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Minster Lovell Hall

Minster Lovell, Witney, Oxfordshire

Nearest Rail Station Long Hanborough and Oxford  Nearest International Airport  London Heathrow  Nearest Motorway  M40 Map

Minster Lovell Hall is a ruined manor house beside the River Windrush in the picturesque village of Minster Lovell, on the outskirts of Witney in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

Minster Lovell Hall, Witney, Oxfordshire The history of Minster Lovell Hall is one of romance, mystery and intrique. Dating from the mid fifteenth century the Hall was built close to the church in the village of Minster. Lord William Lovell, 7th Baron Tichmarsh, instigated the building after his inheritance on the death of his grandmother in the early 1420's. The manor is designed around a quadrangle with the south wing facing the River Windrush.

William Lovell died in 1455, having only lived at the hall for a short time. The hall passed through the Lovell family until finally ending in 1486, when the manor and adjoining land was taken back by the Crown, under the terms of "escheat", the reversion of land held under feudal tenure to the manor in the absense of legal heirs or claimants, having arose because Francis Lovell had sided with Richard 111 during the War of the Roses and after the battle at Bosworth Field, Francis Lovell was charged with treason and he eventually fled to Flanders.

Minster Lovell Hall, Witney, Oxfordshire © mym Lord Lovell returned to England two years later to take part in the War of the Roses battle at Stoke,near Newark, a final if unsuccesful attempt to de-throne the new Tudor King, Henry V11. It is said that Lord Lovell died during that rebellious battle, but did he? Legend has it that a skeleton discovered in 1708 in a vaulted room underground, still sitting at a table, was that of Francis Lovell who spent the remaining years of his life hiding in this underground prison cell.

The ruins consists of the great hall, entrance porch and the tower from the south wing. Only foundations remain of the rest of the building, which finally fell into dereliction during the 18th century when the building was systematically demolished by the Earl of Leicester who later moved to Holkham Hall in Norfolk. The final owner of this ruined, grand manor house was Colonel la Terrière who passed it into the stewardship of HM of Works, now English Heritage, who still look after the site.

Visitor Information

Hotels

The Mill and Old Swan, Minster Lovell
Witney Hotels
Burford Hotels
 

Opening Times 2006

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