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Country refuge fit for a king.

Byline: Marsya Lennox

The graffiti has gone but the window would still be familiar to the boy who etched his name onto the glass in October 1642. The early mullion arrangement is unaltered with its leaded panes and particularly good, 16th century Elizabethan fastenings which can also be spotted elsewhere at Arlescote Manor in Warwickshire.

The writer who looked closely at the features in 1947, Arthur Oswald of Country Life magazine, made sure that a photograph was included in his detailed description of the house.

And the newly-printed marketing brochure for the same property includes a different angle on the very same detailing, 57 years later, still a talking point of the dining room.

It's a colourful story that has to be told, even though the curving, 17th century signature, has been long removed for safe-keeping in a local museum.

As Charles

surveyed his troops nearby on Knowle End close to Edge Hill and Arlescote, his son Charles, Prince of Wales aged 12 and his brother, the nine year-old Duke of York were at a slightly safer distance in the kitchen at Arlescote Manor.

As the battle was being fought, their tutor, William Harvey, sat close by, with his nose in a book apparently. And sometime during the group's overnight stay, the prince indulged in a little petty vandalism to ease the boredom.

The actual room was then the kitchen, according to the records, and being at the back of the house, kept its old window styles during the major re-modelling of the late 17th century or early 18th century.

The 1947 photographs show some delicate plasterwork detail to the ceiling mouldings, obviously part of the upgrade -and also still in situ.

It would seem that the budget did not stretch to imposing the full 'modern' treatment with new sash windows as now characterise the front-facing wings.

The central section of the main facade, however, keeps the old windows and the most obvious link with the 16th century core of the property.

The original, older house would have had a rather different, gabled style, before the introduction of the restrained hipped roofs with symmetrical, minihipped dormers topping its seven bays.

Arlescote Manor makes a photogenic, stone-built focal point in the Warwickshire hamlet here on the lower slopes of Edge Hill, three miles from Radway and seven miles from Stratford-upon-Avon.

It is now Grade ll* listed and a notable instruction for Hamptons in this busy selling season, available for pounds 1.75 million.

The house, which needs some modernisation, comes with about nine acres, six principal bedrooms, four further bedrooms and four bathrooms on the two upper floors.

There are outbuildings, including the detached, listed stable block, a hard tennis court, swimming pool and formal gardens as well as pasture.

To three corners of the main garden are extremely pretty, corner pavilions, thought to date to the major rebuild. With their distinctive ogee-shaped roofs, they are typical of the treatment lavished on the best formal gardens in important houses.

There is a flagged hall, fully panelled sitting room with open fireplace and moulded stone surround. The drawing room is partly panelled and looks south, also with a good stone fireplace and retaining the older mullion windows and fitted, panelled seating.

The famous dining room with its historic window has a door to the terrace and there is a further, south-facing study with another open fireplace.

Domestic areas include the farmhouse kitchen with Aga, utility, cloakrooms and a rear lobby. The main staircase is interesting for its decorative eagle and rose carvings and the stained glass, mullioned and transomed window to a half landing, retaining its early iron catches and with heraldic motifs.

Most of the six first floor bedrooms retain their old fireplaces, one room, more than 17ft square, doubling as a games room and with space for a billiards table.

The gardens are partly walled with formal lawn and railings to the front approach. Behind the house is a pond, thought to have once formed part of a moat. This would appear to be quite likely as the site has been occupied since Saxon times, later in monastic hands eventually passing to yeoman farmers before acquisition by the wealthier, landowning Goodwin family in the mid 17th century.

Details are available from Hamptons in Broadway, telephone 01386 852205.

CAPTION(S):

Arlescote Manor at Arlescote in Warwickshire, a Grade ll* listed house in local ironstone. It comes with nine acres, stabling, some colourful history and a pounds 1.75 million price tag; The dining room which was the kitchen in the older, Elizabethan house before early 18th century remodelling. The future Charles ll is said to have scratched his name on one of the windowpanes; One of the panelled reception rooms
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 30, 2004
Words:789
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