A seven-hundred-year old manor house just north of Peterborough and where Oliver Cromwell once stayed has gone on the market - for a cool £1.8 million.
Northborough Manor, an four-bedroom grade 1 listed building, was visited by the infamous political leader to see his daughter Elizabeth who moved to the property with her husband John Claypole in 1651, shortly after the English Civil War ended.
During his visit, he slept in a room now referred to as ‘Cromwell’s closet’.
His wife - also called Elizabeth - later died in that very room and her ghost is said to frequent the courtyard - although the current owners have never seen her.
The home also has links to the US, as John Claypole’s brothers were involved in the early settlement of the state of Pennsylvania - recognised in 1975 by the Governor of the State who presented a flag to be flown at the property.
It was built between 1333 and 1336 by William de Eyton and restored by architect Roy Genders in the 1970s, boasts 1.5 acre gardens, a library and a 16th century Dovecote.
It also includes a separate four bedroom gatehouse and an impressive two-storey dining room called the Great Hall with 50 foot high ceilings.
Northborough Manor itself comprises the Great Hall, Solar, Library, Cromwell’s Closet, kitchen, WC, master bedroom with en suite bathroom & dressing room, guest bedroom with en suite shower room, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. The Gatehouse & Keep has accommodation comprising dining room, sitting room, kitchen, WC, four double bedrooms of which three benefit from en suite bath and shower rooms, bathroom and an extensive attic. There are two rooms in the Keep and also a Dovecote. Formal and informal Gardens are divided by a Haha with ample parking. In all grounds extend to approximately 1.15acres.
Northborough Manor and Gatehouse are thought to have been built between 1333-1336 by Roger de Norburgh, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, later Lord High Treasurer to Edward II. It is suggested that the Master Mason and architect of Lichfield Cathedral, William de Eyton, designed and built Northborough Manor.
Over 200 years later, after passing through a multiplicity of owners, the house was bought by James Claypole in 1572. As part of his improvements to the property, he is believed to have extended the Gatehouse for his staff and built the Dovecote.
It was James Claypole’s great grandson, John Claypole, who married the 16-year-old Elizabeth Cromwell in 1646 during the Civil War. Elizabeth was Oliver Cromwell’s favourite daughter and both she and John Claypole came to live at the Manor after the war with the elder Claypoles.
It is certain that Cromwell visited his daughter and son-in-law at the house, spending Christmas here, but apart from the link with his favoured daughter, he was an old friend of John Claypole’s father.
Elizabeth Claypole and Oliver Cromwell both died in 1658 and it was to here, Northborough, that Cromwell’s widow, also Elizabeth, came to live with John Claypole.
The Claypole family continued across the Atlantic where John’s three brothers emigrated and subsequently played a significant role in the early settlement of the state of Pennsylvania.
The Claypole link between America and Northborough was officially recognised by the Governor of the state and in 1975, the state flag was presented to be flown at the Manor, currently displayed in the Great Hall.
Before he died, John Claypole sold the Manor to Lord Fitzwilliam. It should be mentioned that Betsy Ross stitched the first Stars and Stripes and became a member of the Claypole Family.
One of the Claypoles descendants was a close friend of George Washington and printed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and Washington’s Farewell Address to the American People.
The Manor later became a farmhouse and in time needed restoration. It was subsequently rescued by the garden book author, Roy Genders, in the 1970s and was saved from threatened demolition.
The property is one the market for £1,500,000 through Fine and Country.