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ABBEY days; homes & gardens.

Byline: BY KATE WOLFE

Barrister and enthusiastic historian Edward John Rudge built Evesham's Abbey Manor, in 1817, as a home imposing enough to reflect the momentous, history-changing, events around it during the previous 600 years.

In 1265, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, lost his life, and the Battle of Evesham, on land owned by Rudge's family since the 1600s. Rudge's history fascination prompted him to excavate the site of Evesham Abbey, which was destroyed during the Reformation.

In and around his Gothic Revival style house, Rudge exhibited relics, gargoyles, even a Bishop's tomb, found during his abbey "digs".

The Grade II listed manor is now divided into exceptionally impressive homes. One, the ave bedroom West Wing, is on sale at a pounds 1,400,000 guide price through the Evesham oface of Gusterson Palmer (Ring 01386 761241).

The property, whose delights have, more recently, been enjoyed by paying guests of John and Jill Phipps, is set in 30 acres of parkland with views towards the Cotswold and Malvern Hills. Edward Rudge himself recorded much of its history, so comes with detailed accounts of its past.

True to his time, Rudge kept a large proportion of artefacts found in the abbey ruins. Some remain on display in the West Wing's grand entrance hall, with its gothic arch and carved oak panel doors with copper-bronze attings. From it, the grand central oak staircase winds up the centre of the house, each newel post carved with an individual design.

Decorative ceiling cornices, imposing areplaces, Gothic picture windows with carved oak frames and shutters, stained glass panels and stunning vistas abound in each room.

Adjoining the drawing room an entrance hall with stone arched leaded and stained glass windows has wide twin doors opening onto the front carriage sweep. The window in the dining room, whose oak panel floor is inlaid with mahogany, overlooks the River Avon towards Bredon Hill.

The bay window of the adjacent extensively atted and equipped breakfast kitchen has delightful parkland views towards the listed Leicester Tower, built by the Rudge family, in 1842, to commemorate Simon de Montfort.

An oface, utility room and guest cloakroom complete the ground floor, Below it is a dry, well-lit, four-room cellar, with a lockable gate to the slateshelved wine store. Two of the huge bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and built-in wardrobes. The arst floor third bedroom, beside a cloakroom, currently houses a full-size billiard table!

A second floor bathroom serves two bedrooms, one with a balcony and Malvern Hills views.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 11, 2008
Words:418
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