An 11th century Manor, Wiltshire

James Rippon James Rippon
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Often we hear the word 'manor', which conjures thoughts of old stone homes, surrounded by lush countryside, emitting their own special brand of nostalgia. But what exactly is a manor house? Traditionally, a manor was a local area of governance, and the Manor House was the home of Lord of the Manor. These homes were scattered throughout the UK and Europe during previous centuries, with the manor houses that remain, becoming highly sought after residential properties.

Ansty Manor, a quaint stone home in Wiltshire in the West Country, dates as far back as the 11th century. It was recently purchased by new owners who wished to give the house a facelift, while still recognising the important history told by the existing home. Being a grade II listed building, a number of requirements had to be met regarding restoration and remodelling. The resulting finished product was a home suited to 21st century living, whilst still completely respecting the existing structure.

A stone façade

Ansty Manor, Exterior: country Houses by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

Ansty Manor, Exterior

BLA Architects

From the outside, the most obvious change to Ansty Manor was the addition of the glass room. It was designed to have minimal impact on the existing structure, with the transparent nature of the glass making sure what already existed was not compromised.

New open plan design

Ansty Manor, Kitchen: country Kitchen by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

Ansty Manor, Kitchen

BLA Architects

One problem often faced when century old buildings house modern families, is their uncoordinated layout does not suit those who now occupy the home. This was most certainly the case, so BLA Architects set out to remodel the interior to make it more suitable. The internal layout was opened right up to create a more light-filled, open plan home.

A classic yet modern bathroom

Ansty Manor, Bathroom: country Bathroom by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

Ansty Manor, Bathroom

BLA Architects

Various shades of pastel green wallpaper now feature prominently throughout the house, with its soft colours matching the muted grey colour of the existing stone. With modern wallpaper now available in an endless number of colours and styles, there is always something to suit every taste and every room. Modern wallpaper is also much easier to apply and remove from the once headache-inducing wallpaper of bygone eras, and as seen here, can come in waterproof varieties suitable for use in the bathroom. 

Classical fittings such as the new washbasins and timber island go perfectly in this bathroom setting fit for any Lord and his family.

New garden room

Ansty Manor,  Garden Room: country Garden by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

Ansty Manor, Garden Room

BLA Architects

The extension of the home is in the form of a garden room, and is an idyllic, bright and spacious relaxation room. Rather than build an extension that tried to re-create the naturally worn-out look of the existing stone, BLA deliberately used materials such as glass and unpolished timber to show a distinct timeline in the progress of the house as a whole.

Master bedroom

​Ansty Manor, Bedroom: country Bedroom by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

​Ansty Manor, Bedroom

BLA Architects

The beauty of old buildings such as Ansty Manor is the luxury of high ceiling; something rarely afforded to new builds. This enviable bedroom has a beautifully classic bed as the centrepiece, and more muted green wallpaper lining the walls, all the way to the roof. Notice the chips in the existing white painted beam? They are a subtle reminder of the age and history found inside the walls of the manor.

Want to see more projects set in the English countryside? Then take a look at these articles:

An eco house in Wiltshire

- homify 360°: Passive house in Gloucestershire

Which part of the new-look Ansty Manor is your favourite? Share your thoughts below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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