Saturday, 21 October 2017

Magnificent medieval manor

Off with their heads!

Off with their heads!

Like Medmenham Abbey, Bulmershe Manor is Grade II* listed and has its roots in the medieval era. It didn’t become a manor until the 1400s when it was granted to Reading Abbey.

After Henry VIII threw his strop about the monasteries the land fell into the hands of poet William Grey, and it was he who built the first house, the remains of which are thought to be the basis of the current manor.

Bulmershe then spent decades with the Blagrave family before being sold to another Henry – this time Henry Addington, who later became prime minister. But by the early 19th century the old house was in a bad way and only one portion still remained standing.

Enter one HE Budd, who rescued and restored it using materials – including oak panelling and fireplaces – from another local Tudor/Elizabethan palace’, Billingbear Park, which had just been destroyed by fire.



Today’s Bulmershe is a fascinating and beautifully presented house with its character firmly centre stage.

Stephen Christie–Miller, head of Savills Henley sales, commented: “The drawing room and master bedroom are particularly impressive rooms with high ceilings and all the rich exposed timbers you would expect of a property of this age and calibre.

“There is an extraordinary oak staircase running through the middle of the house to the second floor.”

Subsequent owners continued to update the property while maintaining many of its original features such as the beautiful stone fireplaces.

Over three floors, the manor has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two reception rooms and a kitchen, not to mention the grounds. The Elizabethan feel has been beautifully retained throughout the property.

Imposing solid oak doors open on to an entrance porch which in turn leads to a reception hall with a wonderful oak staircase and stone floor. There is also a magnificent drawing room with stone fireplace and brick hearth and herringbone brick back, exposed wall and ceiling timbers, a stone floor and deep oak cupboard.

The dining room is particularly impressive with its oak wall panelling, stone mullion windows with leaded light glazed inserts, fine open fire with carved wooden surround (it currently houses a gas fire) and brick and slate hearth, and oak floor.

On the first floor, there are two bedrooms, a bathroom and a separate WC, as well as an impressive master bedroom with an ensuite.

All rooms have high ceilings, exposed ceiling timbers, beautiful wood floors and large hanging cupboards with panelled oak doors.

The master also has a fireplace with a stone hearth and surround, and heraldic stone on the wall above (stunning!), as well as an ensuite bathroom. Another flight of stairs takes you to bedroom four which also has an ensuite.

Outside there is a double garage to one side and the house is approached through imposing stone pillars (also listed) to the driveway. Here, there is even more history in the form of a central rockery with an ancient well.

The garden is a wonderful mix of lawn, terraces and mature trees as well as a lily pond, rose borders and a water feature with an ornate wooden bridge – the perfect place to take some air, fancy gown rustling, as Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks on!

• Bulmershe Manor is on the market with Savills at a guide price of £1,195,000. Call (01491) 843001 for more information.



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