Manors in England (L-Z)
Off the A134 between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA, website
There are two superb manors in the Suffolk village of Long Melford. This is the first, built in the early 16th century by the Clopton family. Kentwell is set within a wide moat, and features very fine Tudor brickwork. The interiors have been restored, and include the original Tudor kitchen and a great hall with minstrel gallery. The gardens around the Hall are very extensive, and feature topiary hedges, a Tudor pavement maze, and a Camera Obscura.
Congleton, Cheshire, on A34, National Trust
Arguably the best-presevred timber-framed moated manor house in England (for alternatives see Ightham Mote and Stokesay). The Hall is sewt around a lovely cobbled courtyard, and the interiors feature a original long gallery and very good wall paintings. Little Moreton was used in the film adaptation of Moll Flanders.
Bromyard, Herefordshire, off A44,, National Trust
A wonderfully atmospheric moated 14th century manor approached through a timber-framed gatehouse. Beside the manor is a ruined chapel, and there are extensive nature walks through the grounds.
Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, off A341, National Trust
The second of the two manors in Long Melford, Suffolk, Melford Hall is an Elizabethan house with a banqueting hall. The exterior has remained almost unaltered since 1578, but the interior has been remodelled in the Regency and Victorian periods.
Plaxtol, Borough Green, Kent, off A25, National Trust
Only the solar block remains of this small 13th century knight's house. The setting is superb, down a narrow lane in idyllic countryside that seems to transport you back in time to the medieval period.
Oxborough, King's Lynn, Norfolk, National Trust
Home of the Bedingfeld family since 1482, Oxburgh is an idyllic moated manor house. The house is best known as the gilded prison of Mary, queen of Scots, and you can still see embroidery made by the exiled queen during her captivity here.
Nassington, Northamptonshire, website
Prebendal is the oldest manor in Northamptonshire, dating to the 13th century. In addition to the stone-built house there are a pair of medieval fish-ponds and the possible remains of a timber hall belonging to King Canute.
Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 0RG, website
Wiltshire's oldest inhabited manor house, Sheldon dates to at least the 13th century, though records indicate that there was a house here as early as the 9th century. The house is set in extensive gardens featurng ancient yew trees, with a late medieval chapel in the grounds.
1 m NE Bolton, Greater Manchester, off A58
This late 15th century hall was built by the Radclyffe family, and features a timber-framed great hall with striking quatrefoil wind braces on the roof.
Snowshill, near Broadway, Gloucestershire, off A44, National Trust
A marvellous Tudor manor house built of local of Cotswold stone, Snowshill is famous for Charles Paget Wade's peculiar collections of design and crafts.
2 m W Alfreton, Derbyshire, off B5035
Wingfield was built by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, (see Tattershall), around 1441. Cromwell added the pair of carved money bags over the entrance as a reminder of his status as Chancellor of England. The great hall of Wingfield is now ruined, but the undercroft is well worth a visit.
The Walk, Liverpool, 1 m off A561, National Trust
A marvel of late medieval timber-framing, Speke features a Tudor great hall and several priest's holes, in addition to later Jacobean and Victorian decoration. There are extensive gardens and woodland walks through the grounds. The house is very close to Liverpool airport.
Craven Arms, 7 m N Ludlow, Shropshire, on A49
This fabulous manor combines a fortified castle tower with a later timber-framed gatehouse and great hall. Stokesay was begun in 1280 by Lawrence of Ludlow, a wealthy wool merchant .The Great Hall features three very large windows set in the exterior wall, making it obvious that even this close to the Welsh border, Lawrence felt safe enough (or lucky enough!) to emphasize comfort over security.
Otham, Maidstone, Kent, off A20, National Trust
Stoneacre is a late 15th century timber-framed house with a great hall. A restored cottage garden surrounds the house, which was built for a prosperous yeoman..
Tattershall, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, on A153, National Trust
One of the first major buildings in England to be made of brick, Tattershall was begun around 1440 by Ralph, Lord Cromwell (see Wingfield Manor). There are four large chambers featuring several Gothic fireplaces. A climb to the top is rewarded with fantastic views.
23 Newton Way, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, off A1, National Trust
This unpretentious 17th century manor was the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton. Newton returned to Woolsthorpe when the Great Plague hit London in 1665, and it was here that he wrote several of his most famous works. In the orchard across from the manor is a descendant of THE apple tree where Newton had his epiphany on gravity (mind your head!).