A complete renovation project awaits the purchaser of a former Grade II Listed, 16th century Worcestershire manor house which was damaged by fire in 1982.
In its prime, Dowles Manor, Dowles Road, Bewdley boasted 16th century architecture and Elizabethan murals painted by travelling Italian artists. But today, the property needs lots of tender loving care to restore it to its former glory.
Prospective buyers will get a chance to bid for the property, which has a guide price of £500,000, at an auction to be held by Halls Kidderminster at Hogarths Stone Manor Hotel, Stone, Kidderminster on Tuesday, June 20 at 6pm.
Some rebuilding work has begun inside the black and white timber framed manor house, the listing of which was removed following the fire. The property also includes an adjoining Lodge, which was previously used as living accommodation, a small brick and tile outbuilding and 5.44 acres of gardens and adjoining rough grazing land and woodland.
Lot two, which has a guide price of £20,000, comprises a further 4.67 acres of woodland.
The property is approached via a gated private driveway which drops down to Dowles Brook on the left and former Italian Rock Gardens on the right. Dowles Manor stands in mature gardens to the front and backs onto woodland and an embankment, which shelters the property from road noise.
The manor house is located within one mile of the picturesque town of Bewdley, just over four miles from Kidderminster, within 15 miles of the M5 motorway at Bromsgrove and 23 miles from Birmingham.
The demise of the manor house was the subject of a video, titled ‘Disaster at Dowles’ produced by Bewdley Civic Society in 2005. Creator, Kenneth Hobson described the loss of “totally irreplaceable” buildings.
The property was owned by Marjorie Sheldon from 1942 until 1982. She had inherited it from her father who died before being able to leave it to the National Trust, having undertaken considerable work on the property.
Sarah Hulland, an agricultural director of Halls based in Kidderminster, described the sale as an “extraordinary opportunity” to purchase and restore a noted manor house.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a former Grade II Listed manor house and rebuild it how the buyer wishes,” she said. “It will appeal to someone who wants to build their forever home.
“The rear of the property has been largely rebuilt and the person who buys it could, with a little work, live in the Lodge whilst they are restoring the rest of the manor house.
“When Marjorie Sheldon lived there with her 35 cats, she employed two full-time gardeners to tend the gardens and grounds.”