Historic Foscote Manor at Maids Moreton sits in 39 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland.
Set in 39 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland a couple of miles north of the university town of Buckingham, the manor of Foscote (or Foscott) is listed in the Domesday survey among lands belonging to the Bishop of Bayeux. According to Pevsner, in 1639, the property was acquired by Edward Grenville and he’s thought to have built the present house, some say in about 1656. Described as ‘a large square building of stone’, its front is Jacobean in style, with a 17th-century north-east front and a rebuilt 17th-century porch.
The Foscote estate remained with a branch of the Grenville family until the sale of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham’s estates in 1848, after which it passed to Lawrence Hall. His son, also Lawrence, succeeded him in 1866 and it was he who extended the house to the north-west in 1868; his widow had the south-east front remodelled in 1908.
Last seen on the market in 2009, the purchase of Foscote Manor by its current owners was the result of a carefully planned logistical exercise, in which a line was drawn around London showing suitable country-house locations within a maximum one-hour journey from the metropolis. Foscote Manor’s location 12 miles west of Milton Keynes with its super-fast, 35-minute train service to London Euston and easy access to the motorway network, via junction 14 of the M1 or junction 9 of the M40, surely helped to clinch the deal.
Metaphorically at least, not one of Foscote’s mellow stones was left unturned in the course of the restoration of the house and gardens that followed. The manor’s 11,345sq ft of living space includes an impressive reception hall, a staircase hall with a fine, ornate, 17th-century oak staircase, a light, triple-aspect drawing room, a splendid double-height dining room and a full-height oak-panelled sitting room.
Other well-planned rooms include an informal dining room and a light, modern family kitchen. Three first-floor bedroom suites include a vast master suite occupying the south and west wing with views over the park and two guest suites; the second floor houses four further bedrooms and two shared bathrooms.
Foscote Manor has been a blissful weekend retreat for its current owners, but with many family members having already moved on, the time has come to downsize. With little left to worry about, the next incumbents can make the most of the manor’s many amenities, which include lovely landscaped gardens, stabling, a swimming pool, a tennis court and a two-acre lake.
It may well be that the chronic shortage of high-quality country houses that has plagued the market in recent years could finally work to the advantage of substantial country houses that have been completely renovated in a style likely to appeal to today’s younger, more impatient buyers, who are bored with sitting on the sidelines and would be more than content to buy the entire contents of the house if it meant that all they had to do was walk through the door and unpack their bags.
A ‘manor house in miniature’ full of beautiful Tudor features
Motor vehicles aren’t permitted on Easdale Island.