A handsome Grade II Listed manor house set in circa 3.17 acres. With secondary accommodation, swimming pool and tennis court. Owners say, "We fell in love with its sense of history. It's also a very light, warm house and perfect for extended family."
Welcome to Muston Manor, a Grade II Listed 17th century manor house (approx. 5,748 ft2) approached via a beautiful tree-lined driveway and set in well-tended grounds of approx. 3.17 acres (1.284 ha), including a walled kitchen garden, hard tennis court and swimming pool.
MAIN HOUSE ACCOMMODATION
- Ground floor: reception hall; drawing room; study; sitting room; dining room; kitchen; breakfast room; cloakroom; shower room; utility room; boot room.
- First floor: five bedrooms in total including a principal bedroom with dressing room, separate walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom; four further bedrooms (three with ensuite facilities); family bathroom.
- Second floor: flatlet providing two bedrooms; sitting room; kitchen; shower room.
Old granary raised on staddle stones; covered log stores; boiler room; greenhouse; pool outbuilding.
GARDEN & GROUNDS
Carefully curated gardens of approx. 3.17 acres with expansive lawns including a croquet lawn; wild flower area; large, walled kitchen garden; sheltered walled terrace encompassing the heated outdoor swimming pool. Further enclosed, walled area currently used for storage of garden equipment.
THE GUIDED TOUR
The journey begins as you approach via the tree-lined drive; a parkland setting befitting this country home. Past the hard tennis court (recently refurbished) and taking in the view of the well-tended lawns before reaching the gravelled parking area, it has, undoubtedly, a ‘sense of arrival’.
Note the Churchill coat of arms above the front door as you enter, and enjoy the sense of history as you tread the floors of many before you. Muston Manor has been a home for nearly 400 years. Its history is reflected in more modern times with the Churchill family (to which a separate history note refers). It is, above all, a home still relevant to modern times, with its accommodation providing practical comforts; a high ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms, and reception rooms suitable for both intimate and elaborate entertaining. Separate accommodation on the second floor has many uses and, either as a welcoming home for one family or for those seeking more flexible usage, Muston Manor has many practical options.
Muston was held by the monastery of Cerne and, from pre-Domesday, was let to a family who derived their name from their religious landlords. The 'de Moustirs' family was still there 300 years later and so the manor itself became known as 'Mustereton' or 'Muston'. After the Dissolution, the manor was sold with other abbey lands to John Bartlett, alias Hancock, and from this family it was bought by John Churchill of Stinsford in 1609.
The Churchills have the longest known connection with Muston Manor and Piddlehinton of any family. They originally came over from Normandy with William the Conqueror. From them were descended not only the John Churchill who bought Muston Manor in 1609, but also the John Churchill who became first Duke of Marlborough and, through him, Winston Churchill. Over the centuries, many Churchills were baptised, married and buried in Piddlehinton church. Several Churchills of Muston were High Sheriffs of the County of Dorset. Most certainly the Churchills built Muston Manor in the 17th century (believed to be 1650), but within 80 years they had moved into Dorchester, having bought Colliton, now the site of County Hall.
Interestingly, the main door arch at Muston Manor is thought to be Saxon in origin. It could have been an existing structure which was incorporated into the house when built. The Churchill family owned Muston Manor until 1901 when it was sold to Clement Tory, although Commander and Mrs Churchill were able to buy the house back again in 1915. They were driving through the valley looking for somewhere to rent before Commander Churchill went on overseas service. They knocked on the door at Muston and Clement Tory readily agreed to them renting and, later, buying it. He was not living there himself at the time.
Clement Tory bought Muston Manor and its 980 acres of farmland from the Trustees of William Churchill in 1906. Although he did not live in the farmhouse, he took an active part in the farming of the land. Commander Kenneth Churchill and his wife, Margaret, lived there with their family for the rest of their lives and became prominent and respected citizens of the village. Commander Churchill was, for many years, a church warden and school manager. He owned and ran Victoria Park Creamery in Dorchester, now Unigate. His wife, Margaret, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Women's Institute. Among many other activities, she organised a home knitting industry in the village. Susan, their daughter, founded the Piddlehinton Brownies in 1940. She married Mark Williams of Bridehead in 1941. Because of the war, their wedding was not in Piddlehinton, as had been that of so many Churchills in previous generations, but in Dorchester on a Saturday morning. This was so their many friends could combine attending with a Dorchester shopping trip, making double use of their scarce war time petrol coupons. Commander and Mrs Churchill's younger son, George, died as a child in 1927. His parents installed the Communion table, reredos, panelling and stalls in the church in his memory.
Their son John sold the house in 1976 after his father's death.
The gardens are designed simply to reflect the status of the house, but not to overwhelm. Old stone walls and rich herbaceous borders intersperse the extensive lawns. A croquet lawn, walled garden and wild flower area add interest, and evenings spent watching the sun go down from the decked area by the river add to the simple pleasures. There are a number of fruit trees (conference pear, fig, apple etc) and the kitchen garden is one redolent of Mr MacGregor’s so famed by Beatrix Potter.
The swimming pool, easily accessible from the sitting room and kitchen, is positioned perfectly. This is a house with an enviable lifestyle.
Just over five miles from the county town of Dorchester, the Piddle Valley captures the essence of rural England with its stunning natural surroundings. Piddlehinton has a history dating back centuries. Its name originates from the River Piddle, which flows through the valley, and the old English word ‘tun’ meaning settlement or town. The river’s gentle meander played a vital role in Piddlehinton's development, providing water for agriculture and sustenance for its residents. In the heart of the village stands the picturesque St. Mary's Church, an historic building dating back to the 13th Century. Its countryside surroundings encompass rolling hills; lush green fields; meandering streams; meadows adorned by wildflowers; hedgerows bursting with life; and ancient oak trees. The riverbanks are a haven for wildlife, making it a delightful spot for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts.
COMMUNITY & CULTURE
Piddlehinton is a vibrant community with a strong sense of local pride. Its annual village fête, held in the summer, is a testament to the community's spirit, drawing both locals and visitors alike. The well-regarded Thimble Inn offers a local pub and plays a central role in Piddlehinton's social fabric.
Overall, the location of the village provides easy access to a wealth of attractions and activities.
Just a short drive away, you can explore the historic town of Dorchester, visit the world-famous Jurassic Coast, or hike through the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Beautiful Ringstead Bay is half an hour's drive away, and of further note is Weymouth & Portland’s National Sailing Academy. First-rate fishing is found on the rivers Frome and Piddle, along with golf at Wareham, Dorchester, Parkstone and Broadstone, and horse racing at Wincanton, Exeter, Salisbury and Bath. There is also an excellent choice of state and public schools in the vicinity. A 40-acre vineyard lies on the adjacent farm.
FOR HISTORY ENTHUSIASTS
Maiden Castle, one of the largest and most impressive Iron Age hillforts in Europe, is just outside nearby Dorchester. This ancient site offers an insight into the region's prehistoric past and provides commanding views of the surrounding landscape. Located in Dorchester, the Dorset Museum, transformed by around £14 million investment, spans 185 million years of Dorset's history.
Use what3words.com to accurately navigate to the exact spot. Search using these three words: presides.outs.crisper
Local Authority: Dorset (West Dorset) Council
Council tax band: H
DOMVS and its Clients give notice that: they have no authority to make or give any representations or warranties in relation to the property. These particulars do not form part of any offer or contract and must not be relied upon as statements or representations of fact. Any areas, measurements or distances are approximate. The text, photographs and plans are for guidance only and are not necessarily comprehensive. It should not be assumed that the property has all necessary Planning, Building Regulation or other consents, and DOMVS has not tested any services, equipment, or facilities. Purchasers must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise. DOMVS is a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme and subscribes to The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice.
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