The 1,000-year-old Great Tangley Manor in the UK comes with a stunning history-but a price tag of $13.5 million
As the oldest continuously inhabited house in the UK, Great Tangley Manor is closely associated with both the Vanderbilt family and the British monarchy due to its association with both.
The historic manor of Great Tangley Manor in Surrey is the oldest continuously inhabited house in the United Kingdom and recently went on sale for $13.5 million (11 million British pounds). Pevsner Architectural Guide The Buildings of England describes this home, listed by Savills and Strutt & Parker, as “the most impressive of Surrey’s moderate collection of half-timbered houses.”
This 11,255-square-foot property, which sits on 10 acres of land, has been divided largely into two wings: Great Tangley Manor West, and Great Tangley Manor, having a total area of 11,255 square feet. Among its features are three reception areas, a kitchen, a study, a cloakroom, five bedrooms, and three bedrooms, and it has recently served as a vacation rental property.
Meanwhile, Great Tangley Manor was used as the family residence of the current owners, and it features three reception halls, a drawing room, an office, five bedrooms, two dressing rooms, three bathrooms, and a 40-foot heated indoor pool. “The house, although impressive in stature and size, is welcoming, reassuring, and charming,” said Strutt & Parker's country department head Oliver Custance Baker.
Apart from its extensive size and long existence, the home has a unique history that includes encounters with British royalty, American aristocrats, and world-renowned architects. According Rich Report, the manor was originally King John's hunting lodge, though parts of it were destroyed by fire later on. Rebuilding the home as a medieval hall house in the 15th century included adding a Tudor façade, upper floor, and some paneling.
During the Spanish Civil War, the owner reportedly aided the British against the Spanish, and he received timber from the Spanish Armada that can still be seen in the dining room today. As Custance Baker noted, "Great Tangley Manor does not come to market very often, and the sale of this building marks yet another milestone in its long history."
Phillip Webb, often referred to as the father of the Arts and Crafts movement, was hired by Wycham Flower to renovate the house after it was purchased by the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings in the late 1800s. The interior furnishings were designed by William Morris. The property was bought by Colonel Kennard, a member of Parliament, after Flower died, and he hosted Edward VII and Queen Alexandra among others.
Kennard's daughter Victoria and her husband Frederick Ponsonby took over the home when Queen Mary, George V, Duke of York, and Duke of Kent visited. A diamond ring was even placed on the window of the dining room by King George V and Queen Mary. A window in the master suite also bears King George VI's signature.
In 1913, Gladys Vanderbilt, a member of the Vanderbilt family who married Hungarian Count László Széchenyi, spent a summer at Tangley Manor. The current owners of the house purchased the two wings of the house separately and renovated them extensively to unite them. According to Phillipa Dalby Welsh, a real estate agent with Savills' country department, Great Tangley Manor is one of the most beautiful and historic houses she has ever seen.
As this house has been on the site for over a thousand years, and is possibly the longest inhabited house in Britain, Great Tangley has evolved over time as the best craftsmen of the day have carefully planned and executed each addition and renovation."