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House and Gardens

House History

Pauntley Court is believed to be the birthplace of Dick Whittington and was home to the Whittington family for nearly 300 years.

It is half-timbered with three gables on the east side, part medieval, part Elizabethan and with an early 18th Century addition. Historians would find it almost impossible to completely unravel its many architectural threads. The Marquis of Somerset in the 17th Century wanted to build “a great house of stone” here but only foundations were laid. The Stokes family added on the ballroom in the early 18th-century and in the last century it was a working and somewhat dilapidated farm.

Today, it is painted a pinkish earth colour, reflecting the iron-rich soil of the area, and curled around a central courtyard, it glows rosily in the evening sun, surrounded by munching cows and sheep. Its only neighbours a Dovecote, the Norman Church and the farmyard.

John Masefield, Poet Laureate, who grew up in the area, loved it and called it “a place of great beauty and strangeness”. He helped to raise funds for the house to become a Home for Wayfarers in the early 1930s.

Gardens and surroundings

The formal gardens were created by Melissa’s mother Christine Skelding who has lived at Pauntley since 1990. There is a charming sheltered herb garden with a statue of Pan at its centre. To the south east of the house is the cloister garden planted with pleached hornbeams and two deep herbaceous borders. The sunken garden has beds of tulips, alliums and roses, bordered by box and lovely oak balustrading created by a local craftsman. Quinces and medlars help to enhance the Elizabethan feel. Views from the bedrooms are of the ruin garden, where foundations of a great house planned by the Somerset family, have been planted in yew. The garden uses stone and local bricks in an artistic manner, which might provide owners of gardens with inspiration, and which ensure even in winter the garden has an elegant bone structure.


Guest can walk further afield to the surrounding land along side the River Leadon, where if you are lucky you might spot an otter or glimpse wild ducks landing on the lower ponds.

If you have your fishing rod to hand, why not cast a fly into the Old Mill Pond, and see if you can hook a brown trout or two?

There is a tennis court on the property that you are welcome to use, and for keen equestrians, we can also make special arrangements for stabling of a horse if required.