Country houses for sale

A spectacular Elizabethan manor house with long views of the Devon countryside

The 16th-century, Grade II*-listed former manor house of Widworthy Barton sits in 43 secluded acres near Honiton in Devon.

Grade II*-listed Widworthy Barton, in Widworth, near Honiton, stands in 43 acres of wonderfully secluded gardens, grounds and bluebell woods within the East Devon AONB, five miles from Honiton and eight miles from the Jurassic Coast at Exmouth.

A beautifully renovated, 16th-century former manor house, whose present-day owners still cherish historic links with the families that originally built them, it is for sale through the Exeter office of Strutt & Parker at a guide price of £4.3 million.

Built of the local stone with Beerstone dressings and detailing, the house is laid out in the classic Tudor style, with accommodation arranged around a central cobbled courtyard.

Widworthy Barton

In all, the manor offers 8,934sq ft of living space, including three main reception rooms, a large family kitchen, a home cinema, two double bedrooms and an office on the ground floor. The first floor houses a further reception room, the Long Room, plus five double bedrooms and three sumptuous bathrooms. Of particular note are the ground-floor Great Hall, with its impressive fireplace and 16th-century minstrels’ gallery, the friendly kitchen/breakfast room and the Long Room, with its beautiful decorative ceiling and raised gallery.

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All the first-floor rooms have lovely views of the grounds and the surrounding landscape, as do the mainly south-facing gardens.

Although local records suggest that the oldest parts of the house date from the early 13th-century, when the aristocratic William de Widworthy was lord of the manor, the building was gradually extended and improved until 1591, when the present house was completed.

Widworthy Barton interiors

De Widworthy’s descendants by marriage, the Chichester family, owned the house until the early 18th century. Evidence of its occupation by Sir John Chichester, who fought at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, is commemorated in a frieze around the panelled bedroom now known as the Chichester room.

In the early 18th century, the Marwood family bought Widworthy Manor and lived there until about 1812. The building was later relegated to the status of a farmhouse used to house estate workers, but was eventually reinstated as a private residence by the Clarke family. It was then renovated by successive owners, including the Kremer family, the current vendors, who bought Widworthy Barton in 1979.

They have struck a happy balance between the preservation of the building’s historic features and the comfort and efficiency of 21st-century technology. New electrical and heating systems have been installed, including a state-of-the-art biomass boiler that provides both heating and hot water. Outside, an air-source pump and solar panels heat the recently refurbished swimming pool to a blissful 25˚C–30˚C.

Widworthy Barton bedroom

Widworthy Barton comes complete with a kitchen garden, a courtyard of traditional outbuildings and a large traditional barn with potential for conversion. The sale also includes the pretty, two-bedroom Orchardleigh Cottage, which is handily located away from the main house.

Widworthy Barton is for sale at £4.3 million via Strutt & Parker — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.

Honiton: What you need to know

  • Location: Honiton is about hald an hour’s drive from both Exeter and Tiverton
  • Atmosphere: Set on the banks of the River Otter, Honiton combines market-town charm with beautiful countryside. The mainly Georgian town centre is studded with antiques and crafts shops (lace has historically been a local speciality), restaurants, cafes and the Honiton Dairy ice cream parlour
  • Things to do: The East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers plenty of opportunities for walking, riding and cycling, and the beaches and coastline of the Jurassic Coast are within easy reach. There’s even a local winery, Lyme Bay, in Axminster
  • Schools: Honiton has two primary schools and a secondary
    school, with more available in the wider area, including Blundell’s, near Tiverton,
    Colyton Grammar School, Exeter School, Exeter College (rated outstanding by Ofsted) and The Maynard
    School, plus King’s Hall Preparatory School, King’s College, Queen’s College and Taunton School

    Find more properties in the area.