Wandering through the hallowed halls of Little Wolford Manor is like stepping back through six centuries of history that unfolded in the rooms of this exceptional Cotswold mansion. From the ancient oak paneled front door to the Minstrels’ Gallery, vaulted ceilings and huge stone fireplaces, every corner of this spectacular home is steeped in history and legend.
It is said that King Charles II himself hid in the cantou of the huge bread oven after the Battle of Worcester in 1751 – the final battle of the English Civil War. Not only that, but take the stone spiral staircase to the top floor, and you might walk on bloodstains that are believed to date back to the Battle of Edgehill, fought in 1642 during the First Civil War. The stairs lead to the original solar, a private family room.
Little Wolford Manor is an architectural gem in the North Cotswolds as a Grade II* listed mansion dating from the 15th century, with 34 acres of gardens and pasture, plus a gatehouse and separate cottage. On the market with Jackson-Stops for £5million, the eight-bedroom mansion exudes period character from its peaceful location five miles north of Moreton-in-Marsh.
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According to Jackson-Stops real estate agents, who are marketing the property, it will offer the future owner a near-perfect balance of house, land and outbuildings. Built of Cotswold stone with a slate roof, the house is accessed through a pair of ornate wrought iron gates via a scenic driveway.
History strikes you as you pass through the original 15th century oak screen in the entrance hall, while in the background another ancient tracery door opens onto the porch and the 17th century courtyard garden. One of the many highlights includes the Great Hall with its vaulted roof and hammer beams, the Minstrels’ Gallery and a huge fireplace with a mantel carved with Ingram’s coat of arms.
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Other major selling points are the small music room, wine cellar, wood paneling, and flagstone floors. There is also an inner hall which was originally the kitchen, with a massive fireplace and an impressive bressummer beam.
Beyond is the living room, with a 16th century fireplace with adjoining salt cupboard, and a bay window with fabulous views over the Vale of Great Wolford and the Cotswold hills beyond. Live like a lord in the master bedroom with a stone fireplace flanked by fitted wardrobes with a carved mantle and stunning views over the gardens and grounds.
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If you feel like bringing the extended family to live with you but don’t want them too close, you can put them up in the Manor Cottage or the Gate Lodge, unless you prefer to keep those buildings for the staff.
The expansive lawns surrounding the house are interspersed with mature trees and flower borders, as well as a ha-ha and tennis court, which will need to be redone if you hope to play a set or two.
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Elsewhere in the ground is a charming courtyard garden, a formal rose garden, a partly enclosed vegetable patch and an orchard. Beyond the gardens are over 28 acres of pasture and woodland, with a stream meandering through. All in all, it’s the stuff dreams are made of – if you’ve got a few million pounds at your disposal, of course.
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