Morningthorpe Manor could be yours for just £1.5m

PUBLISHED: 12:36 05 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:36 05 June 2015

Morningthorpe manor

Morningthorpe manor


Morningthorpe Manor - which dates to the 17th century but with a stunning Victorian Gothic addition - is for sale for a guide price of £1.5million.

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Many husbands try hard (and many fail) to keep their wives happy - particularly by doing DIY jobs around the house. And some of what you now see at Morningthorpe Manor is the result of one man’s efforts to please his wife.

The house had been owned by the Rope or Roope family and indeed over the front entrance porch is a Latin inscription which plays on the words Rope in a saying which means ‘this place is fixed firm.’

When John Rope died in 1686 his daughter inherited it and took it by marriage to Thomas Howse of Carleton Rode. His son John Howse married Elizabeth Keddington, said to be a lady of fortune from Suffolk. She was not pleased with the situation at Carleton Rode and to gratify her, Thomas rebuilt Morningthorpe with a new front, leaving the old part to form the kitchen and offices.

After decorating the whole of the house and planting avenues (a small portion of which remains in the neighbouring parkland) he brought Elizabeth and their son to the manor in about 1697.

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Only a small portion of the old house remains - chiefly its 17th century staircase, which boasts superb rope twist balustrades, and a small section of the original clay and timber walls.

But it was really in the late 1800s when the house was given a make-over in the form of a Victorian Gothic addition and this was when the house had passed to Edward Howse who became Sheriff of Norfolk in 1859-65. His name was misspelled Howes and to conform to the writ, Edward changed his name to suit.

With his new status, he set about creating a grander house to suit him and was responsible for creating the library as well as installing the family armorial stained glass - in fact his initials and coats of arms appear in several places on the outside of the building and on the base of the library mirrored mantelpiece, said to be based on one from Hampton Court.

And probably the next major work was in 1918 when, as the new owner, Cecil Sargent improved the house further by purchasing the fine oak carved panelling, stone fireplace and chimney piece in the drawing room which was originally created for Lady Stafford’s boudoir at Costessey Hall (Norfolk’s Strawberry Hill). Carved by James Linnall it was installed in what the current owners call The Costessey Room.

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Interestingly, much later in its life, the house was divided into three by famous architect Edward Boardman before, in 1990, the current vendor and his wife bought the house and have since carried out extensive restorations returning it to a single family home.

The house has many distinguishing architectural details and is built of mellow red brick with gorgeous stepped gables and octagonal corner turrets with onion shaped finials.

Louis de Soissons, head of residential at Savills, said: “What you have is a 17th century house which has been added on by the Victorians but this really blends in and it sits in such a lovely pocket of unspoilt Norfolk countryside.”

There are five main bedrooms with the master having a really lovely large traditional en suite bathroom. In this room the owner has filled a recess with all the artefacts he found when restoring the house which includes an old Victorian doll, its face intact but clothes dishevelled, keys, nails and even a spoon, many of which were found down floorboards, presumably lost by former owners over the generations.

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There are eight attic rooms so there is the flexibility of making this suit a much bigger family if required.

The reception hall and staircase hall are stunning as are the formal dining room and first floor sitting room and because of the owner’s occupation, there are bookcases filled with tomes in many of the rooms.

What is particularly striking is the fact the owner has retained this property’s traditional manor house feel and not over modernised it but has maintained it and kept it in immaculate condition making it a fascinating and special house for a new family to take on for another generation.

It sits in about 3.6 acres with parkland beyond and the village of Morningthorpe, which many people do not seem to have heard of, is very pretty with its round tower church and some charming properties yet it is only 20 minutes drive from Norwich, situated off the A140 so you also have Diss train station nearby and the link to London.

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•Morningthorpe Manor is for sale for a guide price of £1.5 million with Savills on 01603 229229

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