Country Manor with D-Day link

The historic Old Manor at Milston is for sale through Woolley & Wallis Salisbury – and offers a rare opportunity to purchase this quintessentially English Manor House, which is nestled in an idyllic, secluded setting, with excellent transport links to London and the south coast.

“I initially saw The Old Manor House advertised through Woolley & Wallis, Salisbury and immediately I felt a strong connection to the Old Manor House. I was enthralled by its historical connections to our past.”  Rob Townley Berry

Plans were drawn up for the D-Day landings.

The Pickney family commissioned the Old Manor in 1613; however, ‘Mildison Mannor’ was mentioned much earlier during the reigns of Edward I and Richard II. But it came into its own much later during World War II, where it is well documented that Prime Minister Winston Churchill drew up tentative plans for the invasion of Europe in the Old Manor House. When the current owner, Rob Townley-Berry, explained:

Coils of barbed wire were replaced by sweeping box hedges.

“Previously, if you looked closely, you could see the unfriendly coils of barbed wire along the hedges of the path and iron bars housed the windows in all the rooms. The oddest discovery was numerous telephone wires leading into the house. It has since been discovered that these private telephone wires were once humming with messages to and from the War Office and Downing Street. There was even a wire from Buckingham Palace.” Rob goes on to explain that:

“In this house, tentative plans were drawn up which eventually became the nucleus of the great project on which the Allied invasion of Normandy was built. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the late King George VI and officers of high rank regularly came to the house to confer with General Frederick Edgeworth Morgan who Mr Churchill named in the House of Commons as head of the British and American staff who surveyed the invasion project.”

After the war, The Old Manor was turned into an orphanage until it was restored to its sublime home.

Inspired hit TV Series Call the Midwife

Former residents have even been known to pop by the property and are always welcome, as they have a fascinating story. After the war, the home housed orphans, one of whom became a midwife. This orphan is now an advisor on the BBC hit series Call The Midwife, and her stories have inspired and contributed to the hit TV show. She said this house is filled with many happy memories. I found love and friendship in The Old Manor, and after my engagement, my fiancé and I returned and married at Milston Manor. It holds a special place in my heart and always will.

Breathing new life in a tired home

The Old Manor is substantially built of stone and flint with a mellowed tiled roof and adjoins a 13th-century parish church. Most of the windows are stone mullioned, and the home has many period features, including original oak panelling and a restored oak Jacobean staircase in the heart of the house.

Situated in a beautiful village with excellent transport links only 5 minute’s drive from the A303. The Manor overlooks a substantial English cottage garden with mature shrubs and box hedges; an abundance of scented English roses, lupins, hollyhocks, and scents of honeysuckle waft through the gorgeous dining hall, which features a delicate silk tapestry belonging to The Old Manor and dated over 250 years old. A rambling Wisteria partition invites you to venture to the lower garden to enjoy picnics under an ancient Ash—such a beautiful setting to plan such a harrowing event.

Terry immediately fell in love with The Old Manor and was determined to return it to its former glory.

“I see myself as a custodian of this historic property, and subsequently, I’ve been conscious that all improvements are completed sympathetically. The extensive restoration and renovation work is carried out respectfully within keeping of the era and grandeur of our home.”.

“I employed local artisans to help retain and bring back to life the period features which include the original oak panelling, a jaw-dropping Jacobean oak staircase, stone fireplaces and beautiful exposed stone and flint walls.”

And only some things have been done with maximum effort to achieve the utmost quality. This magnanimous Old Manor has been blasted into the 21st century with modern features. Every suite has its unique character, and the six bathrooms have Italian marble, stone, glass and stainless-steel furniture; the beautiful flagstones have underfloor heating, cast iron radiators, and a plethora of eco-friendly features, yet Milston still retains its original character.

The home has a welcoming element, and it feels like a happy family home, its character ingrained in the oak panel panelling and limestone walls. If only walls could talk, such a story would unfold.

“As a custodian of this property, I am conscious that everything is sympathetically restored in keeping and that the home was treated respectfully. We employed local artisans with the correct skills to help us with our efforts. The magnificent Jacobean staircase took us two years to strip across three floors, which had to be done by hand to remove the layers of paint to reveal such a stunning centre point to this home. Even oak corking was replaced inside the window frames, and heritage paints have been hand-mixed to bring warmth to newly cold-plastered walls. This home has been beautifully restored to its former glory. I will surely be around for another 400 years.

I asked why you moved from such a happy family home so beautifully and painstakingly restored, with your vision materialised. And the reply is simple:

The project is done; now it’s time to move on to another building and turn it into a home. Discover more fascinating stories from bygone eras. Rob is genuinely breathing life back into our English Heritage by faithfully restoring homes to their former glory and ensuring happy families have happy homes for hundreds of years to come.

© Woolley & Wallis 2024

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