Grade II*-listed Little Wolford Manor is a historic gem set in 34 acres of gardens and pasture on the fringe of the Cotswolds AONB in south Warwickshire.
An April 1957 piece in the now defunct The Antique Collector describes Little Wolford Manor, in the timeless timeless south Warwickshire village of Little Wolford, as a house ‘of truest Cotswold type… a small gem of Cotswold rural craftsmanship with many well-preserved features in wood as well as in stone’.
In that same year, Guy and Diana Ward, the parents of the current owners, bought the exquisite, Grade II*-listed manor house, which is now which is now on the market with Jackson-Stops in Chipping Campden, at a guide price of £5 million.
According to its Historic England listing, the present house dates from the late 15th or early 16th century, and although there have been 16th-, 17th- and 20th-century additions, Little Wolford Manor still follows the original medieval plan, its focal point being the great hall with its vaulted roof and hammer beams, minstrels’ gallery and huge fireplace.
To the west of the hall, an inner hall leads to the dining room, once the original kitchen. Beyond is the drawing room, added as part of the 1935 restoration, which has a 16th-century fireplace and three windows, one a bay with a seat and superb views over the valley to the neighbouring village of Great Wolford and the surrounding Cotswold Hills. Of exceptional interest is the original 15th-century oak screen with its long panels set deep in the framing, and arched doorways.
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The upper floor is arranged in two parts, the first approached by a well-trodden stone spiral staircase, reputedly stained with blood spilt during the Civil War battle of Edgehill, fought nearby in 1642. It leads to the original solar, the master’s private sleeping quarters, now a panelled guest bedroom with a separate bathroom.
A second staircase leads from the inner hall to the main bedroom accommodation, including the master bedroom which has limed oak panelling, a stone fireplace and views ‘to die for’ over the garden and grounds. A door leads to the dressing room and ensuite bathroom — the only major alteration carried out by the Ward family during their 64-year tenure. There are six more bedrooms and two more bathrooms on this floor, with a further bedroom on the attic floor above.
The pretty, Tudor-style gate lodge is currently occupied on a service tenancy by the gardener, who may be available for continued employment if required. The existing grazing licence on the three paddocks can be terminated before completion, although the licensee would be keen to continue if the purchaser wishes. The land lies to the north and west of the house and slopes down to a stream on the western boundary.
The manor’s 5½ acres of well-kept gardens are laid out in sweeping lawns, interspersed with mature trees and flower borders leading down to a ha-ha with a grand view over the paddocks to Great Wolford. To the south of the great hall is a charming courtyard garden with a formal rose garden alongside. To the left of the back drive is an open grassed area with ample space for a swimming pool and a stable yard.
Little Wolford: What you need to know
- Location: Little Wolford lies to the north of the A44, three miles from Shipston-on-Stour and eight miles from Chipping Norton, at the junction of four counties — Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire — on the northern fringe of the Cotswolds AONB
- Atmosphere: As well as the Manor, Little Wolford has an array of listed buildings—testament to its long history—and a village hall.
- Things to do: There’s golf at Broadway, Chipping Norton and Burford and race courses at Cheltenham, Stratford and Warwick, plus all the many culture, entertainment and shopping opportunities provided by Stratford-upon-Avon, Cheltenham and Oxford
- Schools: Nearby Kitebrook House prep school is only 3 miles away. Chipping Norton, Chipping Campden and Stratford Grammar are all well regarded in the state sector and there’s an array of excellent independent schools in oxford and Cheltenham.