Country houses for sale

A stupendous William-and-Mary house just outside Oxford to delight even the most demanding house hunter

Little Manor in Tackley is anything but little — nor is the asking price, for that matter. But it's as beautiful and well-located a house as we've seen in some time. Penny Churchill reports.

Little Manor in the village of Tackley, three miles from Woodstock and 12 from Oxford city centre, projects the grace and sophistication of life at the cutting edge of academia.

Reflecting its innate superiority, the exquisite, Grade II-listed William-and-Mary house, originally built as a rectory in 1696, is on the market with Knight Frank.

It stands on high ground overlooking the village and its church of St Nicholas, with far-reaching views across the Cherwell valley, yet is itself invisible from the outside world.

Approached through Cotswold-stone entrance gates and along a tree-lined gravel drive, the house stands in nine acres of immaculate formal gardens, grounds and paddocks, where sporting prowess can be displayed on the Astroturf tennis court, in the all-weather cricket nets, in the squash court, on the manicured turf of the paddocks or in the heated outdoor swimming pool.

During their tenure, the current owners have carried out an intensive programme of renovation and refurbishment of Little Manor’s elegantly proportioned rooms, which are a pleasing mix of early- and late-Georgian styles, with a mid- to late-19th-century former chapel in the Gothic Revival style — a nod to its ecclesiastical origins.

The house boasts 6,461sq ft of well-designed living space on three floors, notably the drawing room, in which two smaller rooms have been combined to form one gracious reception room, and the family-friendly kitchen/breakfast room.

As fine a wine cellar as you could hope for, meanwhile, is down below.

On the ground floor are located four main reception rooms, the chapel room/study, the kitchen/breakfast room and the flower room, with the master suite and two guest bedrooms on the first floor and a further four bedrooms on the second floor.

Little Manor is an architectural gem deftly arranged to appeal both to the most demanding of international buyers and the most successful of Britain’s high-achievers, neither of whom is likely to balk at the ‘excess of £10m’ guide price quoted by Rupert Sweeting of selling agents Knight Frank.

Little Manor is for sale via Knight Frank — see more pictures and details.