History carved into the fabric of farmhouse with royal connections

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History is carved in stone at Shifford Manor Farm, an historic property in the Oxfordshire Thames Valley that has come onto the market for the first time in over a century with a price tag of £4.4 million.

The rear of the farmhouse, at Old Shifford, near Bampton, was built in the late 1600s, with a new front range erected in the late 1800s. And one of the stones making up the door arch bears the carved initials RW, recalling the Wallace family, who lived here for 300 years.

The house last changed hands in 1906, when the current owners’ great, great grandparents – the Carters – bought the farm.

And the house boasts Royal connections: Princess Anne came to the farm in 2001 to watch disabled drivers show off their pony and trap skills in her role as president of Riding for the Disabled Association; while back in 890AD King Alfred the Great held a witan in the parish – perhaps on land now comprising part of the farm estate itself.

The property is being sold in six lots. Lot 1, the handsome Grade II listed farmhouse with its four reception rooms, five bedrooms and three attic rooms, sits in over 163 acres of pastureland with views over water meadows and open farmland to the River Thames.

The land, which comes with associated farm buildings, includes nearly one mile of Thames riverbank and a 26 acre lake with an island, both of which offer excellent fishing potential. There are also small pieces of woodland, and a shoot has been run on the farm in the past.

The house itself is packed with original features, not least the 17th century open-well staircase with turned balusters and ball finials, which are recorded by English Heritage.

Lot 2 is a three bedroom single storey property – Acacia Bungalow – sitting in a shade over 20 acres of pastureland, including a half acre of paddocks.

The lot – which has a guide price of £500,000 – also includes a terrace of three cottages, which were destroyed by fire some years ago. Walls and chimney breasts are still visible.

And the farmland is bounded by the pretty chapel of St Mary’s Church, the third church to be built on Saxon foundations. A Saxon preaching cross can be found in the churchyard.

Lots four and five are parcels of arable farmland, extending to nearly 80 acres and 125 acres respectively, and commanding guide prices of £560,000 and £870,000.

And lot five comprises a pair of semi detached, three bedroom cottages, offered for £420,000, while lot 5A, 2.28 acres of arable land situated to the rear of the cottages, ideal for conversion to a paddock, has an asking price of £25,000.

Despite the rural situation of the property, local amenities and communications are excellent. The nearby villages of Aston and Standlake each have a shop, post office, pub and primary school, while the pretty market town of Bampton, four miles away, offers further amenities.

Oxford is 13 miles away, and offers a direct rail service to London, which can be reached in under an hour.

The farm is being sold through Cirencester-based land and estate agents Moore Allen & Innocent. The firm’s senior partner, Mark Hill, said: “This is a rare opportunity to purchase a traditional farm with considerable residential, agricultural, amenity and sporting appeal.”

For further information log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk or contact the agents on 01285 648115 to arrange a viewing.

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