4 bedroom property for saleMoynes Court, Mathern, Chepstow
Dining by candlelight with friends or relaxing on the sofa with a log fire blazing in the grate, Jan Howells can almost imagine what life was like at Knovil House back in the Elizabethan era.
Her exquisite manor house home is part of famous Moynes Court, in Mathern, a Monmouthshire hamlet of significant historical importance, which today retains all of its period beauty and splendour.
We were looking for a large house for the family to grow into, she remembered. This one had such a terrific 'wow factor' and such a lot of wonderful character. Many of its original features were still there. It was just lovely.
She added: We knew there was a terrifying amount of work to do when we bought it - but we just loved it.
On the wing
Moynes Court was originally the medieval castle of Moyns, built by Sir Bogo de Knovil. Today the gatehouse, moat and mound can still be seen but the house itself was thought to have been rebuilt in the 1570s, using stone from the 13th century house.
Grade II* listed Knovil House forms one wing - or half - of the original manor, and still features much of its original plain glass, set in ovolo mullioned windows, as well as fireplaces, moulding, cornicing and original beams.
All the beautiful old doors are still there as well, said Jan. We were very careful with all the work we did to ensure everything was sympathetic, going to reclamation yards to find door handles and latches, for example, and replastering using lime.
It took two and a half years to complete the renovation project. A new kitchen was installed, with limed oak units, and bathrooms were updated. One now features an elegant clawfoot, rolltop bath. Traditional furniture, such as period style sofas and iron beds, were brought in, and Farrow & Ball paints were used in heritage colours throughout the house.
It was lovely to see it all changing - and to be able to use the rooms ourselves, said Jan.
Firelight and candles
Since then, Knovil House has been both a fabulous family home and guest house. Rooms are light and spacious, and retain their individual attraction.
The sitting room is fantastic for entertaining and has been well used by the family as well. I love the log fire in there, which dates back to 1648, so much that I have it going for about 10 months of the year, she said.
The dining room is wonderful for dinner parties. We have had lots of celebrations in there over the years, including children's birthday parties and anniversaries.
Entertaining at home
The listed garden has also been the scene of many events. Not only does Jan open it up for charity every year, but she has also held a 25th wedding anniversary and her mother's 80th birthday party, there, inviting up to 150 guests.
It is a walled garden, with lots of big beautiful trees. There are Judas trees and other ornamental and Italian plants. It is very attractive and very private, she said.
Like the house, the garden is ideal for entertaining - and we have space for about 60 cars to park!
Quality of life
Overlooking St Pierre Golf and Country Club, as well as open fields, Knovil House enjoys an abundance of wildlife. While sitting in the garden with a cup of tea, Jan will often spot geese, ducks and swans, as well as other birds.
I am moving house very reluctantly, she admitted. I really need something smaller now. But living here has really been a life changing experience.
It has been a fantastic place to spend time and has really brought a wonderful quality to our lives.
Entered via solid Oak front door with raised folded linen panels. Stone step to Oak floor. Mullion window overlooking Gate Lodge. Dado rail. Door to:
Large original stone fireplace with iron fittings. Mullion window with leaded inset panels. Ceiling mouldings. Archway to:
Central stone fireplace with iron backplate dated 1648. Wood flooring. Recessed wall cupboard. Ornate ceiling cornice. Mullion window with leaded glass panels. Deep cill. Oak doorway to:
Slate floor. Built in cupboard. Wide Oak staircase to first floor with mullion window with leaded glass panels on half landing.
Wash hand basin. W.C. Part wood panelled walls. Mullion window with leaded glass panels.
Comprehensive range of wall & base units. Glazed display cabinets. Inset stainless steel one & a half bowl sink unit. Oil fired Aga double oven. Oil fired central heating boiler. French doors opening to garden.
Rear Lobby Area
Terazzo floor. Plumbing for automatic washing machine. Built in cupboard. Door to rear of property.
FIRST FLOOR LANDING
Built in cupboard.
Dual aspect mullion windows with leaded lights. View over garden.
Mullion window with view of Gate Lodge. Doorway to:
Mullion window (Potential for en suite conversion).
Panelled bath with ornate mains shower over. Low level W.C. Pedestal wash hand basin. Airing cupboard with emersion heater. Two mullion windows with leaded panels.
SECOND FLOOR LANDING
Mullioned window to side. Doorway to loft area.
Dual aspect mullion windows with leaded lights with views over garden and beyond. Beamed ceiling and period fireplace.
Bedroom 4 (Potential)
Currently in un-converted state with exposed roof structure and original walls/flooring. Mullion window with leaded glass (currently used for storage).
Setting the scene
The unique setting of Knovil House offers a fantastic combination of historical interest and rural living. The beautiful walled garden, which is also listed, truly compliments this home. Lending privacy, the wall is also clothed in a variety of established climbers. a backdrop to the rest of the garden with its broad lawn and the wonderfully established herbaceous beds and borders, with flowers and ornamental shrubs, set amongst a framework of mature trees, including three rare Judas trees and a Magnolia. Even the approach to the house, with its long tree-lined lane adds a sense of seclusion and close by the parking area you find a gated access into the garden..
Despite its rural tranquility, Knovil House does not feel isolated, according to Jan Howells. Mathern is an extremely popular, well-established conservation village situated just off the A48, with facilities including a village store/post office, public house, Church and village hall. Virtually on the doorstep there's St Pierre Golf and Country Club, whilst the surrounding area is overflowing with all manner of beauty spots, where visitors enjoy walking, riding and cycling. It's within easy reach is the historic walled border town of Chepstow, with its stunning castle and a wealth of shops. The Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley are just a few miles away, as is Caldicot Castle and Country Park. Chepstow and Monmouth also feature renowned state and private schools, as well as a wealth of shops.
WITHIN EASY REACH
Being close to the A48 and only 2.7 miles from the M48 brings Bristol (18 miles), Cardiff (28 miles) and Newport (15 miles) within easy reach, with regional international airports also found at Bristol and Cardiff. There are good high speed rail links to London (Bristol Parkway) with stations also at Chepstow (1.9 miles), Caldicot (3.8 miles) and Severn Beach (4 miles). The Severn Bridges, between Wales and England are also close by, as well as major road and motorway links to the M4 and the M5 interchange. Travelling from London? It's easy to get here via the M4 and M48, being just 125 miles away.
HOW TO GET HERE
From Chepstow take the A48 towards Newport. Turn left after passing through Pwllmeyric. At the sign post for Mathern continue through the village & under the bridge & immediately turn right onto the driveway of Moynes Court. Bear left at the Gatehouse & Knovil's House is at the rear of this property on the right hand side.
Travelling from Bristol or London via the M4, take the M48 (J21 M4) turning off at junction 2 (having crossed the bridge) onto the A48, then left at the roundabout towards Newport before following the directions above.
For those with satellite navigation the postcode is NP16 6HZ
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