe.

Captain Hewett, later promoted to major, served in the Royal Bucks Kings Own Militia. The family had six servants - a cook, two housemaids, a lady’s maid, footman and a nurse for the two youngest daughters.

In 1900 the house was bought by the Cock family. Thomas Cock paid £8,000 for it. He was a partner in the bank which eventually became Martins Bank.

Thomas and his wife Ethel had three daughters and a son.

According to parish records, in 1910 Uplands had 15 bedrooms: 10 for the family, five for the staff.

Over the years the grounds were landscaped into terraces and avenues.

In the early 1980s the property was given a makeover masterminded by the eminent British architect Edward Cullinan to provide it with the status and accommodation to become the headquarters of a leading building society.

Twenty years later, Ted Cullinan was responsible for the revolutionary Weald and Downland Gridshell building made with oak laths. It was nominated for the Stirling Prize, the award recognised all over the world for architectural excellence.

Later he designed the new library for Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge which opened in 2010.

Edward Cullinan died in November 2019 at the age of 88.

For a relatively short period Uplands was owned by the De Vere group and became a hotel and conference centre. The hotel closed at the end of 2014.

Now it is a prestigious address for a small community who value the good life in a country house environment not far from London.

Open day at the development is from 10am-2pm on July 31.

For an appointment to view, call the agents at Fine & Country on 01844 343131.