The Cotswolds doesn’t get much more historic than this! ‘The Wold’ is an 800ft hill and the small town of Stow sits on the crossroads of the old Roman ‘Fosse Way’ which linked Exeter with Lincoln and a major Saxon route connecting Cheltenham with Banbury. The Normans established the current town to take advantage of trade and fairs have been held here since 1330.
This being the Cotswolds the history goes much deeper. Stone Age and Bronze Age burial mounds abound hereabouts, and remnants of an Iron Age fort have been found on Stow Hill. Stow was also the site of the last battle of the English Civil War which ended with the surrender of the market square.
Barksdale manor – fully catered
for up to 12 guests
Sitting just off the Fosse Way between Stow and the rather damply named Moreton-in-the-Marsh Barksdale Manor is our top of the range escape property. It’s super-lavish, super-luxurious and super-elite. It’s owned by a Texan who has spent squillions on the interior, the upkeep of the building and the gardens, overseen by a full-time gardener and resident estate guardian – and as you can see they love their work and Barksdale is their pride and joy.
All creature comforts
great and small
Really the photographs say it all – Barksdale Manor is simply awesome. The bedrooms and shared areas are exceptionally well-appointed. The dining table can seat 16 (if you have a bigger party than 12 please ask as there is an adjacent lodge that can be made available). The décor is quintessential English country house, blended with a some rather good Texan landscape paintings. We’ve been in the hospitality business some years now, but it’s hard to imagine better.
The gardens are delightful and manicured to the point of perfection. If you met Keira Knightly and Hugh Grant taking tea on the lawn with Julia Roberts and George Clooney, all dressed in period costume, you wouldn’t be at all surprised. There is a hard tennis court and a lovely croquet lawn. The vegetable garden and fruit orchard provide produce for the table in season. The English country house escape may get better than this – but we haven’t seen it.
Around and about
Barksdale Manor is so lovely that, once here, you might not want to go outside the gates until it’s time to leave. However, if you do, the Cotswolds is the biggest area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in England or Wales, a 25 mile by 90 mile stretch of rolling hills that takes in six different English counties. It’s a bit like spending a few days as an extra in the cast of Larkrise to Candleford meets Downton Abbey.
Stow and Moreton are well worth a visit. The market square in Stow shows just how important a place it was for the wool trade in medieval times. There is a good selection of stone-built pubs and Stow is known for its antique shops. Moreton was a posting stop for coaches on the London-Oxford-Worcester route and the high street has some lovely old watering holes. The most notable is The Bell Inn, which is widely accepted as being Tolkien’s model for The Prancing Pony in his Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy, in the town of Bree (also said to be modelled on Moreton).
Depending how long you will be staying with us we will be delighted to drive you around the area (super-helpful for the brewery tasting!) and provide a guide to help you make the most of your time. When you book we’ll give you a list of what you can choose to do on the specific days you stay. Alternatively, just stay put at home and we’ll look after you.
3 Night Weekend or 4 Night Midweek (arrival after 4.30pm)
8 People: £24,000
6 People: £21,000
4 People: £16,000
How to Book
For us every guest and every booking is special – so we don’t book online, we prefer to speak directly. Just click the enquiry button and we’ll start a conversation.