The best of both worlds
Country Life UK|September 09, 2020
The best of both worlds
Two Oxfordshire properties that espouse the benefits of town and country living hit the market
Penny Churchill

LONDON families who are looking for a safe haven in the country within easy reach of the capital can enjoy the best of both worlds in either of two very different manors currently on the market in rural Oxfordshire.

For sale at a guide price of £8 million through the country department of Hamptons International (020–7493 8222), Grade II*- listed The Manor at Aston Tirrold, near Wallingford, south Oxfordshire, has been the much-loved home of three generations of the Harris family since 1975.

That was when its owner, Bryan Harris, returning to the UK after working overseas, spotted an advertisement for the house in a copy of COUNTRY LIFE that was lying on a table in the waiting room of his London lawyer’s office. Pointing to the picture of the classic Queen Anne house, he reputedly said to his man of business, ‘when I’m rich enough, I’m going to buy a house like that’. His lawyer replied, ‘well you are, and you can!’ So he did.

Later that year, Mr Harris and his wife, Betty, moved with their four daughters to the imposing, late-17th-century manor house, the principal house of the village, set in seven acres of idyllic gardens and grounds next to the 12th-century church of St Michael and All Angels, also listed Grade II*.

Aston Tirrold, whose name derives from the Old English for ‘east town’ and its ownership by ‘Nicholas, son of Torold’, who held the manor in 1166, was part of Berkshire before being transferred to Oxfordshire following the 1974 boundary changes. It lies on the edge of the North Wessex Downs AONB, three miles south-east of Didcot, a picturesque and protected area traversed by gallops, bridleways, cycle and footpaths, that offers endless opportunities for lovers of sport or Nature.

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September 09, 2020