.........is a fortified medieval manor house in the northern Cotswolds which romantically sits in the middle of a moated island. The original manor house, much of which still remains today, was built in 13oo. It is the family home of the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele whose family name is Fiennes. Members of their extended family being Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer, and Ralph & Joseph Fiennes, the actors.
The fact that the same family have lived in the house for over 700 years is clearly reflected in the atmosphere when you enter. With its great chambers, parlours, attics and knot garden, the house is very welcoming and comfortable.The owners are not 'precious' about their belongings. If Lady Saye & Sele, who incidentally is 90years old, is around, she will help small children try on the small leather body armour seen hanging along this corridor.
I suspect that these fresh water clam shells may have been found in their moat. Moats were not only for protection, but were also a very important source of fresh food hundreds of years ago.
The bedroom she used still retains its original 14th c mullioned windows along with the original box pattern glass.
Every feature painted onto the paper is totally unique, nothing is repeated.
We climbed the winding stone stairway to the very top of the house and clambered out onto the rooftop. This gave a great overview of the surrounding area, and the walled knot garden clipped in an attractive fleur-de-lys design.I loved this hanging oriel window, and the pretty juliet balcony. It was in this area that we met and spoke to Lady Saye & Sele, she was busily deadheading the roses. She is a delightful, friendly lady, who chatted to us for some time. She then bid us farewell and hastened quickly across the lawns to check on her husband. He was sitting beneath one of the very large trees sheltering from the bright sunlight. He will be 101 years old next month. They are a remarkable couple.
We had our visiting family with us which made it an even more extra special day out for us all.