A very big house in the country: Whitestaunton Manor is a Grade-I listed estate with a very textured history

Melissa York
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Whitestaunton Manor in Somerset, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book

Nestled in a quiet country village on the outskirts of Somerset lies a house with architecture so rare the only other place you’ll see anything like it is in the Houses of Parliament. In fact, most of Whitestaunton Manor, listed Grade-I for architectural or historical interest, is older than that venerable institution; it’s even namechecked in the Domesday Book. Over the past five centuries, it has seen new outbuildings added, stables, a workshop and even a Japanese water garden. But it underwent its most transformative change under its current jewellery-designer owners.

The master bedroom suite surrounded by medieval carpentry

The outdoor swimming pool

The kitchen

“They have created this spectacular juxtaposition between traditional architecture and modern interiors,” says Ed Sugden, director in sales agent Savills’ Country Department. “It has undergone a ten-year, roof-down refurbishment in partnership with English Heritage and it’s won numerous awards for the work that has been done.” This partnership has seen the kitchen’s Roman masonry with top-of-the-range appliances, a 16th century fireplace paired with modern lighting and a Great Hall with a fully restored hammer beam roof; this speciality of English medieval carpentry is a method of building open timber roofs with no visible support, leaving a decorative criss-crossing effect. It’s thought to be the only roof of its kind in private hands – the only other prominent example of this quality is in the historic Westminster Hall, where heads of state are invited to address the Houses of Parliament.
This seven-bedroom house also comes with an impressive amount of outdoor space stocked with ancient copper beech trees and willows, a vegetable garden, an orchard of fruit trees and an al fresco dining terrace.

The expertly restored hammer beam roof

An original fireplace bearing a coat of arms

The dining room with fireplace

Guide price £6.75m. Call Ed Sugden at Savills’ London country department on 020 7016 3780.