Of weathered limestone and silvered oak, this strong Elizabethan manor house commands the valley. Framed between View Edge and Wenlock Edge it overlooks a vision of ‘Old England’: low-intensity farming has nurtured small fields, flower-rich meadows and high hedgerows. Once on a main route traversing Shropshire, with sentinels of pollarded oaks and ancient yews, it is now stoically remote. The spiral turreted staircases, iron-studded doors and long-bow rack bear witness to earlier, unsettled times. Later, its relative abandonment preserved the Elizabethan craftsmanship of plasterwork ceilings, window glass and garderobe tower.
Stone manor, brick stables and winnowing barn were rescued in the nick of time from oblivion, their visionary benefactor creating a hostel for all. With a sense of escape from modern life, people enter the wide arched doorway, cross the worn thresholds, climb the massive oak treads to stay, sleep and immerse themselves in this great dwelling.
Nature also finds shelter: bats roost in the huge stone slates while, on summer evenings, swifts swoop from under the eaves, circling the building and ascending into the ether, their distinctive screaming breaking the stillness.