Foxhill Manor, built in 1909 in the Arts & Crafts style, sits at the heart of the private 400-acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway. It’s a stunning country house with long views and eight spacious bedrooms and suites. This year, the graceful old lady has been restored to her original glory, in a £multi-million refurbishment by the family who have owned her since 1970.
The manor originally sat at the heart of its own 100- acre estate, high on the Cotswold escarpment above Willersey and Broadway. Today the grounds have merged into the 400-acre Farncombe Estate with its own woods, footpaths and lakes.
The stories that surround Foxhill Manor take us from the Arts & Crafts ideal to WW2 military heroism. The building was designed by Joseph Lancaster Ball, a Yorkshire-born architect who designed a number of important houses and offices in Birmingham.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the Manor is its layout, which consists of an East-West facing body and four wings that reach out for sunshine at all times of day. At the front of the house is a sweeping gravel drive, a wonderful setting for wedding processions and classic cars. At the back, a sunset terrace has uninterrupted views over the Vale of Evesham towards the Malverns and – on a clear day – the mountains of Wales.
A slice of war history
The Dam Busters – and their secret weapon, the Bouncing Bomb – are two of the most famous stories of the Second World War. Foxhill Manor was the family home of a local young RAF pilot who was involved in the design of the bombs and their deployment over Germany.
Henry Maudslay DFC was a gifted, dedicated and brave young man who died during the courageous mission to attack the Ruhr dams and his family lived at Foxhill Manor throughout the war, from 1937 to 1954. Of the nine aircraft which attacked the dams, only five survived – one of them Henry Maudslay’s. But on his flight back to England at around 2.30am on 17 May, his plane was shot down close to the Dutch border. It burst into flames, with the loss of Maudslay and all his crew.
Members of the Maudslay family – Henry Maudslay’s nieces for instance – remember the old house from their childhood and confirm that very little has changed from the outside. In this meticulous renovation, the Cotswold stone mullions, fireplaces and original grand staircase have been conscientiously preserved by Zenith, a builder based in Malvern. Local craftsmen built the Manor and local craftsmen have brought the building back to life.