Overflowing with character and charm, Manor Farm is a glorious village idyll located just a few minutes from Taunton.
If The Good Life is the dream, you’ll find it in spades at eco-friendly Manor Farm at Thornfalcon, five miles east of Taunton. A beautifully restored manor farmhouse, listed Grade II, with a coach house, traditional barns and lake, the whole is set in 30 acres of fields and orchards between the Blackdowns and the Quantock Hills.
Brian Bishop of Jackson-Stops in Taunton quotes a guide price of ‘excess £3m’ for the delightfully quirky 18th-century farmhouse built on an L-plan on the site of an earlier building, re-roofed and altered internally in the early 19th century, when large, leaded light windows were installed.
During their tenure, the present owners have carried out an intensive 10-year renovation of the entire property, using only traditional materials and building methods.
Historically, Manor Farm was part of the Thorne Prior Manor estate owned by Montacute Priory, whose Taunton property was administered by Taunton Priory. After the Dissolution, the manor of Thorne Prior was divided into a number of small leasehold farms until the mid 18th century, when the Napper family acquired the manor estate and increased their farmland holdings.
In 1785, John Napper sold the land and manor house to the Revd T. H. Pearson, whose kinsman Capt Charles Pearson owned Thorn House by 1839 and, by 1843, also held Manor Farm—at 130 acres, the largest single unit of Napper’s Thorn Prior estate.
The Pearsons expanded their holdings before selling to Judge J. J. Hooper, who purchased further lands to create what became known as the manor of Thorne. After the Second World War, the Thorne Manor estate was sold, mainly to the tenants.
Manor Farm has been a working farm throughout its long history and the tenants who farmed it have always earned a good living. During their tenure, the present owners have cherished the land, orchards, gardens and grounds as much as the thatched farmhouse, coach house, barns and outbuildings.
The house, which is awash with character, offers 5,350sq ft of light and cheerful accommodation on three floors, including three reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room with Aga, six bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Manor Farm stands in 30 well-managed acres of land on the edge of the Somerset Levels, the nature reserves of which obligingly supply the two-acre lake (wild-swimming heaven!) with mallard, teal, gadwall and tufted duck. Outbuildings include a stableyard, listed red-brick barn, a modern barn with solar panels that offset much of the farm’s energy costs, large lambing shed and restored cider barn, now used as a workshop.
Thornfalcon: What you need to know
Location: 5 miles east of Taunton with great access to the A303. Mainline rail services run from Taunton to London Paddington.
Atmosphere: The small village is ideally located close to Taunton for all shopping, leisure and recreational amenities, yet is surrounded by picturesque countryside.
Things to do: Whether it’s exploring the Quantock or Blackdown Hills, ambling through the streets of Taunton, visiting Taunton Castle or soaking up the peace in the many parks and gardens, there is plenty to do in the area.
Schools: Plenty of great options to choose from including King’s Taunton, Millfield School, The Castle School, Wellington School and Taunton School.
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