Nestled on the edge of the pretty Gloucestershire village of Stinchcombe in the heart of the Cotswolds is this handsome Grade II-listed house. Said to be the oldest surviving house in the village, it is a patchwork of history with origins in the 11th century, and foundations from the 16th century, although most of the building dates from the 18th century. Internal accommodation unfolds over almost 4,500 sq ft across three storeys with seven bedrooms and a cellar. Exceptional period features and detailing run throughout, including countless oak beams, sash windows, stone fireplaces and a very early winding back staircase in the oldest part of the house. Stinchcombe is a lovely village defined by its buttery-coloured houses typical of the area and with plenty of walks on the doorstep.
Setting the Scene
Stinchcombe is an ancient village with ties back to the Iron Age and into Roman and Medieval times. The house was a Parliamentarian safe house during the Civil War. Reputedly, the pollard Lime trees that still stand outside the house today signalled its puritan sympathies. A tunnel tying the house with another in the village is rumoured to have existed in the 17th century, allowing for swift escape during a Royalist siege.
The house is defined by its 18th-century façade, a two-storey marlstone punctuated by a run of six over six sash windows. Inside, historic features blend with modern comforts, all illuminated by vast windows. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Entry to the house is to one of the earliest parts of the building through a pretty wooden door surrounded by wisteria and a fully established climbing hydrangea. This opens to the entrance hall, which leads to a large kitchen. Painted a striking green, crowned by dentil motif cornicing, it is an enveloping space where cabinetry, topped with a hardy dark granite, is painted in a deep racing green. A Belfast sink sits beneath a window while a green Aga is nestled in a tiled hearth. Flagstones run underfoot, extending to the pantry beyond. Behind the kitchen is a series of utility spaces, including a boot room and a WC, which both open to the garden.
A series of reception rooms are arranged along the west-facing façade of the house, all characterised by huge sash windows framed by their original 18th-century embrasure shutters. The middle of these rooms is used as a dining room with an original Bath stone fireplace with a cosy woodburning stove inset. An open doorframe means it is the perfect spot for entertaining.
On the left of the plan is a large reception room, where a striking stone fireplace with a wood burner centres the room. Occupying the whole left wing of the house, the room has views over the pretty street and countryside. A second reception room, currently used as the living room, is on the right-hand side of the plan. In contrast to the first reception room, this is painted in a moody deep blue, meaning it is a cosy space with a fireplace and an open fire. The room is dual aspect with light spilling through sash windows on both sides.
Stairs from the hall lead to the first floor, where four double bedrooms and two family bathrooms are arranged around the landing. All bedrooms on this floor are finished in tranquil tones with built-in cabinetry offset by original details like the deep set windows with original shutters and cornicing moulding; all four bedrooms have beautiful views stretching across the surrounding hills.
Two staircases ascend to the second floor, one leading from the central landing and one tucked neatly behind a door in the biggest bedroom. Tucked into the eaves, timber beams and sloping ceiling create a cosy atmosphere for this floor’s three bedrooms, office/storage space, and family bathroom.
The Great Outdoors
The large, mature garden can be accessed from both the kitchen and the hall. It is a perfect oasis with a pergola-covered patio, complete with curling ivy, making it the perfect spot for outdoor dining. Beyond this, the lawn stretches out, punctuated by beds planted with roses, hydrangeas and ornamental shrubs. There is an apple tree at the back of the garden and well-established grape vines along the wall to the drive.
Out and About
Stinchcombe village is set in the rolling pastures and beech woodland of the south Cotswolds AONB. The village gives its name to nearby Stinchcombe Hill, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the rare flora and flora in the area. The much-loved 102-mile Cotswolds Way National Trail encompasses Stinchcombe Hill, and the vantage at Drakestone Point takes in spectacular views over the Vale to the River Severn and Forest of Dean. The nearby Stinchcombe Hill Golf Course was described by Henry Longhurst as one of the most scenic courses in Europe.
Despite its fantastic natural setting, Stinchcombe village is just a five-minute drive from the market town of Dursley. Dursley has three supermarkets, a post office, numerous restaurants and an award-winning pub, The Old Spot. A micropub is also reportedly in the works to open shortly. The town hosts monthly farmers’ and craft markets for local produce and handmade item and hosts an arts trail organised by Stinchombe locals.
Nearby Westonbirst Arboretum holds one of the most important plant collections in the world. With 15,000 specimens and 2,500 species of tree from around the globe, it plays a vital part in research and conservation, as well as being a stunningly beautiful place to visit and explore rare, exciting and beautiful plants from the furthest corners of the globe.
There are a number of very good grammar, private and state schools in the local area, including Pate’s Grammar School and Wycliffe and Westonbirt private schools.
Slightly further afield, both Bristol and Gloucester are a 30-minute drive away via the M5 motorway, offering excellent amenities. A journey to London takes approximately two hours and forty minutes by car. Alternatively, there are excellent rail links from Stroud station, a 20-minute drive from Stinchcombe, where trains run directly to London Paddington station in less than one and a half hours. Bristol airport is less than an hour’s drive for international travel, and Heathrow is less than two hours.
Council Tax Band: G
The area of Stinchcome has been inhabited since the Iron Age, with several pit dwellings found in the area. The name comes from old English for Stony Hollow; Stinchcombe Hill, just west of Dursley, forms part of the Jurassic limestone scarp of the Cotswolds.
During the Roman era, a road ran from Chavenage to the River Severn via Stancombe, where two Roman villas have been unearthed. These indicate possible evidence of heated rooms and a decorative tessellated mosaic pavement.
A chapel at Stinchcombe is mentioned in a 10th-century manuscript, but sadly it no longer exists. Several prominent families established houses in the area around the time of the Conquest. Interestingly, one of the first recorded “Lords” of the Manor of Stinchcombe was a woman named Agnes de Bradenton in 1370.
During the Civil War, Stinchcombe was split between conflicting loyalties to Parliamentarians and Royalists. Prince Rupert is said to have stayed at Piers Court in the village and ordered the slaughter of 40 soldiers from the Parliament army, an event known as the Stinchcombe Quarter.
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