“Owlpen in Gloucestershire – ah, what a dream is there!” – Vita Sackville-West
Owlpen Manor stands in a small secluded valley on the edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is considered by many to be amongst UK’s most scenic landscape vistas. The Grade 1 listed Manor House was built and rebuilt organically between 1450 and 1720, before being abandoned and left vacant for nearly 200 years, and then rediscovered and saved by the flourishing artists and architects of the Cotswold’s Arts & Crafts in the early 20th Century. The house is surrounded by a rare survival of Tudor domestic gardens, and several outbuildings which supported the working life of the agricultural estate. Today the Estate is a thriving events venue, licensed to hold wedding ceremonies in the 15th Century Tithe Barn, the adjacent 19thC church, and even the Manor House itself.
In 2018 Connolly Wellingham Architects were appointed to explore opportunities for sensitively expanding the venue facilities within the parameters of the Estate’s exceptional significance.
The scheme proposes a new sunken events hall nestled within the rolling banks of the valley side, discreetly upgrading visitor facilities and reducing the pressure on the existing historic fabric, whilst limiting the visual impact within the AONB. A new slate roof is supported by a rustic roundwood timber structure, opening the south elevation to the surrounding valley, and creating a new garden room from which to enjoy the outstanding Cotswold landscape.
Cover image - ‘Owlpen Manor’ by F.L.Griggs c.1930