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A Manor House with its own Castle!

Barnwell Manor

The history of Barnwell starts with the Castle, commissioned in around 1266 by the Le Moyne family, writes the agent Savills. Following an inquiry which concluded there was no licence obtained to build the castle, it was returned to the Abbotts of Ramsey whom had held the land before Berenger Le Moyne, and with whom the castle remained until the dissolution.

Barnwell Castle, in the grounds of Barnwell Manor House
Barnwell Castle

The Estate was granted to the then chief justice of the Kings Bench, Sir Edward Montagu in 1540 by King Henry VIII. Barnwell Manor, built in the 16th Century was enlarged and further developed by other members of the family over the 17th, 18th and early 19th Century.

In 1938, the estate was sold to the late Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, where further internal remodelling was carried out. It was the childhood home of the now Duke of Gloucester and his brother, Prince William, cousins of Queen Elizabeth II.

Barnwell Manor

The Manor comprises four reception rooms, eight principal bedrooms and five bathrooms, aside from significant ancillary accommodation and combines the impressive grace, symmetry and proportions of the era, coupled with retained period features.

The front entrance hallway has 17th century panelling with an ornately plastered ceiling with vine leaf decoration and the Montagu family’s crest, and sets a fabulous tone to the entrance of this impressive house, with a dual-aspect library alongside.

Steps rise from the entrance hall through a reeded pilaster flanked archway to the wide main staircase hallway, which accesses the three principal reception rooms, along with a flower room entrance to the east of the Manor House.

Entrance Hall
Ornate plasterwork
Reception Room

Each reception room has solid wooden floors, impressive panelling, cornicing and period fireplaces, along with southerly views of the gardens and parkland. The dining room has a full width bow windowed gable, the sitting room, to the left, 18th century style Bolection moulded panelling and the drawing room, far left with noted 20th Century panelling.

Dining Room

In addition, an inner hall passes offices to the kitchen and various domestic pantry store rooms beyond, with a three bedroom self-contained ground floor annex, accessed externally, adjoining to the south.

Reception Room

The main first floor landing accesses the four principal south facing bedrooms. The principal suite incorporates a dressing room and en suite bathroom; two further guest bedrooms each have en suites, whilst a further five bedrooms are served by two further bathrooms at first floor level, with a staircase rising to a second-floor bedroom and bathroom above bedrooms three and four within the northern wing of the Manor House.


The core accommodation within the Manor is further supported by excellent additional accommodation in the form of two staff flats accessed off the Manor House’s secondary staircase, which rises from near the kitchen and serves a three bedroom first-floor apartment and an impressive two bedroom second floor apartment.

Gardens and Grounds


Barnwell Manor is positioned within beautiful, extensive landscaped gardens and parkland pasture. The gardens and pleasure grounds are themselves grade II listed and are thought to have been largely laid out between 1913 and the 1920s. They include extensive lawns, framing beautiful vistas, but with, to the east front of the house a series of stone-flagged compartments and, to the north and northeast of the manor, yew-hedged compartments and walkways, one of which leads to the ornamental fish pond, a former swimming pool.

Pond & Coach House

To the north of the castle site, a raised stone walkway overlooks the walled kitchen garden, with an extensive array of refurbished teak glasshouses. Immediately adjoining the southern aspect of the manor, a stone-flagged terrace adjoins with sweeping vistas to the south east, across the ha-ha to the parkland. The gardens are extensive, private and beautiful.

Green Houses


Barnwell is a charming north Northamptonshire village, with two parish churches, The Montagu Arms public house and the 15 hectare Barnwell Country Park, which lies between the village and the Georgian market town of Oundle, two and a half miles to the north west of the village.

The village is well placed for commuters and the well-known schools in the area. It has excellent communications to points east and west via the A605, which link between the A14 (eight miles west) and the A1 (seven miles east). The cathedral city of Peterborough is 14 miles to the northeast, where regular mainline trains take from about 50 minutes to London Kings Cross. There are also direct trains through London to Gatwick from Peterborough station and to Cambridge. Regular trains to London also run from Kettering and Corby.

The area is blessed with a choice of schooling, with Laxton Preparatory and Oundle Schools in the local market town, and Kimbolton, Oakham, Uppingham and Wellingborough Schools all within a 25 mile radius of the property.

Barnwell Manor itself lies to the north of the village, with the 13th century Grade I listed Barnwell Castle within its grounds, surrounded by its formal gardens, affording great privacy, and with south-easterly views over its parkland pasture to open countryside and woodland.

Square Footage: 16,731 sq ft

Acreage: 26.94 Acres

Additional Info

The Coach House

To the north-west of the Manor, the grade II listed stone under slate Coach House has 15th and 16th century origins. Originally an aisled barn, it retains some of the original roof structure, and has been used as offices and storage, with The Bothy, a two bedroom annex apartment within part of the building.

The Coach House

It is thought to have considerable potential, subject to all listed consents, for additional ancillary accommodation, and forms three sides of a courtyard, with five stables, a hay barn and extensive garaging and workshops.

Gated entrances allow access to both main and secondary driveways.

Garden Cottage

Within the grounds, accessed from the secondary driveway (which also serves two off-lying cottages), Garden Cottage is a detached three bedroom single storey dwelling, which is let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy with a passing rent of £9840pa.

Barnwell Castle

The Grade I listed castle is also an Ancient Scheduled Monument and lies within the Manor’s grounds. Thought to date from 1266, Berenger Le Moyne, who commissioned the castle, had to return it to The Abbots of Ramsey who held it prior to 1120 as an inquiry 10 years later discovered that it had been built without licence.

Post 1540 there were further alterations to the castle, including the removal of ground-floor vaulted ceilings and replacement timber floors; enlargement of the first floor arrow slits to take stone mullioned and wooden casement windows; and the insertion of fireplaces. The turrets and gatehouse thus provided refurbished additional accommodation to the buildings erected in the courtyard. William Camden, writing in 1586, refers to the ‘little castle… of late repaired and beautified with new buildings’.

Barnwell Castle

The surrounding grounds were landscaped and a raised walk was constructed by Thomas Drew to the north of the castle in c.1613. Since then it has been passed to the successive owners of Barnwell Manor. Within the castle, the markings can be seen for a tennis court which was laid in 1920.

Barnwell Castle is currently on the English Heritage at risk register and subject to an ongoing scheme of annual work.

source Defreitas Books; Buck Antiquities
Source: Unknown, Flickr

Details and photographs, for the most part, are from the selling agent, Savills. For the agent’s full listing on Rightmove CLICK HERE

For further blogs regarding beautiful British country homes, please either choose one below or CLICK HERE!

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1 thought on “A Manor House with its own Castle!”

  1. Evdokia paraskevopoulou

    I have a new house in a greek village and I am intetested in an english style decoration ideas

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