Mercia House is a stunning, 4-bedroom (sleeps 8), 5-bathroom holiday home that cleverly combines its original, mid-16th century character (as seen from the roadside) with a contemporary light and bright entertaining space, luxury bathrooms and a fantastic garden, terrace and patio to the rear, plus private parking for 2/3 vehicles. Right in the heart of Winchcombe, Mercia House is a few minutes’ walk from award-winning pubs and restaurants, boutiques and food shops and just 15 minutes’ walk to the fabulous Sudeley Castle, making it the ideal location for a friends’ reunion, a family gathering or a wedding party visiting Sudeley Castle.
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- Open Fire / Wood Burner
- Pub within 1 mile
- Shop within 1 mile
- Parking - x2
- Travel Cot - x1
- High Chair - x1
- Bedding & towels
Updated 30 Oct 2020
Full Description & House Rules
From Hailes Road, Mercia House will strike you as an interesting medieval property, with exposed timbers and the classic overhang, or jettying, of homes of the mid-16th century. You could be forgiven, however, for thinking it might not be big enough or luxurious enough to sleep eight guests comfortably. But, as the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover… Mercia House is much, much more than it looks from the roadside!
The original part of Mercia House (which includes today’s Sitting Room, Snug, Bedrooms 3 and 4 and the side that you see from Hailes Road), dates back to the mid-16th century, while the rear of the house, including the open-plan kitchen-living-dining area, study/playroom, family shower room, Bedrooms 1 and 2 and terrace/patio, is an uber-stylish, contemporary addition made by the current owners in 2018. The objective of the renovation was to take the medieval house back to the 16th century original as much as possible, then to add modern glass, steel and wood to the rest. That objective has been very effectively achieved – creating a brand-new home with modern heating, insulation, wiring, plumbing, new foundations and sound proofing around the core and facia of a stunning medieval property.
At the back of the house is a delightful outdoor space, including an elevated terrace directly outside the open-plan dining-living area, with fabulous views to the Isbourne Valley and Sudeley Hill, a large patio with outdoor furniture and a charcoal BBQ for al fresco dining, and a long sloping lawn with mature trees and planted borders that leads down to a garden gate and the steps to the private parking area.
Winchcombe is an elegant and timeless Cotswold town with a host of amenities, including award-winning pubs, restaurants, art galleries, independent boutiques and interior design and antique shops – all a stone’s throw from Mercia House, making it perfectly possible to stay here without the need to use a car. Mercia House is also a short stroll to the Cotswold Way, River Isbourne and Sudeley Castle and Gardens.
- Sleeps 8 in 4 double bedrooms (1 super king-size, 1 king-size, 1 standard double, 1 twin)
- 5 bathrooms: 2 family shower rooms; 1 ensuite shower room; 1 ensuite bath/shower room; 1 ensuite bathroom
- Parking for 2-3 cars
- Private enclosed garden, patio and terrace – safe for children.
- 2 fireplaces with wood burners – logs and kindling supplied for first fire.
- All bed linen, bath towels and tea towels provided
- Hairdryer x2
- Kitchen starter consumables: teabags, Nespresso coffee pods, sugar, fresh milk.
- Cleaning starter pack: dishwasher tablets, scourer, cloth, washing up liquid, bin bags
- Bathroom essentials: hand soap, toilet paper, shampoo, shower gel
- Heating and hot water e.g. via central heating with individual thermostat controls
- Free Wi-Fi
- TV – 1 large Smart TV in Living Area
- Fully equipped kitchen with toaster, kettle, coffee machine (Nespresso), utensils, crockery, cutlery, glassware (champagne flutes, tumblers and wine and water glasses) cafetiere, bakeware, food preparation (grater, jug, sieve), saucepans, kitchen foil, cling film, kitchen paper
- Oven – double fan oven
- Hob – 5-ring gas
- Washing machine
- Ironing board, iron, clothes airer
- Vacuum cleaner
- Baby/Child Equipment: 1x highchair, 1x travel cot (cot linen not supplied)
- Outdoor patio/seating area
- Garden furniture – seats 8
- BBQ (charcoal) – please provide your own charcoal
- Safety equipment: fire extinguisher, fire blanket, carbon monoxide monitor, smoke alarm, First Aid kit.
The front of Mercia House in on Hailes Street (named after nearby Hailes Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1246). Step through the ancient doorway into the original part of this impressive house, with the Sitting Room to the left and the Snug to the right. (Note: guests’ first entry will be via the rear garden terrace into the open-plan kitchen-dining-living area.)
This historic room features an inglenook fireplace, with a woodburner, beautiful parquet flooring and exposed original oak beams. It is furnished with a two-seater sofa and two beautiful leather “bucket” chairs, while a resplendent chess table is laid up ready for a game and a long case clock watches silently over the scene. This room was originally the servants’ quarters, where they would have cooked food and roasted food in the large fireplace, which would have also heated their masters in the master bedroom above. At the back right-hand side of the fireplace is an oven where bread would have been baked. The long case clock was made about 250 years ago in Winchcombe. At the time, there were about 13 clock makers in the town. In those times, when someone became wealthy, they would buy a long case clock. The wealth in Winchcombe came from the local wool trade, which supplied the garment industry in England at the time.
Across the hallway from the Sitting Room is the Snug, which again features a stone hearth and woodburner, beautiful parquet flooring and exposed original beams. With its large antique desk, seating and bookcases full of a wide choice of reading matter, this is a great room to hide away to read, relax or work.
Walk through to the rear of the house, down three steps and into the magnificent and contemporary ground floor extension:
The handy Utility Room is where the washer and dryer are located, as well as a sink and cupboards housing an iron and all the various appliances’ operating and maintenance manuals. (A locked door leads to the basement; this is for housekeeper/owner access only.)
Continue through to the rear of the house, along the spectacular hallway with its vaulted ceiling and bridge. Originally, this would have been an outdoor passageway, providing access to the land at the back, most likely to take sheep to graze. The current owners included the high and light ceiling to preserve the aspect and feel of the original use of the passageway.
Kitchen-Dining Area-Living Area
This open plan, contemporary centrepiece of the house has fantastic views of the garden and uninterrupted countryside, sweeping up the Isbourne valley towards woodland and Sudeley Hill. Three sets of double doors open out to the terrace, which leads to the patio and garden.
At the centre of the spacious and very well-equipped kitchen is a large island with a breakfast bar with three seats and a 5-ring gas bob. Chefs will enjoy the fabulous view out to the terrace and beyond while they cook. The back half of the kitchen is fully equipped with immaculate white units, a large wooden preparation surface, dishwasher, double ceramic sink and double AEG fan oven.
In front of the kitchen and beside the French doors to the terrace is a long, rectangular wooden table comfortably seating eight guests. Diners can enjoy the fabulous view or chat to the chefs in the kitchen!
Set to one side of the open plan area, the living area has two inviting sink-in, three-seater sofas, a statement glass coffee table, a large Samsung smart TV, and a fabulous view, So, guests can chose to relax, watch TV, read, play a game or simply unwind.
Head back along the hallway and up three oak steps to:
Family Shower Room
The ground floor shower room features a walk-in shower, with overhead and hand-held shower heads, a wash basin and a WC.
The windows of this bright and light room overlook the Kitchen to one side and the Living Area to the other. It’s an ideal space to sit and work at the antique wooden desk, yet stay connected to the rest of the group, or to pop little ones for some quiet play or rest time. (Note: a double cupboard houses the property’s heating controls.)
Historic point of interest: Where the staircase, downstairs bathroom and small study-playroom are now, were originally out buildings, which most likely housed workers or were used for storage. Over time these building became incorporated into the main house as it has been designed today. Later, probably in the 1970s, the current study-playroom became the home’s kitchen at that time.
Head up the beautiful oak staircase to the first floor where you will find access to two new bedrooms (1 and 2) and the original ‘Master’s Room’, now Bedroom 3 (above the Sitting Room). The three rooms are connected via a bridge that was built by the current owners to allow access to the back bedrooms and attic bedroom without the need to go through the master bedroom, as would have been the case in olden times. All the bedrooms have soft sisal carpeting.
This bright and light modern bedroom features a standard double bed with bedside tables and reading lights and a hanging rail for clothes. A rear window provides a lovely view over the garden and out to the surrounding Cotswold countryside, while an internal window allows guest to look down to the open-plan kitchen and dining area below.
Family Shower Room
Original oak floorboards have been used to create the shower room floor, giving it a nod to the medieval past, alongside a sleek contemporary walk-in shower (with overhead and hand-held shower heads), a wash basin, with mirror and shaver point, a heated towel rail and WC.
Head down five stairs and up one to a small landing. Turn right into Bedroom 2.
The entrance to this beautiful, contemporary bedroom has a long double wardrobe to one side and a fabulous ensuite shower room to the other.
The ensuite is a real show-stopper shower room – just look up to see why! The high ceiling showcases a mass of original beams, onto which the sunlight shines through a Velux window. The shower room has a large walk-in shower (with overhead and hand-held shower heads), a wash basin in a bespoke wooden vanity unit, with mirror and shaver point, a heated towel rail and WC.
Contemporary Bedroom 2 features a king-size double bed, with bedside tables and reading lamps and another fabulous view to the garden and the Isbourne Valley beyond.
Head back to the landing and up five stairs to Bedroom 3 – the original “Masters’ Room”:
Originally, the master room was not only a bedroom but also a living room and place where the master of the house would have received guests. Today, this spacious ensuite room is a stunning medieval masterpiece, with exposed original oak beams and plenty of 16th century character, including a small sample of some original wattle and daub that the owners have left exposed next to the door to the ensuite bathroom. Furnished with a super king-size bed on an antique sleigh-style frame, bedside tables and reading lamps, an antique chest of drawers with a solid marble top and a hanging rail. This bedroom has plenty of space for a travel cot – or to simply hide away and relax for a while. Windows to the front look out over Hailes Street, while an internal window, which originally would have looked out to the garden or sheep pasture, now has a view down through the glass and oak staircase to the hallway and Bedroom 1.
Step through a latched door to the:
Ensuite: this is the kind of bathroom most people dream of relaxing in, with its freestanding roll-top bath with central taps, placed just so you can lie in the tub while looking out at the stars! Or if you prefer, there’s a super spacious, walk-in shower (with overhead and hand-held shower heads), plus a full-length mirror, wash basin, with mirror and shaver point, and a heated towel rail.
Head back to the main landing, cross the ‘bridge’ and go through an oak door to take the winding wooden staircase up to the top-floor bedroom in the eaves:
The stairs leading up to Bedroom 4 open to a dressing area with a bath, with hand-held over-bath shower and central taps, set into the eaves under the original timbers – a truly unique bathing experience! Beside the bath, through a door, is a WC and wash basin. It’s not just the bathing that’s unique up here in the eaves, the bedroom is too: head up one step and duck down under a low beam into this twin bedroom. The bedroom is furnished with two single beds on Victorian-style metal bed frames, a central bedside table with reading lamp, two storage chests, a luggage rack and an adjustable hanging rail. The view from the top floor windows out across the rooftop and valley and countryside beyond is inspiring to say the least!
Mercia House has a fabulous outside space, particularly considering it is in the centre of Winchcombe. Step out of the open-plan dining-living area, through one of three double French windows, onto the elevated terrace running the width of the house. From the terrace enjoy the great view across the Isbourne Valley and up Sudeley Hill, then head down the steps to the patio where there is a dining table and seating for all eight guests, a parasol for sunny days and a Weber charcoal BBQ. A further set of wooden steps take you down to the attractive, sloping garden with a pretty lawn, tall, mature trees and beds full of shrubs and flowers. A path along the side of the garden leads to the back gate and steps down to the parking area where there is room for 2-3 cars to park.
Historic note of interest: The outhouse in the garden would most likely have been a toilet – before toilets were indoors. This one is quite large and probably served two homes, as there is a door at each end. One door still exists today, and you can just make out the outline of the other at the other end. Happily, Mercia House now has five indoor toilets!
The town has several food shops, including a Co-Operative Food store and a Warner’s Budgens, both well-stocked with fresh produce and store cupboard essentials. Vale & Hills Family Butchers sells local meat; North’s Bakery sells a great selection of bread, pastries and baked goodies; and Food Fanatics Deli, Wholefood Store and Café, sells a wide range of specialty foods to eat in or take away.
For a larger or more varied shop, Tesco Superstore in Bishop’s Cleeve is just a 15-minute drive away, whilst Cheltenham’s impressive selection of stores, eateries and amenities are just a 25-minute drive.
- Wesley House Restaurant & Wine Bar, High Street
- Number 5, North Street
- The Old Corner Cupboard, 83 Gloucester Street
- The Lion Inn, 37 North Street
- Plaisterers Arms, Abbey Terrace
- The White Hart, High Street
- The Royal Oak, Gretton, Nr Winchcombe
- Honey Bea’s Cafe, 6 Hailes Street
- Food Fanatics Deli and Coffee Shop, 12 North Street
- Winchcombe Fish Bar, North Street
- Winchcombe Chinese, 17 North Street
- Rosie’s Grill – Thai (take out or eat in)
The Mid-counties Co-operative, 22-24 North Street. Open 7am-10pm
Warner’s Budgens, Greet Rd. Open 7am-9pm
Winchcombe has a wide variety of independent stores and high street names, including a bakery, butchers, pharmacy, newsagent, dry cleaners, hair and beauty salons, clothing boutiques and gifts shops. All are within a few minutes’ walk of Mercia House.
Walking & Cycling Guides
NorthleachAndoversford-MWS Bibury-MWS Bibury-River-Coln-MWS Great Rissington-MWS Bourton and Wyck-MWS Guiting Power - MWS Northleach-MWS Salperton-MWS Stow-on-the-Wold-MWS
CheltenhamAndoversford-MWS Charlton-Kings-MWS Cleeve-Common Cleeve-Hill-West-Downs-MWS Cleeve South-WOW Crickley-Hill-WOW Leckhampton Loop Circular Brockhampton-MWS Winchcombe-Sudeley-Valley-MWS Salperton-MWS Cleeve-Common-Circular-Walk Cranham-Circular-Walk
Bourton-on-the-WaterBourton Circular-WWS Great Rissington-MWS Harford Bridge-MWS Bourton and Wyck-MWS Guiting Power and Castlett-MWS Naunton-Circular-WWS Salperton-MWS
On entering Winchcombe, follow the High Street – with signs to Sudeley Castle off to your right-hand side. Pass North Street on your left, then take the first right down Bicks Lane (opposite Newsum Antiques). Turn left at the bottom of the lane. Mercia House parking is a gravel driveway on the left-hand side directly after a white garage door. (Note: the front of Mercia House is on Hailes Street.)
There is space for 2 cars (3 if parked carefully) on Silk Mill Lane. See directions above for details of how to find the parking area. (If you have more than 2/3 cars, you can park all day for just £1 in Back Lane car park, next to The Library, GL54 5PZ, which is just a few minutes’ walk away.)
The closest train station to Winchcombe is Cheltenham Spa, a 25-minute drive away.
The ‘W’ bus service, operated by Stagecoach Buses, runs between Cheltenham and Winchcombe.