Olden Manor, Essex

Set in the heart of Constable country in Higham, a conservation village situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Essex, Olden Manor is believed to date from the 16th Century, although King Stephen granted the title, ‘Lord of the Manor’, in 1138.

The Grade II listed house has five bedrooms and three bathrooms, but the most prominent room has to be the Great Hall, with ceilings extending to the full height of the building, enormous oak doors, and a gallery overlooking the hall.

Many original features remain throughout the house, including exposed timber beams on the walls and the ceilings, a wide stone fireplace with a plaster coat of arms above it in the drawing room, a Jacobean staircase with oak balustrade, abundant oak panelling and leaded light windows.

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The gargoyles decorating the red brick and wrought iron entry gate will hopefully frighten off any visiting ghouls, while more salubrious visitors will no doubt be impressed by the well kept gardens, extending to almost an acre, and the beautiful pond.

Higham is situated just off the A12 around 7 miles from Colchester, which is within easy reach of the City. Trains from Colchester run regularly to London Liverpool Street, with the journey taking just under one hour.