Manor Holding Cottage - Character

Tea Break in the Garden

Manor Holding Cottage is a Grade II Listed, half timbered, Jacobean cottage farmhouse built around 1680, using secondhand timbers from a nearby manor house.  The cottage's  old world charm is enhanced by crooked timber frame, leaning walls and low beams.

Log Fire

The cottage is naturally warm and full of sunlight, set off by white painted walls, pale terracotta and oak floor enhanced by invisible 24/7 under-floor central heating.  But its excellent insulation also keeps it cool in summer.  Up to 7 degrees Celsius cooler than outside on a hot day (over 30 degrees). The cottage is south facing with an enclosed, sheltered front garden and lawns, embracing an intimate, suntrap patio paved in antique bricks.

Enclosed Garden Cake on the Patio

The cottage has two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, with 3 living rooms and hall downstairs. It has been restored using appropriate materials such as earth daub, lime plaster and green oak, to regain much of it’s original character, including inglenook with wood burning stove in the sitting room and old stone bread oven (still usable) in the kitchen.

Parking to North of Cottage West Door

The farm yard, terminus of the drive, is at the back, on the north side of the cottage.  It is surrounded by a ruined stone and brick pig sty, a small converted barn, a high hedge bank, a stone outhouse undergoing renovation and a matching stone scullery leading off the east gable of the cottage.

Once here visitors notice the old world charm of the crooked timber frame, leaning walls, low beams and ceilings; and the many small details such as wrought iron windows dating from 1720, the sculptural wrought door handles and heavy 3 plank, ledged oak doors studded with rose-head cut iron nails.

Oak Fire Doors Timber Frame Joint

Rustic seclusion is the characteristic that strikes most people first about Manor Holding, as it is located 100m off a rough forest track (max recommended speed 10mph), half a kilometre from the nearest winding country lane.

The cottage stands in 5 acres of wild flower grassland and ancient orchard, won from the forest before the Roman invasion and rich in wildlife including occasional Fallow Deer; and managed in accordance with a Higher Level Countryside Stewardship agreement in partnership with Natural England.  The forest is home to one of England’s largest Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which includes the two orchards beside the cottage.

Orchard Management in Progress Manor Holding Grounds

This ancient oak forest stands astride the River Severn, south of the Ironbridge Gorge, now a World Heritage Site. The beautiful countryside around it, much of it classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is rich in historic settlements and other places of interest.   Manor Holding is situated in a scattered hamlet named after the royal forest of Wyre in whose centre it stands. 

During the Iron Age this hamlet was a thriving small town, with several smaller satelite settlements scattered through the wider surrounding area, but now little more than traces of old earthworks can be seen in the neighbouring fields and forest.  Under the Normans, the settlement, although initially remaining in Saxon hands, was then aquired by Henry I who granted it to his favourite, the Earl of Warwick, along with the village of Stottesdon.  The two settlements becoming separate portions of one parish.  The old parish boundary remains the northern boundary of Manor Holding. 

Due to the Norman passion for hunting, Manor Holding was soon incorporated into the much larger "Clebury" deer park, which remained in royal ownership until Henry VIII presented it to the local squire, Sir John Blount, for services rendered by his beautiful daughter, Bessie, who bore his eldest son, Henry Fitzroy; and gave her name (taken from Henry's mother) to Henry's second daughter, Queen Bess (aka QEI, the virgin queen, after whom the US State of Virginia is named).

The surrounding forest is interlaced with long and short distance cycling and horse riding trails as well as a comprehensive network of footpaths, connecting right to the door of the cottage. 

Broad Woodland Rides Bluebells by the Geopark Way

Guest Comment

Never seen such a well organised drawer with information

Verkuyl family (Holland) ,

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on the Shropshire and Worcestershire borders

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