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Saltford Manor House: Oldest Continuously Occupied House In England?

Saltford Manor House, nestled in Somerset, stands as a remarkable testament to England’s architectural heritage, with its roots tracing back to the year 1148. This stone house has earned the distinction of being recognized as the oldest continuously occupied private residence in the country, a title it proudly holds to this day. Its historical significance is further underscored by its Grade II* listing, signifying its importance in the annals of British history.

In 2003, Saltford Manor achieved widespread recognition when it emerged victorious in a contest sponsored by Country Life magazine, which sought to identify the oldest continuously inhabited house in Britain. Among hundreds of contenders, Saltford Manor stood out, its age and ongoing occupancy setting it apart from the rest. Its win spurred the publication of “The House That Jack Built: The Story of the Oldest Inhabited House in Britain” by its then-resident, James Wynn. This book not only chronicled the manor’s storied past but also celebrated its restoration efforts, undertaken with passion and dedication by Mr. Wynn himself.

James Wynn’s journey to restore Saltford Manor was a labor of love, beginning when he and his wife acquired the property in 1996. The restoration process, described as “jolly hard work,” involved meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to preserving the manor’s historic charm. Despite the challenges, including temporarily relocating with their children, the Wynns succeeded in breathing new life into the ancient structure, ensuring its legacy endured for generations to come.

Saltford Manor’s allure extended beyond the shores of England, captivating the interest of visitors from across the Atlantic. Americans, in particular, exhibited a deep appreciation for its rich history, prompting Mr. Wynn to seek out a buyer who shared his passion for the property. The manor’s eventual sale in 2010 marked a new chapter in its long and storied history, ensuring its continued preservation and appreciation by future generations.

Beyond its architectural significance, Saltford Manor is a window into Somerset’s rich tapestry of history and culture. Surrounded by other historic landmarks like St. Mary’s Church, dating back to the 12th century, Saltford is a treasure trove of heritage waiting to be explored. As visitors traverse its streets and marvel at its ancient structures, they are transported back in time, experiencing firsthand the enduring legacy of England’s past.

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