Relocate to this enchanting Dorset manor house that inspired Thomas Hardy
Poxwell Manor, located in a small hamlet of the same name just north of the famed Jurassic coastline, has stood pride of place since 1654. Through history, the Grade I listed, wonderfully romantic ash-grey manor with stone-mullioned windows twinking through ivy, has captured the imagination of those who encounter it. It served as a place to rest for King George III, who visited the house on a number of occasions when passing through Weymouth, and supposedly inspired Thomas Hardy’s Oxwell Hall in The Trumpet Major.
In more modern times, its current vendor, Peter Bolton, has actually bought the house on two separate occasions (nearly a decade apart). He first bought the property in 1977, in a decision fuelled by what he called ‘love at first sight’. He described the property as ‘completely charming, nestled in what looked like a big open field’. He was forced to sell the property since his enthusiasm for horse racing meant he needed more extensive training facilities. On retiring from the sport (after a Cheltenham Gold Cup win with Cool Ground), a Dorset neighbour tipped him off that the house was back on sale. ‘Do you want to come back home, Peter?’ he said, and within 48 hours a contract had been signed, sealing his destiny to return.
The south Dorset house with the wonderfully appealing architectural style, sits within a manageable 10 acres with beautifully landscaped, peaceful gardens. Inside, it is a feast of period features, including decorative wooden panelling, original fireplaces, intricately plastered ceilings and elegant stone and wooden floors. The great hall is the property’s pièce de résistance, with a decorative chimneypiece and elaborate chandelier. There is a glorious trio of reception rooms that includes a 30ft-long dining room and library, as well as the nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms located across the property.
The manor also comes with a pleasant outbuilding, the Stable Cottage, which is accessible via a cobbled courtyard. The cottage was once a traditional 17th century barn that has been converted and would now serve as an ideal guesthouse or additional place for entertaining friends or family. The gardens are a thing of great beauty: with an exquisite Carolean gatehouse (dated 1634) and sweeping lawns, impressively maintained flowerbeds, a variety of trees bordered by a stream and an elegant rectangular-shaped garden pond. There is also a tennis court (in need of restoration) and a swimming pool.
Mr Bolton is now downsizing but considers himself extremely lucky to have had the chance to live – on two occasions – at this remarkable home.
For more information, contact Strutt & Parker