Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Fiddleford Manor

Fiddleford Manor, near Sturminster Newton, Dorset, which we visited whilst we were on holiday recently. We were delighted to find that it was an "open house" - no-one manning it, free entry (even better!) and we could wander at will, soaking up the wonderful atmosphere of this ancient property.

I couldn't resist the play of light and leaf colours through the uneven glass.

These information boards show you what it would have looked like.

A small window set in the gable wall of golden hamstone.

It had a stone-tiled roof. If you look at the thickness of these stone slabs, you will understand why such robust beams were needed inside the manor.

As you can see, there was a further wing which was demolished in earlier times, more's the pity. From the Mill mentioned in the Domesday book, it became a Manor House in Medieval and Tudor times, before becoming divided into accommodation for farm workers (who probably didn't appreciate its origins!

The beams in the roof are 600 years old. You can see that in the past a leaking roof has caused rain damage, but this has all been made good now.

Shapes within shapes. We have seen a similar design elsewhere this summer - I think it was at the beautiful Manor House at Tretower (see recent post).

This beautifully carved doorway shows it was a high-status building. You can just glimpse the plank and muntin wall behind it.

The verdant view through one of the windows.

A beautiful hamstone fireplace with herringbone interior.

Just a hint of the original wall paintings remains now, but you can imagine how it must have looked in its heyday.

You can see the water damage clearly on these beams . . .
My husband strolling past the end of the Manor House. As you can see, it is a "semi"!, and has been quite altered over the years. This side has been totally restored in recent years and is now under the control of English Heritage. It is part of the Medieval mill complex and just behind my back was the mill pond. It is one of the oldest buildings in Dorset, dating from the 14th century, and at one time was used to store hidden contraband . . .


  1. Amazing roof beams. Reminds me of this.

  2. I walk here very often, but have only been inside the building once! Maybe it's time for another look! I hope you visited the wonderful little pub just along the lane.

  3. Love simple manor houses, can quite imagine living, or more realistically, working in one. Love the beams.

  4. Isn't it lovely BB that it is still possible for a house to be unattended in this day and age - it all looks so peaceful.
    Thanks for putting me right on the Hardy novel.

  5. What an amazing old place! Definitely one on the list for visiting as it is not too far away from us. I imagine that Hardy would have known this lovely old manor house.

  6. This looks just my kind of place and it appears that you had it to yourselves as well. Another one for the list!