Manor Cottage, Radford Semele

Manor Cottage opposite Manor House, Radford Semele. 1950
IMAGE LOCATION: (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Reference: PH(N), 600/730/12, img: 9932

It is worth noting for historical records that the Manor Cottage has a rare “Witches’ Fireplace” situated on the side of the house nearest to the grass verge on Southam Road. This sees a window directly above the fireplace where logically there should be a wall. The flue is in fact concealed in the walls to the side of the fireplace. The arched chimneys seem to match closely those of a cottage further up the Southam Road on the hill beyond the entrance to Lewis Road.

Inside the cottage

Internally the house has high ceilings for a cottage, a basement (again, unusual for a cottage) and is near perfectly symmetrical in the Arts and Crafts style. Records show that “The Cottages” were a source of water for the Manor House from a well, with access between Manor and adjacent Holly Cottage to the well behind Number 64. Holly Cottage, formerly with 66, was the village Post Office.

No lunatics!

The Manor Cottage has a notice within the deeds that no lunatics are allowed to enter parts of the back garden! The photograph shows the cottage before it was painted white below the window line and a roof over the front door with corbels was added prior to the Grade 2 listing. Holly Cottage next door is shown prior to significant rebuilding and the inclusion of a window within the thatch.

The cottages are part of a collection of listed buildings in the village around the field overlooking St Nicholas Church, which taken together were instrumental in the views of the planning officers in refusing building of a modern estate next to the church to protect its heritage, sense of community and the character of our village.

Bears and birds

The (now crumbling) wire birds on the roof are the signs of the thatcher. The bears were a later addition to recognise its Warwickshire home.

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