Country houses for sale

Pretty country house in Wiltshire

Parents of school-age children will envy the situation of Tim and Verity Manners whose two eldest offspring have already flown the nest, while their youngest has only one full term to go at St Edwards School in Oxford.

They now plan to take time out for travelling, and no longer feel the need for a house as big as Grade II*-listed Manor Farmhouse in the conservation village of Blunsdon, north of Swindon, which has a reception hall, two formal reception rooms, 5/6 bedrooms, three bathrooms, attic rooms and a cellar set in more than three-quarters of an acre of mature gardens and grounds.

A former manor dating from the early 17th century with later 17th century additions, the house is built of Cotswold stone under a Cotswold stone roof, and is generally in good order.

It has some fine original fireplaces and a substantial Jacobean staircase with three half-landings between floors. Chesterton Humberts in Cirencester (01285-650955) quote a guide price of £850,000.