Pomp and splendour


This immaculate family home is set in a house truly fit for a king, says Alex Diggins 

PRICE: £725,000

Rich in history and steeped in tradition, this property is an exceptional opportunity to own a four-bedroom family home in a historical manor house. Situated in the magnificent surroundings of a formal garden, the site of a former deer park, and surrounded by gorgeous rolling countryside, this property is nonetheless close enough to Bristol to work and play in the city. 

Once the site of a 13th-century Benedictine nunnery, it was converted into a private mansion after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-1500s. Since then its significance as a building has not waned, passing through the hands of the renowned Gibbs family of Tyntesfield and being used as a military hospital in the Second World War. In 1976 the building was divided into a number of luxury residences.

The property sits proudly surrounded by 15 acres of formal garden and a further 150 acres of parkland, once the site of a medieval deer park. The grounds were further enhanced in the late 19th century by the eminent British artist and garden designer, Inigo Thomas. These grounds offer a haven of tranquillity and are said to be home to a variety of wildlife including some resident owls. Further features of the garden include a kitchen garden, a lily pond and accompanying pedestals, ornamental steps, vases, a sundial and even a mock temple. The arboretum houses a variety of rare trees.

Adjacent to the Court is the Church of St Mary and St Edward, which was built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 1800s. It boasts stained-glass windows, and a Cosmati mosaic floor.

The property comprises a wing of Barrow Court, which dates all the way back to the 13th-century. This legacy is evident in the splendid entrance hall which retains a multitude of period features such as exposed stone work, flagstone floors and elegant cornicing, all flooded with natural light from the two original lead-light windows. If the entrance hall suggests historical grandeur, then the kitchen/dining room, off the hall, is the height of cutting-edge contemporary style. Boasting high-gloss units, a central island and marble floors, it is the beating heart of the property – its family hub.

Adjacent to the kitchen, a fourth bedroom offers a wealth of period features, such as a wooden-panelled fireplace surround, and far-reaching rural vistas out of the windows. Up the stately oak staircase, a grand drawing room awaits. Its dual aspect, wood-panelling and Bath stone fireplace exude a sense of history and grandeur, tempered by the natural light that cascades in through the large windows. The views are best enjoyed from the mullioned oriel bay window seat.

The further bedrooms do not disappoint. The master bedroom, next to the drawing room, has a rain shower that occupies almost the width of one wall and catches the eye with its stylish tiling and stonework. The second floor bedrooms are flooded with natural light and views which dissolve into a dreamy countryside landscape. Lose yourself in them from the free-standing oval bath, wallowing and cogitating to your heart’s content.

The surrounding area is a family’s paradise. Barrow Gurney is a bustling country village, within reach of excellent shops, pubs and rural walks. Nearby schools include the celebrated Downs and Fairfield Schools, as well as further well-regarded options in central Bristol. Bristol Airport and Nailsea train station are also a handy hop away.

Did you know?

  • Barrow Court is set in the thriving village of Barrow Gurney, within convenient distance of village pubs and shops, as well as the nearby Downs School in Wraxall.
  • Barrow Court was a Benedictine nunnery before the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Its legacy lives on in the beautiful church of St Mary and St Joseph, adjacent to the court.
  • The immaculate formal gardens were designed by celebrated Victorian artist and garden designer, Inigo Jones.

AGENT: Hamptons International, 0117 691 316, www.hamptons.co.uk  

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