Smewyns' Manor House has a history which can be dated back to the 11th century, and its moated enclosure is a Listed Ancient Monument. Some believe it is the original site of Shottesbrooke Manor as mentioned in the Domesday Book. This was the place where the Royal Goldsmith fashioned crowns for the Anglo-Saxon Kings. Legend has it that the house was at one time used as a hunting seat in the Forest of Windsor by Prince Arthur, the eldest son of the Tudor King, Henry VII. In the early 18th century, it was the home of the famous theologian, Henry Dodwell.
Smewyns, now called the 'Moat House,' is approached from Smewins Road and a sweeping gravel driveway. The property as it exists today comprises a late medieval cross-wing with 16th Century work at right angles and later additions and alterations. Its best features include the timber framing, both close studded and open boxed framed, the central brick Tudor chimney with wood burning stoves and the simple Georgian features of the parlour. These character features create a perfect fusion with the 'creature comforts' of the modern age which can be found in abundance as the property was sympathetically and skillfully extended/modernized in 1995.
Smewyns' Manor is
a private residence which can just be glimpsed from the roadside, between
the barns which adjoin it. Text and photograph courtesy of Hamptons
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