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Selwood Manor
Frome, Somerset£5,000,000 Freehold

Selwood Manor

The manor house and its ancillary buildings unite within this immensely peaceful position to form a private and versatile hamlet of sorts

This exceptional Grade II-listed manor house and its three ancillary accommodations are set amidst over 11 acres of grounds in a secure rural position close to Frome, east Somerset. Built around 1740, the main honey-coloured stone manor house offers a stately 5,600 sq ft of accommodation, with the separate cottage and barn adding a further 2,260 sq ft of guest quarters, each with its own private outdoor space. There is also a brilliantly versatile and contemporary architect-designed leisure and entertainment complex within the grounds, measuring almost 2,750 sq ft with a cinema and a gym. The beautiful gardens encompass woodland, formal gardens, kitchen gardens and an outdoor heated swimming pool. Transport links are wonderfully convenient, with trains from nearby Westbury Station reaching London Paddington in 77 minutes precisely. Bristol Airport is also just 45 minutes’ drive away.

Setting the Scene

Set off a quiet country lane just five minutes from Frome, Selwood Manor is in an exceptionally peaceful and rural setting with no direct neighbours. It is situated in the north-east of Somerset, close to the Wiltshire borders. The River Frome runs at the bottom of the gardens, with a direct footpath leading to the centre of its namesake town through the surrounding bucolic landscape.

The manor house faces south-east, with views down to the private woodland and the river beyond. To the side of the home’s Yorkstone terrace is a two-bedroom cottage, an original building within the grounds. Closer to the main parking area is the L-shaped barn, which was almost entirely rebuilt and is now an especially spacious one-bedroom guest accommodation. The newer entertainment complex, Cooper Hall, was designed in a sympathetic manner, with all the buildings built from local stone in a similar honeyed hue.

The buildings unite within this immensely peaceful and private position to form a complex of sorts, or a private hamlet, offering great versatility of use. All have recently undergone an exhaustive campaign to completely overhaul their respective entire structures, including all new utilities, interior finishes and a total restoration of the exteriors and original features, with Cooper Hall built from new. The restoration works were implemented by local specialist builder Roy Pike & Son, who subsequently have worked almost exclusively for the Longleat Estate.

The current owners have also sought to make the heating and cooling systems as eco-friendly as possible where possible, combining state-of-the-art ground-source heat pump technology with a system of solar panels located in one of the fields in the grounds. The entire house, ancillary buildings and grounds also incorporate an extensive security system, including cameras and direct response connections to account holders’ mobile devices.

The Grand Tour

From Jack’s Lane are two adjacent sets of gates: one leads to Cooper Hall, the entertainment and leisure complex, the other with remote access control and cameras directly to the main house and barn accommodation along an extended drive, festooned with daffodils in springtime. Both the grounds and the driveway are bounded by low stone walls. Mature trees are interspersed within the verdant lawns, leading to a large parking area with EV charging in front of the L-shaped barn, to the side of the main house, while Cooper Hall has its own separate expansive parking area.

Selwood Manor

The 18th-century manor house is built in the Jacobean style, with the main elevations formed from honey-coloured rubble stone with a triple Roman tile roof; the five gabled dormers are crowned with three chimney stacks. The fine façade is seven bays wide within the principal structure and features stone mullioned windows with leaded lights (many of which are secondary glazed). Later single-storey outshuts feature at the north-east and south-west ranges, forming further sympathetic and symmetrical additions.

A generous entrance porch opens to the heart of the home, a spacious hall used as a drawing room. An open-well oak staircase sits here, along with exposed beams and a huge wood burner set into an open hearth with an exposed bressummer above. Oak floorboards extend underfoot, leading to a further reception room in the south-east range with the same architectural features as the hall. This in turn opens to an intimate television den, with a glass and steel staircase leading up to a private study on the first floor that can also act as a bedroom.

From the hall, the north-east range of the house is home to the dining room with an expansive inglenook fireplace. This leads to the generous kitchen; built in the newest outshut, it has limestone tiles underfoot that are warmed by underfloor heating. Oak cabinetry is bespoke, with quartz worktops and integrated appliances throughout. There are double Bosch ovens, a Neff induction hob, plus a coffee machine, microwave and dishwasher also built into the design. A central table and benches were thoughtfully commissioned at the same time, in matching planes of oak. To the rear is a utility room, also accommodating a plant for the house, and there is a separate pantry and WC.

The first floor is home to sleeping quarters, with two of the five bedrooms complemented by contemporary en suite facilities. The bedrooms on this floor include the principal bedroom suite with wonderful views of the garden. Its spacious en suite bathroom has a freestanding bath, an oak double vanity sink unit and a large stone-clad shower enclosure. It also has a dressing room with further bespoke wardrobing. The uppermost storey has two further bedrooms set amongst the eaves, each with en suite facilities.

The manor house is heated by an oil-fired central heating system, with radiators cleverly concealed in skirting boards throughout the house. An integrated speaker system also features in most rooms and has Bluetooth capability. Hotel-grade plumbing has been installed as part of the extensive restoration, with high water pressure ensuring a favourable bathing experience.

Guest Cottage

The guest cottage is a charming two-bedroom home with 1,000 sq ft of space. Double-fronted, the house also has a pantile roof and painted box sash windows. Executed to a similarly high standard as the main house, it presents wonderfully cosy additional accommodation.

The cottage has its own private area of garden, consisting of lawns screened from the main house garden by a fir hedge. Iron railings divide the garden of the cottage from the garden area of Cooper Hall to the rear.

But and Ben Barn

The one-bedroom barn accommodation takes the form of an L-shaped plan, comprising almost 1,200 sq ft. Slate flagstones extend underfoot, warmed by underfloor heating, and all the rooms are spacious, bright and finished in a contemporary fashion. The living room is some 40 ft deep, with a warming wood-burning stove and views towards the River Frome.

Folding glass doors open from the living room to an expansive raised deck with further amazing views to the fields, meadows and river beyond, and solar panels discretely positioned on the rear of the roof provide electricity.

Adjacent to the barn accommodation nearest the parking area is further garaging, a bike store and an underfloor heated room for overflow wardrobing for the manor house.

Cooper Hall

Over the past 12 years since its completion, Cooper Hall has acted for the current owners as a creative haven for a wide variety of activities and an eclectic programme of performance events. The potential of this beautifully appointed, architect-designed building is broad-ranging; while also currently used as a leisure complex, it could be used as an art studio, rehearsal space or for private events and parties.

Measuring some 2,750 sq ft, it was built to Jonathan Cooper’s design, combined with specialist historic built environment architects Chedburn Dudley Building Conservation and Design from Bradford-on-Avon. The hall and further spaces have underfloor heating with cooling and air conditioning supplied by the ground-sourced electric heat pump system.

The central hall has a soaring open-pitch roof with huge oak beams, designed without cross-supporting brackets to maximise the sense of volume in this main space, creating an almost chapel-like quality. This light and airy space was also designed with excellent acoustics in mind and there are blackout blinds to all the expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding windows either side of the entire hall.

Double pocket doors from the rear hall open to a professional-grade cinema and screening room, with sound-padded walls, professional projector, screen, and audio fittings, with reclining leather cinema seating for 12. The gym is set above the cinema and further audio-visual facilities are also incorporated here. A door from the gym leads to a small balcony that looks down to the main hall.

Additional leisure facilities lie to the western range of Cooper Hall, beyond the entrance hall, serving the outdoor heated swimming pool; these include two spacious changing rooms with showers and steam rooms, a service kitchen, the plant room, and access to the underfloor, heated and frameless glass loggia that overlooks the pool. Cooper Hall also has its own private garden, south-facing flagstone terrace and rose-strewn pergola that leads to its separate car park.

The Great Outdoors

The gardens and surrounding grounds at Selwood Manor encompass 11.38 acres in total, framing the accommodations within formal gardens, grasslands and various woodland extending to the banks of the River Frome below. There is also an area of predominantly poplar woodland and mainly coniferous woodland to the side of Cooper Hall, within which is a plant shed for the ground-source heat pump heating and cooling system for the hall, swimming pool and cottage.

Surrounding the south-east facing elevation of the main house, a flagstone seating terrace faces a beautiful magnolia tree in the centre of the lawn, looking down to the water meadows and river beyond; a play area for children is set not far below, as the bank slopes downward. Discretely set below out of sightline are a bank of solar panels, providing an additional source of energy.

There is also a paddock and orchard below the main house to the south-west of the grounds, as well as a productive kitchen garden with garden buildings including a greenhouse, gardener’s restroom, log store and machinery storage garage. Behind this working area there is an exposed cliff, which has been the source of rare fossil findings in Victorian times, some of which are on display in Leeds and Bristol Museums.

Nearest to Cooper Hall, there is an extended pergola, strewn with climbing roses that leads to the hall’s own car parking area. Once a tennis court, this area could easily be converted back to its former use. Adjacent to the hall, discreetly set to the side of the building within a walled garden, is the outdoor heated swimming pool set in York stone surrounds, with a stone terrace, lawn and seating areas. It is heated by the geo-exchange system and incorporates the ground-source heat pump heating installation and state-of-the-art pumping and pool cover systems.

The pool is overlooked by the contemporary frameless glass loggia, which has underfloor heating for chillier days and discreetly connects to changing facilities with male and female changing rooms, WCs, steam rooms, showers and the kitchen of Cooper Hall. In the context of the pool area, Cooper Hall functions as a marvelous leisure complex.

Selwood Manor also has its own sewage treatment plant, renewed in 2019, which feeds into the River Frome after treatment. There is also a private water source separate to the mains supply, if required. In addition to the gardens that surround the house, there is a further 24.28 of fields that abut Selwood Manor and may be purchased by separate negotiation.

Out and About

Selwood Manor lies just outside Frome to the north-west, a short walk or cycle away along the river. Frome’s popularity has surged in recent years; the town is routinely named one of the best places to live in the UK, thanks to its thriving cultural scene, historic architecture, and beautiful surrounding countryside. The town continues to garner high regard for its ‘flatpack democracy’, thanks to a coalition of independents who took control of all 17 seats on its council.

This activity has contributed significantly to its growing community of independent shops, creative businesses and eateries saturated in its artisan quarter on Catherine Hill. The Frome Independent, a monthly market showcasing local artisans and food producers, has helped put Frome on the map, attracting over 80,000 visitors annually. The town centre has many independent cafés and boutique shops, including Rye Bakery, Projects Frome, Moo and Two, Frome Hardware, Eight Stony Street, and Frome Reclamation Yard.

The Frome Festival is also a draw with its packed programme of art, music, history and nature, alongside the family-run cinema, The Black Swan Arts Centre and the Cheese and Grain. For further recommendations from those in the know, look to our guide to Frome.

Selwood Manor is also particularly well-positioned for easy access to the surrounding open countryside, with the sought-after village of Mells around a 10-minute drive west. The house is also within easy driving distance from the magnificent Georgian city of Bath, Babington House and Bruton’s highlights: Hauser and Wirth, At the Chapel, Osip and The Newt in Somerset. Also of note is The Three Horseshoes pub-with-rooms in Batcombe, recently opened by Margot Henderson of Rochelle Canteen.

The area is renowned for excellent schooling options, which include Frome Media Arts College, All Hallows, Downside, Millfield Senior and Prep, Wells Cathedral School, Sunnyhill and King’s School, Bruton.

Transport links are also very convenient. The public footpath to Frome directly from the gardens of Selwood Manor along the River Frome has recently been resurfaced and may be used as a cycle path. The intention of Sustrans National Cycle Network is for this cycle path to be extended past Selwood Manor to join up with wider cycle paths running along the old railway line from Great Elm nearby.

A mainline railway service runs direct services from Frome to London Paddington, with a journey time of around 86 minutes, while more regular services from nearby Westbury reach London Paddington in 77 minutes. Access to the national motorway network is via the A303 (M3) and Bristol Airport is less than 30 miles away.

Council Tax Band: H

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
Selwood Manor — Frome, Somerset
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