This wonderful Grade II-listed manor house, draped with wisteria and roses, is positioned in the pretty Wiltshire village of Winsley. Believed to date to the 14th century, this now semi-detached house has many extraordinary original features. Among them are the large hollow-moulded Tudor-arched fireplace with painted Gothic script and windows recovered from a Renaissance church in the village that were installed in the 20th century as part of a scheme of Victorian extensions and improvements. Unfolding over 5,600 sq ft, the house has seven generous bedrooms, with a bucolic garden on two sides, teeming with sweet-smelling florals and framed by mature trees and hedges.
Setting the Scene
Dendrochronology carried out on the oldest beam in the house revealed that it was felled in 1310, confirming its 14th-century origins. Over the years, the house has been altered and extended, with a plethora of original features still intact. In the oldest part of the house, currently used as a secondary kitchen, is the incredible Tudor-arched fireplace adorned with painted script. The text is taken from Cramer’s Bible and reads ‘Remember the Sabbath’. Adjacent is an exceptional timber-panelled Jacobean staircase.
A Victorian extension was added in the early 20th century, introducing a spectacular drawing room flooded with natural light. The stone-mullioned windows in this room were salvaged from the Renaissance church in the village when it was dismantled.
Recent investigation has also revealed a hatch in the hallway opening onto stone steps which lead to a series of four vaulted rooms underneath the house; the current owners discovered cast-iron keys for these rooms. A previous resident of the house also made a marvellous find when they stumbled across a medieval shield in one of the rooms; it was later donated to the Tower of London and is now on display there. Old passageways, now blocked, were also found; these historically led to the church and the village pub. For more information, please see the History section
The Grand Tour
The house has two main entrances, with the principal one leading through a stone porch with a chequerboard-tiled floor, creating an impressive entryway into the grand hallway. The carpet underfoot has been laid across original medieval floor tiles in a combination of terracotta, some of which have been painted in a delicate fleur-de-lis pattern. These could easily be reinstated to their original glory.
To the left of the hallway, accessed through arched stained glass doors, is the drawing room. This incredible space has original oak timber floorboards and an ornate Victorian fireplace surround fitted with a woodburning stove. Striking stone mullioned windows combine with French doors, which open to the garden and create a wonderful light-filled atmosphere.
On the other side of the plan lies the kitchen, a sunny space with ample room for dining. At one end, a working fireplace adds a cosy touch. The kitchen comprises hand-painted, bespoke cabinetry, including a central island that acts as a focal point. The walls are adorned with original delicate linenfold panelling, while three large sash windows bathe the room in light. Brilliantly, the kitchen has easy access to both its kitchen garden and dining terrace, allowing for easy movement between indoor and outdoor dining spaces.
A Jacobean oak staircase leads from the central hall up to the first floor with the principal bedroom and its accompanying en suite bathroom. The bedroom windows frame verdant views over the lush garden, creating a calming backdrop. There are a further four bedrooms on this floor, each featuring its own en suite bathroom. A separate wing, accessed via its own staircase, comprises two more bedrooms, a shower room and access to two attic rooms. The rooms are all decorated differently, some with beautiful Morris & Co. wallpaper.
The Great Outdoors
The gardens at the front of the house have been thoughtfully landscaped, combining formal gardens with box hedges and rose arbours with natural features. A pond area adorned with flourishing waterlilies adds a touch of tranquillity, while a charming summer house from the Kew Garden collection is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Beautiful wisteria and other climbing plants climb along the house’s front façade, creating the perfect summer garden.
To the side of the house is a productive kitchen garden; the lawn is interspersed with fruit trees, and a well-tended vegetable garden lies just beyond. Raised beds house a variety of flowers and vegetables, including squash, peas, and asparagus. This part of the garden provides the owner with a vase of fresh-cut flowers throughout the seasons.
A tall hedge divides the more practical part of the garden from a four-bay garage, a workshop/store, and an additional parking area.
Out and About
Burghope Manor is located in the charming ‘old’ part of Winsley, a very pretty and sought-after village, just 20 minutes from the centre of Bath. Traffic is limited in the village thanks to a bypass which filters cars via another route. The village has a Church of England primary school, two churches and a popular country pub, The Seven Stars. Nearby is the Hartley Farm Shop and Kitchen, an independent shop and restaurant which champions local and seasonal food.
The picturesque riverside town of Bradford-on-Avon is a pleasant walk of two miles via Turleigh Hill. It has some wonderful independent restaurants and shops, as well as a good secondary school and railway station.
Bath is just 5.3 miles from the house and is well served by outstanding retailers and restaurants, focusing on independent provisors. Colonna and Small’s, Beckford Bottle Shop, Café Lucca, Corkage, Landrace Bakery, and the weekly Farmer’s Market are of particular note, while the Olive Tree restaurant, Bath’s Michelin-starred establishment, is conveniently located at the northern end of nearby Russell Street. The city’s cultural distractions are plentiful, with brilliant theatres and galleries; the Holburne Museum and The Edge arts centre both hold world-class exhibitions.
Regular bus services run from Winsley to both Bath and Bradford-on-Avon. Bath Spa station provides a direct line to London Paddington in under 80 minutes. The M4 motorway lies north of the city and is quickly reachable by car, while Bristol airport is less than 24 miles away, or a 55 minutes drive.
Council Tax Band: G
Winsley was first recorded as “Wineslega” in 1170. While its name is of Saxon origins, the area has been farmed since Roman times and was an important point between the major Roman city of “Aquae Sulis” (now Bath) and a large Roman villa estate in Bradford. Industry remained predominantly agricultural until stone quarries began opening around 1800, taking advantage of the surrounding waterways to move the famous “Bath stone” around the country. The number of quarries grew as railways expanded across the country, and the surviving buildings from this era reveal the strong influence the industry had on the village vernacular.
The village settlement is centred around the Church of St Nicholas, an Anglican parish church dating from the 14th century. Now Grade II-listed, the architectural historian Nicholas Pevsner described the church’s tower as “quite unusual in its composition, with the mid-stair-turret and the saddleback roof”.
Although the stone quarrying industry has declined, these underground caves now provide hibernation places for bats and have been designated the Winsley Mines Site of Special Scientific Interest. This forms part of the Bath and Bradford-on-Avon Bats Special Area of Conservation, home to three distinct species of bats.
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