This magnificent seven-bedroom, Grade I-listed house occupies an excellent position in the sought-after village of Croscombe, at the edge of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. The interior is replete with exquisite architectural features, ecclesiastical motifs and Palladian cornicing; south-facing, there is a wonderful quality of natural light throughout. Internal living space extends to over 4,500 sq ft across three storeys, with further opportunity to convert the adjoining coach house and attic rooms. Beautifully landscaped gardens open out at the back of the house and the River Sheppey runs nearby.
Setting the Scene
One of the most distinguished houses in Croscombe, The Old Manor is thought to have been built in 1460, originally as a rectorial manor house for Hugh Sugar, Treasurer of Wells Cathedral; it features in Pevsner’s 1958 guide. The house is characterised by roughcast, limewashed walls and a magnificent Tudor chimney pot. It lies in Croscombe, which is near the town of Bruton, a 20-minute drive away; Bath and Bristol lie around 20 miles to the north.
The Grand Tour
An antique door set beneath Palladian cornicing forms the primary entrance, where flagstone flooring runs underfoot and dark-stained oak panelling lines the walls. To the immediate left lies the kitchen; a wall of bespoke joinery spans one wall and soft light filters through the stone-encased fenestration. A boot room and utility space are connected to the kitchen and provide access to the garden.
There are two exquisite reception rooms that adjoin at ground level through exposed stone archways, each with deep-set original fireplaces at their centre. In the dining room, lead-lined windows are set in deep stone arches at one end, with exceptional decorative ribbed stone ceilings overhead and solid oak floorboards underfoot. The adjacent living room is a wonderfully characterful space, with thick, moulded cross-beamed ceilings overhead and rich dark colouring on the walls creating an opulent aesthetic. At the most easterly wing of the house, there is an additional split-level reception room with a staircase leading down to the crypt on the level below.
An arterial corridor runs the length of the northerly aspect, where a spiral staircase from the kitchen leads up to the first floor. Five magnificent bedrooms can be found on this level, each with wonderfully generous proportions and home to original stone fireplaces, surrounded by softly coloured, limewashed walls. Period details have been exceptionally well preserved, such as the moulded stone mullioned windows and a unique solid oak frieze, engraved with a Tudor rose which outlines an alcove. The main bedroom has an adjoining en suite bathroom and there is also a family bathroom on this level.
The second storey houses the attic rooms, currently used as sleeping and music rooms but offering great flexibility of use. This level of the house has a wonderfully romantic feel, with pitched ceilings and exposed oak beams. Additional space set in the eaves offers scope for conversion, in addition to the adjoining coach house which provides an exciting opportunity for further accommodation, a workshop or a studio.
The Great Outdoors
Verdant mature gardens lie mainly to the east of the house, surrounded by ornate box hedges and filled with climbing roses. Secluded love seats are nestled under the low boughs of a weeping willow tree and a natural water pool tucked behind box topiary invites local dragonflies and newts. The central lawns form a wonderful pavilion for summer lunches, with tall mature hedging and stone walls providing excellent levels of privacy.
Out and About
Croscombe is a quintessential English village set on the edge of Mendip Hills, within walking distance of the popular George Inn pub. The cathedral city of Wells is less than four miles to the west, with an excellent selection of independent shops, cafes, restaurants, a leisure centre and a Waitrose supermarket. The medieval cathedral, Bishop’s Palace and Vicars’ Close all lie centrally and the city hosts numerous cultural and music festivals throughout the year.
The Old Manor lies within the catchment area for a selection of highly regarded primary schools such as Wells Cathedral Prep, Millfield Prep and All Hallows Preparatory School, plus senior schools Wells Blue, Wells Cathedral School and Downside School.
The village is well placed for easy access to Bruton and Frome, which are both accessible by car in around 20 minutes. Bath and Bristol are also easily reached in around 45 minutes and Bristol Airport is an easy 30-minute drive away.
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