|Manor Holding is a Grade II, half timbered, cottage farmhouse in the scattered hamlet of Kingswood, so named after the royal forest of Wyre in whose centre it stands. Traces of the kings’ fortified hunting lodge can be seen in a nearby field.
This ancient oak forest stands on the west bank of the Severn, south of the Iron Bridge Gorge. The beautiful countryside around it, much of it classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is rich in historic settlements and other places of interest.
The cottage stands in 5 acres of wild flower meadows and ancient orchards, won from the forest before the industrial revolution and rich in wild life including frequent visits by herds of fallow deer. The heart of the forest and tributary valleys are home to one of the largest Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England, which includes the cottage’s orchards.
The forest is laced with cycling and horse riding trails as well as a comprehensive network of footpaths, connecting right to the door of the cottage. Though few strangers find their way to this remoter part.
Rustic seclusion is the characteristic that strikes most people first about the cottage, as it is hidden away 100m off a rough forest track, half a kilometre from the nearest country lane. Even when you reach the cottage it is difficult to find the door, which faces the forest rather than the drive. Once here visitors immediately notice the old world charm of the crooked timber frame, leaning walls and low ceilings.
The cottage is naturally warm and full of sunlight, this being enhanced by white painted walls, pale terracotta ground floor and invisible under floor heating. It is south facing with a sheltered front garden of remarkable fertility.
The cottage has two bedrooms at first floor and 3 rooms plus hall downstairs. It has been restored using appropriate materials, such as earth daub, lime plaster and green oak, to regain some of it’s original character, and has an inglenook and old stone bread oven. Though the latter has not been used for some time.
The yard, terminus of the drive, is on the north side of the cottage. It is surrounded by a ruined stone and brick pig sty, a small converted barn, a high hedge bank and a stone outhouse and scullery leading off the east gable of the cottage.
The nearest town is Bewdley some 4 miles East across the forest, an ancient river port with medieval streets and Thomas Telford's fine multi-arched stone bridge. The Severn Valley steam trains run from here connecting to Bridgnorth and the mainline at Kidderminster.
A similar distance to the West lies the small rural town of Cleobury Mortimer with several excellent taverns, close by the impressive 550m high Titterdown Clee hill, outlier of the Welsh mountains.
Half an hour to the West is the well preserved medieval border town of Ludlow with its delightful narrow streets and market square at the castle gate. This town boasts several Michelin listed restaurants and some of the best food shops in the region.
Accommodation: 1 Double bedroom, 1 twin bedroom. Cot available on request. Bedding, linen and towels provided as standard.
Domestic facilities: Electricity, under floor central heating, gas cooker, microwave, double sink, washing machine tumble dryer and washing line, fridge/freezer, toilet, bath with shower, generous parking in yard, and cycle shelter by arrangement..
Local Attractions: Wyre Forest including foot, cycle and bridleway networks linked directly to the cottage, stables at Far Forest and toward Cleobury, Forestry Visitor Centre Callow Hill, River Severn for fishing, canoeing and rowing, the Clee Hills part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Severn Valley Steam Railway, West Midlands Safari Park, historic towns of Bewdley, Bridgnorth, Ironbridge and Ludlow, Stourport marina and fairground, Forest Glades Leisure Centre Kidderminster, Rays Farm Wildlife Centre (Country Matters TV programme), Witley Court, Stokesay Castle (both owned by English Heritage), Telford Ice Skating Rink.. Severn Valley Way, Jack Witton Way and the new Sabrina Way long distance paths.
Local facilities: General store Far Forest 2.5ml. Good pubs: Lem Hill, Far Forest, Kinlet, Button Oak, Callow Hill, Pound Green, Stotteston, Cleobury Mortimer, Bewdley.
Mainline rail station: Kidderminster or change there for Severn Valley Steam Railway Stations: Bewdley or Arley (The latter suitable for cyclists or hikers only).
Bus: Nos.125,751 (Thurs) alight Button Bridge, No.292 alight Lem Hill / Far Forest