The Old Manse is a stunning, 5-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom, country Victorian house on the edge of Little Tew, in the heart of the Cotswolds, just over 4 miles from Chipping ‘Chippy’ Norton. Beautifully furnished and decorated, the Old Manse has two reception rooms (both with fireplaces), a fantastic kitchen and entertaining area, plus a downstairs ensuite double room, and a superb 1-acre garden with patio. Perfectly located to visit Soho Farmhouse, Daylesford, Cornbury Festival, Heythrop and the wider Cotswolds.
Family events are welcome at the property, but it is our policy not to take bookings for single sex group celebrations, which includes Stag and Hen nights, or groups where the majority are under 25 years. Also, under no circumstances are additional guests above the maximum capacity allowed at the property, for day visits or overnight stays. If you are found to be in breach of this, you will be asked to leave the property and reported.
The Old Manse is a handsome historic, three-story, red-brick, detached family home on a quiet country lane leading into the village of Little Tew. The super-stylish yet warm and welcoming decor and furnishings extend all the way from the orangery kitchen, with its lantern roof, right up to the third-floor attic bedroom with a super-king size bed and en-suite bathroom. In front of the house are a perfectly tended parking area and a front garden planted with lavender and trees. To one side is the garden gate leading to a truly magical country garden with a patio.
Built in 1869, The Manse (now called the Old Manse) served as the home of the Minister of the local Baptist circuit. The front of the house is built in measurements of multiples of three, giving it a regular and solid appearance - perhaps intended to suggest the virtue of those that built it and lived in it. The most well-known Minister was Edith Gates, the first woman to be recognised to hold the pastoral charge of an English Baptist church. She lived at the Manse with her sister (the church’s organist) from 1918 until her retirement in 1950; thereafter, the Manse became privately owned.
The current owners of the Old Manse have transformed the property into a beautiful home, with a blend of contemporary and antique furniture complementing the choice of Farrow & Ball paintwork and wallpaper used throughout. On the ground floor, the Old Manse has two reception rooms - a living room with two fireplaces and snug with a wood burner, both with smart TVs - a fabulous kitchen/dining room opening out to the patio and garden, a downstairs super-king bedroom with en-suite (shower room), a large utility room and a cloakroom. On the first floor are three double bedrooms, one super-king, one zip-and-link twin (can be super-king), a children’s twin room (one standard single, one small single), and a family bathroom. On the top floor, in the remodelled attic, is the largest bedroom, with a super-king size bed, dressing area, en-suite bathroom (with bath and shower), TV, and plenty of room for a travel cot plus stunning views across the valley.
The outside area at the Old Manse is truly spectacular, with its extended patio and seating for 10, raised herb beds, and a beautiful one-acre garden planted with mature trees, borders, and several fruit trees, which guests are welcome to collect during their stay. At the far end of the garden is a pretty pond – a tranquil place to sit and watch the wildlife coming a going.
Guests enter the Old Manse through the front door and covered porch into a long hallway with a view all the way through to the dining area and garden beyond. This pretty hallway features Farrow & Ball’s Bumblebee wallpaper - based on a pattern originally found on silks in Josephine Bonaparte’s bedroom, the first wife of Emperor Napoleon. A handy antique bench is provided to sit and remove outdoor shoes. After guests’ initial arrival, entry can either be through the front door or through the garden gate into the Utility/Boot room, where there is plenty of space to hang coats, store shoes, and boots, and even wash down a muddy dog in the butler’s sink.
To the right of the hallway is the main living room, with an antique-oriental feel to the décor and plenty of seating for all. To one end is a large window overlooking the front garden, with an open fire, a four-seater sofa, two armchairs, and an antique butler’s tray, serving as a coffee table or card table - take care, the tabletop is a tray and lifts off! At the other end of the room is a seven-seater sofa, a smart TV, a small bureau, and a wood burner. On a winter’s night, this is the room to snuggle up in while watching a good movie.
Opposite the Living Room is the Snug - once the family’s playroom - featuring a polished Cotswold stone floor (with underfloor heating), a wood burner, a smart TV, a three-seater sofa, two armchairs, and a very cute child’s seat and footstool. A sash window overlooks the front garden, casting lots of light into the room making it a lovely room to relax in front of the fire or watch TV
The multi-purpose central hall sits at the foot of the staircase and between the two front reception rooms, the Kitchen and Back Hall. It is furnished with a two-seater sofa (perfectly placed so that you can sit and look out at the garden through the French windows), a bureau and a large desk, and comfy chair, making it a bright and light work area if needed.
From the Hall take two steps down to the striking and inviting orangery-style Kitchen-Dining area, with its magnificent double-lantern roof. This is a fantastic, fully equipped kitchen and entertaining space, which opens out through bi-fold doors to the patio and garden beyond. A mounted smart TV can be viewed from the Kitchen or the Dining Area.
To the right, the Kitchen features an over-size island with a huge preparation area, induction hob, wine fridge, cupboards and bar seating for two - perfect for children to eat at or for other guests to perch at and keep the cook company. The kitchen has every standard appliance (including dishwasher, double oven, fridge-freezer with icemaker) and more (blenders, NutriBullett, boiling water tap), plus all the crockery and glassware needed to fully cater for 10 guests.
To the left is the orangery-style Dining-Seating area which has a long wooden table that comfortably seats 10 guests (pictured with eight), a snuggler sofa and armchair, and a small desk ideal for a little light work, charging devices or making plans for the day ahead. Bi-fold doors open out from the Dining Area to the patio, with seating for 10, a brick BBQ, and the magnificent garden.
The Back Hall leads to Bedroom 5, the Utility Room, and the downstairs cloakroom:
Also known as the Strawberry Room, because of its delightful décor featuring strawberry wall art and floral fabrics, Bedroom 5 is a spacious, bright, and light room with views to the main and herb garden and would suit a guest with limited mobility. The bedroom is furnished with a super-king size bed with bedside tables and reading lights, a dressing table with a mirror, a chest of drawers, and a double-fitted wardrobe.
Bedroom Five En-suite:
This en-suite shower room has a real “wow factor”, with its double-height ceiling, striking aqua blue walls, and extra-large walk-in shower (one small step in) with a handy built-in shelf to perch on and an overhead shower and hand-held shower head. The en-suite has a vanity unit and a large Lefroy Brooks basin and toilet.
This could be just a downstairs W.C., but the gorgeous dark blue and golden palm tree wallpaper make it that bit special, as well as the great collection of reading books!
This fantastically useful room can be entered from the Back Hall or the side garden, making it both a utility room (with a bread-maker, Miele washer and dryer, ironing facilities and overhead Pully clothes airer) and a boot room where guests can hang coats, take off footwear and even wash a muddy dog in the butler’s sink. There’s also plenty of room in here for your doggy to sleep.
Head up the first flight of stairs - carpeted with banister - to the first floor and Bedrooms 2 (en-suite), 3, and 4 and the Family Bathroom:
This delightful, sunny en-suite double bedroom is decorated in calming shades of white and blue. The bedroom looks out over the front garden and lane, while the en-suite has a fabulous view down the garden and over the dining area’s lantern roof. The bedroom is furnished with a super-king size bed, with bedside tables and reading lamps, a double wardrobe, chest of drawers, and dressing table with a mirror and hairdryer.
En-suite Shower Room:
Head through an arch into the en-suite, which has a large walk-in shower, vanity unit with basin and a large mirror, a heated towel rail and feature W.C. with a Butler & Rose high level cistern. (Note: there is no door between the bedroom and en-suite.)
This very pretty, front aspect bedroom has pale pink walls with accents of cerise. It is furnished with two standard size single beds (which can be made up as a super-king double on request), with a shared bedside table and reading lamp. The room features a long dressing table with a baroque, antique mirror above. In the corner is a double wardrobe with hanging space and shelves. (The travel cot is stored in this bedroom.)
The Peter Pan Neverland wallpaper in the children’s twin room says it all… this is a room that’s perfect for smaller guests! Further appeal for children lies in a bookcase full of children’s reading books, delightful animal pictures, cushions, and a teddy bear lamp. The bedroom has one standard 3ft single and one 2ft10” single, a fitted wardrobe with hanging space and shelves, and a large mirror.
Serving Bedrooms 2 and 3, the Family Bathroom has a full-size bath with an over-bath shower, a washbasin with a large mirror, a feature W.C. with Butler & Rose high-level cistern, and a heated towel rail.
Head from the landing on the first floor, through a door and up a flight of wooden stairs with a banister to:
This sumptuous, somewhat secluded, top-floor attic bedroom has sweeping views out over the garden and countryside beyond. It features a super-king size bed, with bedside tables and reading lamps, a smart TV (positioned for in-bed viewing), a large dressing area (plenty of space for a baby’s travel cot too), with dressing table, wardrobe, and chest of drawers, and an en-suite bathroom. Though this bedroom has the largest floor space of all the bedrooms, it’s built into the eaves, so taller guests may be more comfortable in one of the other bedrooms. En-suite Bathroom:
Head through a door from the dressing area into the en-suite bathroom, which features a full-size bath – perfectly positioned by the window so you can bath and gaze at the stars! There’s also a cabinet shower, a large washbasin with mirror and shaver point, W.C, towel rail, full-length swing mirror, and storage for personal items.
Guests will be truly amazed by the stunning outdoor space at The Old Manse. Starting to the front of the garden are two parking spaces. Pass through the garden gate where there is a small garden with a path between lavender bushes leading to the front door. To the left of the house is parking for two more cars, and to the right, behind a low wall, is the partially paved original driveway behind a five-bar gate (open for guests to park one car). Head back to the left side of the house and open the wooden side gate. This is where the outside magic begins. Here you’ll find an immaculate patio with raised beds full of herbs, and borders bursting with flowering plants. The patio wraps around the house and includes a full-size, brick BBQ (charcoal) and dining area with a large wooden table and seating for 10. Take two steps down (with a handrail) to the bi-fold doors into the Kitchen/Dining Area, making it the perfect set-up for outdoor entertaining. (Please note: The greenhouse and sheds are not for guests’ use.) With your back to the house turn and be amazed by the one-acre garden. It is the perfect Cotswold country garden, with an immaculately mowed lawn, mature trees – with a couple of tree swings - an orchard, a spinney, paths through a wild area, borders full of flowering shrubs and border plants and a pond crammed with wildlife.
Guests are encouraged to pick apples and pears when in season to use during their stay and, when cooking in the wonderful kitchen or on the BBQ, help themselves to the herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, and mint – all marked up for easy identification!
Full List of Facilities
Sleeps 10 guests across 5 bedrooms: 3 super king-size bedrooms, 1 twin (can be super-king on request), 1 children’s twin room (1 standard single, 1 small single).
4.5 Bathrooms: 1 ensuite bathroom (Bedroom 1) with bath, shower, W.C; 1 ensuite shower room (downstairs Bedroom 5) with walk-in shower, W.C; 1 ensuite shower room (Bedroom 2) with walk-in shower, W.C; 1 family bathroom with bath, shower, W.C; and 1 cloakroom (W.C.)
Parking for 5 cars
Dog friendly: 2 well-behaved dogs welcome. Dog bowl and bed available.
Private, enclosed 1-acre garden, patio and pond
Fireplace: 2 wood burners and 1 open fireplace – wood provided for first fire
All bed linen, bath towels and tea towels provided
Baby/Child Equipment: highchair, travel cot (cot linen not supplied), stairgate
Outdoor patio/seating area
Garden furniture – seats 10
BBQ (charcoal) – please provide your own charcoal
Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, fire blanket, carbon monoxide monitor, smoke alarm, First Aid kit.
On your Doorstep
Supermarkets and Shopping:
The village does not have a shop or pub, but don’t worry there are plenty close by and you can buy local eggs for breakfast just down the lane from The Old Manse. The nearest and best place to do a food shop is in Chipping Norton where you will find a great choice of national and independent stores, including a well-stocked Coop, M&S Food Store and Aldi, Nash’s Bakery, Oats the health food store, Trev Beadle Butchers and Roger’s Fishmongers.
The Falkland Arms (1.5 miles)
The Crown Inn (2 miles)
The Boxing Hare (2.5 miles)
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking opportunities in and around Chipping Norton, its prime hillside position meaning there are miles of beautiful surrounding landscapes to explore. For those in search of a gentle stroll, try the walk from Chipping Norton to Over Norton; a gentle 2.5-mile circular walk across undulating countryside, waymarked for ease. For those in search of something slightly more challenging, the 5.5-mile ‘Mills and Meadows’ walk between Kingham and Chipping Norton is a great option, taking in the pretty meadowland which sits between the two famed Cotswold towns.
Places to Visit:
Heythrop Zoological Gardens (1.5 miles)
Soho Farmhouse (2.5 miles)
Heythrop Golf Course (4 miles)
Train - Charlbury Station (6.5 miles), Heyford (9 miles)
Taxis - Excelsior Taxis, A1 Taxis, Route 55
There is so much to discover in the Cotswolds, why not have a look at some of our favourite Bolthole Retreats Experiences
Points of Note
Parking: Parking: The Old Manse has 2 parking spaces on the private drive, 2 parking spaces on the paved area directly in front of the property and 1 space to the right of the property
Dog friendly: A maximum of 2 well-behaved dogs is permitted at a cost of £25 per dog
The garden has a pond; please never leave young children unsupervised
The garden is completely dog proof if the gates are all kept shut
The Old Manse has a septic tank. It is vital, therefore, not to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilets
Noise: The Old Manse is situated in the middle of a residential area, in consideration of our neighbours we respectfully request that noise levels are kept to a minimum after 10 pm, especially outside on warmer evenings
Fireworks: We appreciate that fireworks might be fun to have for a celebration, but they present too high a risk to our property. Therefore, please do not use fireworks in any area, inside or outside, while at the Old Manse
Family events are welcome at the property, but it is our policy not to take bookings for single sex group celebrations, which includes Stag and Hen nights, or groups where the majority are under 25 years
Walking & Cycling Guides
Walking & Cycling Guides
Great property in a quiet location. Kitchen was amazing and the garden is stunning. A great holiday!
Callum - August 2021
We had a fantastic stay here, great communication when we had any issues and a beautiful house - with a stunning garden!
We had the most wonderful week at The Old Manse and our feedback is easy... The service we received was great and we all agreed that it was one of the most well equipped houses in which we have ever stayed - both here and abroad. We have all not stopped talking about how welcoming the house was and that our every need had been anticipated. We have also recommended to a number of friends since our visit. We fully intend to return as soon as we are able, as it worked so well. Many thanks for allowing us to enjoy your beautiful house.
I would like to thank you for a lovely stay. The house was perfect and everyone had a great time, animals included. Couldn’t fault anything. Thanks Steve.
I must say what an absolutely beautiful house you have I really didn't want to leave!! It was so homely and comfortable I instantly felt at home. There was absolutely nothing we needed the house was so well equipped it felt as if so much thought had gone into this. The welcome basket was a delight and so well provisioned we felt thoroughly spoilt for the whole of our stay. As for the garden, well that is just stunning and I enjoyed hearing the owls during the night and eating the apples fresh off the tree!!
Little Tew is a delightful little village about 4.5 miles (7 km) northeast of Chipping Norton and 8.5 miles (14 km) southwest of Banbury in Oxfordshire. The nearest pubs are the Boxing Hare in Swerford (2.2 miles) or the Falklands Arms in Great Tew (2.8 miles), where you’ll also find a well-stocked village shop and café. Widen the circle a little and the choice of pubs and restaurants, from ‘local’ to top end, is excellent (a long list of the owners’ favourites is provided at the property).
Little Tew is in easy reach of Soho Farmhouse, Daylesford, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Blenheim Palace, Whichford Pottery, the lido at Chippy and Bourton-on-the-Water, with its maze, model village and Birdland. Other nearby activities include horse riding, hot air balloon rides, car racing experiences, in fact just about anything you can think of to keep all ages entertained. See the Chipping Norton Guide (below) for activity details.
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