If You’ve Ever Thought Of Owning Your Own Medieval Manor, Now’s Your Chance

Llanthony Priory, which sits nearby to the medieval manor hose on sale. Photo © Philip Halling - CC-BY SA 3.0
Llanthony Priory, which sits nearby to the medieval manor hose on sale. Photo © Philip Halling - CC-BY SA 3.0

Have you ever heard the phrase, “live like a king”?  It is possible if you’re willing to move to Wales.  A home built by monks of Llanthony Prima in 1120 on Church Road, Caldicot, Monmouthshire is up for sale by Fine & Country, a real estate agency located in Monmouthshire.  The property once belonged to the English Crown, under Henry VIII, although it is unlikely that the much-married monarch was ever there.  When the Church of England replaced the Catholic churches in Great Britain in about 1536 many of the Catholic properties such as Llanthony Secunda Manor were confiscated by the Crown.

With such a long history, it’s hard to imagine the building has had only four owners so far. It sat empty for a number of years and had been falling apart until 1972 when it was slated for demolition. A last-minute sale saved the property and the new owner began a series of renovations that go on to this day.

The home still has many original features.  Much of the interior wood and the limestone washed walls, as well as the bread ovens, are original to the house.  There are 5,167 square feet of living space and 58 square feet for inside storage.  The ground floor features a kitchen and breakfast room, a drawing room, dining room, study, bathroom, utility room, storage rooms and a grand entrance hall.  The first floor has a great hall, a loft, utility room, library, bedroom, a bathroom and more storage.  The second floor has three bedrooms and a bath and the third floor consists of two large rooms.  The floors are accessed by a large spiral staircase.  The home is heated by traditional steam heat radiators in every room although there are several fireplaces.  There is also a back staircase from the kitchen as it was not proper for servants to be seen in the manor halls.

While obvious updates such as electricity and plumbing were necessary, they were done in such a manner as to not stand out but to blend with the historical beauty of the home.  The bathrooms have been updated with freestanding claw foot tubs, modern sinks and separate shower stalls.  Ceramic tiles cover some of the walls and a pedestal on which the tub sits in the master bath. The kitchen also has a modern sink and built in refrigerator in a center island and a range with six burners and four ovens in the recessed space that was once the main cooking fireplace. The main floor dining room is probably the most medieval-looking room with a long dining table among tapestries hanging on the wall.  The current owner was adamant about using materials that were available 500 years ago whenever possible, no matter what the cost.

What Welsh manor house would be complete without gardens?  The property outside features a large courtyard surrounded by gardens, trees, shrubs and an old well that has since been covered for safety.  A trellis-covered entrance and stone paved walkway surround the courtyard.  A stone wall surrounds the outside making it a very isolated and serene space to relax.  There is a large garage and a separate barn.

Llanthony Secunda Manor is currently let out for tourists and those who want to spend a few days in an actual medieval home.  The weekly rate runs from £ 3,050 during the holiday season to £2,500 in the winter and £ 2,700 for the summer months.  A minimum of two days is required.  It’s not often a home buyer gets to try out a new home before they buy.

Other tourist attractions near Llanthony are Caldicot Castle, the Roman town of Caerwent, Chepstow Castle, museum and racecourse, Bristol Aquarium and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. The Royal Forest of Dean, Wye Valley, Vale of Leadon, Severn Vale, Herefordshire, and Monmouthshire offer hedge mazes, historic buildings and churches as well as castles and innumerable lists of things to do.

Whether you are looking for a new home or an investment in the property keeping it as an Inn, the asking price for this one of a kind beauty is £800,000.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE