Chevaliers Gatehouse sleeping up to 4 guests
Chevaliers is one of the most romantic and historically significant Elizabethan gatehouses in the country, often compared to the Tower at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent in which Vita Sackville-West created her library and wrote her many books. Prince Rupert, nephew of Charles I and commander of the royalist troops, stayed in the Gatehouse during the Civil War and the panelled bedroom he slept in is named after him.
A set of linen tapestries in the Gatehouse, known as 'The Four Seasons of Prince Rupert', celebrate his life as a soldier, naval commander, print-maker and scientist, as well as his visit to the Bridgnorth area during the Civil War.
This unique and historic self-contained property is available to rent either for romantic short-break weekends for a minimum two nights, by the week, or over holiday periods. Several times a year, it is taken over as a writers' retreat.
Chevaliers Gatehouse is a secluded hamlet deep in the Shropshire countryside, but lies within four and a half miles of historic Bridgnorth and four miles of the pretty market town of Much Wenlock. Next to the Hall is the historic Norman church of St Michael with its 12th century wall paintings and famous 12th century font.
The Gatehouse is reached along a winding narrow country lane that ends at the historic Upton Cressett estate. After visiting Upton Cressett with the artist John Piper for Shropshire : A Shell Guide (published 1951), John Betjeman wrote that the hall was ‘best approached by foot, horse or bicycle; only so can its peace and various landscape be appreciated’.
Upton Cressett remains a haven of peace and rural beauty today – an ideal place to explore Shropshire and the Heart of England, from the gastronomic centre of Ludlow to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, the Shropshire hills and many other historic houses and gardens, including the Dower House Gardens in nearby Morville of Dr Katherine Swift (author of the bestselling book The Morvile Hours) and the world famous nursery gardens of David Austin Roses.
Bridgnorth, four miles away, is an attractive market town famous for its funicular railway and the many flights of steps which connect the High and Low Towns. Regular steam trains also run from here along the Severn Valley Railway. The town has many charming pubs and bistro restaurants, as well as high street shops, a supermarket and a cinema.
Much Wenlock, five miles away, has been voted the second most beautiful town in England. You can stroll around the ruins and grounds of the ancient Wenlock and Buildwas abbeys (Wenlock Abbey was one of the most important in the 15th century), go antique shopping, visit the local Olympian museum, browse for second hand books (Wenlock Books won the coveted Independent Bookseller of the Year award in 2006) or go shopping at the artisan shops and galleries or the traditional butcher, Ryan’s, that has won a national award for Best Butcher in Britain.
Half an hour’s drive away to the south-west is historic Ludlow, one of the gastro capitals of England with award winning Michelin restaurants, secluded gastro-pubs, historic market square and famous castle ruins where the two ‘Princes of the Tower’ were brought up in the late 15th century. In April 1483, the eldest of the two princes is reported to have stayed at Upton Cressett on his fateful journey to the Tower of London after the death of his father Edward IV.
To the north-west, also half an hour away, is historic Shrewsbury, birthplace of Charles Darwin, with its old cathedral, market squares, theatre and riverside restaurants.
Chevaliers Gatehouse is conveniently located for access to the M5, M6, M54 and M40 motorways. The nearest station is fifteen miles away with frequent inter-city trains from London, Manchester and Glasgow and services to Wales and the West Country.
The nearest airport is Birmingham International Airport, approximately 40 miles away.
The property has its own imposing entrance gates, gravelled drive-way and parking. Wrought iron gates lead through to a medieval courtyard and sixteenth century cobbled archway.
The ground floor dining room has an original sixteenth century Tudor fireplace, carved North European refectory table that sits ten and a painted Tudor ceiling. The dining room is reminiscent of a romantic hunting lodge with hand-blocked wallpaper and tartan curtains with horn buttons.
The fully equipped kitchen has a period stone floor, American style fridge-freezer, granite work tops, butler sink which is ideal for either cooking oneself or by a local chef (which can be arranged) to prepare dinner or lunch in the adjacent dining room.
The first floor comprises the panelled Thatcher Suite bedroom (This suite is named after the former British prime minister – and her husband Sir Denis – who spent two nights in the bedroom whilst staying at Upton Cressett in 1994 ) with a half-tester bed with silk drapes. The bedroom has a nineteenth century crewel work tapestry, ornate plasterwork, Tudor fireplace, oak floor and antiques. The suite has an adjoining sitting room with hand blocked wallpaper, silk curtains, digital TV, Tudor fireplace, and spectacular plasterwork. The separate bathroom in one of the turrets has all Lefroy Brooks fittings including a powerful wet room shower, traditional claw foot towel rails and underfloor heating.
The enormous Prince Rupert Bedroom (named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, cousin of Charles I who hid here during the civil war in 1646) on the top floor boasts a four poster bed, huge exposed beams, oak bookcases, an enormous bath under the mullion windows in the bedroom, a large writing desk. The bedroom also has a separate turret bathroom with all fittings by Lefroy Brooks.
Extra small beds for children can be provided to increase sleeping capacity by request.
Private garden with flower beds, fruit trees and fountain. (BBQ and out door furniture during summer months)