Country houses for sale

A handsome 16th century Cotswold stone house built on the site of a Norman castle and motte

Named a 'once in a generation opportunity' to acquire an exceptional home, Manor Farm still bears the evidence of its Norman past. Penny Churchill takes a look.

In the Cotswold AONB, Helen Whitfield of Strutt & Parker’s Oxford office quotes a guide price of £4m for 43-acre Manor Farm at Ascott-under-Wychwood in the lovely Evenlode Valley, six miles from Chipping Norton, nearly seven miles from Daylesford Farm Shop and 12½ miles from Soho Farmhouse at Great Tew.

Owned by the same family for the past 40 years, Manor Farm House, listed Grade II*,  stands within the bailey of Ascott D’Oilly Castle, a traditional Norman motte and bailey built by Roger d’Oilly between 1129 and 1150, when it comprised a large complex of an inner bailey and a stone keep, surrounded by a motte.

Following a rebellion, the keep was pulled down in about 1174 on the orders of Henry II and was never rebuilt, although various earthworks still survive and the inner bailey became part of the centre of Manor Farm. The castle mound and much of the bailey are still clearly visible, as are the Grade II-listed fragments of the castle wall and an ancient doorway in the garden.

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The present house, which dates mainly from the 16th and 17th centuries, incorporates an early-13th-century window surround thought to have been part of a private chapel. The house offers some 5,370sq ft of living space on two floors, including a reception hall, four reception rooms and up to eight bedrooms (two unconverted), plus two bathrooms and a substantial wing with potential to extend, subject to the usual consents.

Approached via a long drive that opens onto a large courtyard, the house comes with a range of period stone barns and a charming brick-built Elizabethan granary. The land is a haven for wildlife with some fine mature trees, a lake and a long stretch of the southern bank of the delightful River Evenlode.

Manor Farm is currently on the market via Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £4 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details. 

Ascott-under-Wychwood: What you need to know

Location: In the Evenlode Valley, located within the Cotswolds AONB, 4.5 miles from Chipping Norton and Charlbury where trains run to Oxford and London Paddington. Oxford is about 20 miles to the south east.

Atmosphere: The area is well known thanks to its close proximity to the popular Daylesford Farm Shop and Soho Farmhouse. Within the village itself is a popular Pub, The Swan, a church, village shop and primary school.

Things to do: There are a number of walks around the village to fully take in the surrounding countryside. Oxford is nearby with numerous pubs and riverside restaurants to explore, as well as many shops, theatres and historical buildings.

Schools: There are plenty of great state and private schools to choose from, including Windrush Valley School, Kitebrook, Tudor Hall, Bloxham and Cokethorpe. Within Oxford there is Oxford High, Magdalen College School and Headington School.

See more property for sale in the area.