Bolehyde Manor is a commanding Grade II* Listed house with a heart that is unreservedly designed around both family living and entertaining.
The earliest record of a house on the site of Bolehyde Manor dates back approximately 700 years. The manor was bought in 1635 by the Gale family, of yeoman stock, who then held it in direct descent until 1927. Little is known about the layout of the original house but the Gales were great builders and undoubtedly carried out substantial alternations. Several structural additions bear the initial of various members of the family.
Bolehyde Manor is a commanding Grade II* Listed building with the history of the ages knitted into its very fabric but with a heart that is unreservedly designed around both family living and formal entertaining.
Passing between the two stone 18th century gatehouses and sweeping around in front of an immaculately laid lawn, separated from the road by a Cotswold stone wall, the first glimpse of Bolehyde Manor is every bit as impressive as one would anticipate. Three gables create an impressive central structure and the eye is drawn to the projecting square stone porch with its attractive balustrade and guardian stone busts.
The property is steeped in character from the heavy oak front door to the mullian windows and time-smoothed flag stone floors in the principle reception rooms. Large open fire places stand opposite one another at either end of these two substantial rooms, suggesting that originally they may have been combined in the form of a large banqueting or entertaining hall. Dark oak panelling features in a number of rooms and beautifully compliments several features of a later date, such as the ornate carved staircase that acts as a central focus in the reception hall. The layout over the ground floor is superb for summer entertaining in the partially enclosed paved courtyard, which is accessed via either the reception hall or kitchen.
On the first floor the master bedroom suite occupies prime position on the south side of the house with wonderful far reaching views from both windows.
Seven guest bedrooms are set over the first and second floor of the house, with a further three bedrooms to be found in the interconnecting annexe.
The captivating gardens at Bolehyde are a carefully restored and wonderfully maintained extension of the main house, with immaculate topiary hedging and attractive stone walling defining individual pockets of character like rooms of varying moods. It is a veritable succession of secret gardens connected by formal walks, accessed from the east through wrought iron gates and flanked by stone summerhouses which mark the original approach to the house.
The current owners have focused on re-establishing the natural beauty of the gardens throughout the various themes from the Mediterranean courtyard, with its impressive frame of tall yew hedging, to the geometric design of the well ordered English kitchen garden. A quieter mood may be enjoyed in the peaceful environment of the garden referred to as 'Regents Park', whilst the plum orchard offers bountiful ingredients for autumnal cookery.
History hides around every leafy corner. The enchanting 'lady's garden' is characterised by the stone statue of an Italian lady, thought to have been introduced to the garden in the 17th century, which is positioned as if gazing wistfully though a window in the yew hedge out towards the supposed site of a former Roman villa. A fragment of the moat, which used to encircle the manor house, is still visible on the south easterly side and has been fitted with a pump by the current owners to maintain the clarity of the water.
To the north east lies an area ideal for outdoor entertaining and adventure with a tennis court, swimming pool and tree house complex.
For keen gardeners, the potting shed and magnificent adjoining green house provide the ideal haven for winter cutting and nurturing. This further demonstrates that the gardens have been designed to create all-year-round enjoyment.
The land (excluding gardens) is used for organic farming.
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Bolehyde Manor is an enchanting house with stunning gardensLindsay Cuthill