Country houses for sale

A thatched house in Oxfordshire that blends styles, eras and features with breathtaking panache

Throw away all your ideas of what a thatched house should look like — this property will leave you utterly spell-bound by its enchanting interiors. Lydia Stangroom takes a look.

There’s something about a thatched property that makes it feel a little bit magical, and this one, complete with a great hall and stained glass windows, is no exception.

Manor House in Sibford Gower, near Banbury, is the type of property that really speaks for itself, with no amount of adjectives able to really capture its rich history and essence. Each room manages to bring a totally different feel, creating a unique and luxurious home which is currently on the market with Savills at a guide price of £2.25 million.

The remarkable Grade II listed thatched house spans 6,957 sq ft of accommodation, and is a sprawling example of an original 17th Century dwelling that has, over the years, been sympathetically updated in keeping with the style of the time. The result: a spectacular, timeless family home that is both grand yet homely.

Made of local Hornton stone, it was once owned by the Pageant Master of the Empire in 1907. The original 17th century dwellings were extended and redesigned using Arts-and-Crafts influences, with many period features apparent today, including open fireplaces (which are generously scattered throughout the property), vaulted ceilings, exposed timbers, flagstone and wooden parquet flooring, exposed stone walls and leaded light windows with window seats.

The impressive Great Hall (with no similarities to Hogwarts) is the real focal point and features a spectacular stained glass oriel window, a Minstrels gallery and a large inglenook fireplace which is said to be the inspiration behind Ivor Novello’s song ‘Keep the home fires burning’.

Located just off from the great hall is a study/snug, (under which lies the well-sized wine cellar) and a cinema room adjacent to that. There are also double doors from the great hall that lead out to a loggia, making it perfect for al fresco dining or as an entertaining space.

The rest of the property houses seven large, well- appointed bedrooms, five of which are ensuite. The master suite is stately, featuring vaulted ceilings, a dressing room and mezzanine bath/shower room with spectacular aspects over the garden.

From the central landing turned library nook (complete with a large bay window) are two further bedrooms. The remaining four bedrooms and are accessed via separate staircases in the north and south wings.

There is a separate two story annexe, complete with its own kitchen and large open living/sleeping space, which can be accessed via its own entrance and has French windows that lead out to the pool terrace and offers a multifaceted space as either a work from home office, or extra accommodation (for either guests, staff or as an additional income stream).

The heated swimming pool and pool bar is situated to the west of the house in a large, sheltered terrace. The rest of the outdoor space measured up to just under an acre of  beautiful grounds which are divided by Box and Yew hedging and feature an ornate pond and plenty of mature trees.

Manor House is currently on the market with Savills at an asking price of £2.25 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for more details.

Sibford Gower: What you need to know

Location: Set in north Oxfordshire, Sibford Gower sits on one side of the River Sib, with its sister village, Sibford Ferris on the other. The village is a few miles west of Banbury, from where there are excellent rail and motorway links to the rest of the country.

Atmosphere: The villages are highly sought after areas to live, with all the perks of a small rural village and excellent links to London. Between the two villages is a primary school, village church and hall, an award winning pub, post office/general store and a doctors surgery.

Things to do: The nearby market towns of Chipping Norton and Banbury offer more amenities and shopping opportunities, with Soho Farm House a 40 minute drive away and a golf course at Tadmarton Health (10 minute drive), plus horse racing at Stratford-upon-Avon — there is plenty to keep the whole family busy.

Schools: There are a number of great schools in the area, with the local being Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School. There is also Sibford School, St John’s Priory in Banbury, and Sibford School, Tudor Hall Girls in Bloxham and Bloxham School for secondary. The property is also in the catchment area for the Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar Schools.


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