The rich afternoon light of autumn lifts the ancient, dark-tiled manor house out of the deep shade within the narrow, wooded valley. A dammed lake feeds a black mote around the richly patterned square of stone and half-timbered buildings within which is hidden a small, beautiful, cobbled quadrangle. On a dull dead winter’s day, the place is rheumy; dripping cold and dank in the sodden valley. Today it is warm and welcoming, the stone keep topped by a golden weathercock sparkling in the low sun; a tranquil picture of Tudor elegance.
One of the best views is from the narrow road that runs past the manor and winds on up through the ancient woodlands of oak and beech that hang on the Greensand ridge. This wonderful, deeply rural estate that can trace its origins back to the 14th Century is managed by the National Trust.