Bed and breakfast Benson

B&B accommodation near Wallingford and Henley-on-Thames

History of Fyfield Manor

Built in 1120 (the dining room is the original old Manor and is said to be the oldest building in Oxfordshire) additions were made in the 14th, 18th and 19th centuries. Each period has its own interest.

The cream bedroom was built in the 19th century at the same time as the façade was put on the front of the house and the top floor added. Robert Newton a wealthy farmer had this work carried out in the mid 1850s. In 1900 he died leaving only spinster daughters so the farm was sold and the family continued to live in the house.

The blue bedroom is part of the 14th century building. The Stamp family added the panelling and windows (raising all the downstairs ceilings to do so) in the 1720s. No radiators are allowed on the old panelling - hence the electrical heater. The floors are wobbly in this room due to the poor building in the Victorian times. However this has now been addressed structurally leaving the floor full of character!

We have lived at Fyfield for 30 years. When we bought it there was no running water (except the stream), virtually no roof as all the lead had been stolen and vandals had removed many of the inside features including the shutters which we had to buy back. Over the last 30 years we have restored it paying particular attention to the original structure and using local craftsmen for the skilled work such as the lead and stone. Although already listed it was upgraded when we uncovered all the medieval features. Wherever possible we have reused materials or used materials off the land. For example the table in the dining room is made from the heart of the elm which grew in our field. In the 1970s all the elms died from Dutch elm disease so we had them all sawn up and stored for future use. We are still using the wood today.

To celebrate the millennium and having lived here for over 35 years we have built a 21st century extension now opened as stylish modern guest rooms. It has been built completely by my husband and two sons to an exceptionally high standard. The staircase has been constructed out of our yew tree which had to be cut down. The treads are hung on copper pipes and makes an unusual centre piece. The elm has been used for many of the roof beams. We look forward to you staying with us!

Fyfield Manor, bed and breakfast, is set in several acres with extensive natural gardens. No chemicals have been used for 30 years and the grounds are a haven for wildlife. The stream is full of trout and crayfish and we are very privileged to have a family of water voles which are now protected. Fox and deer live in the field and rooks have roosted in the old lime trees since Victorian times.  In the last few years we have planted over 200 trees, some are especially for providing wood for the wood burning stoves.  We have 18 solar panels on the rear roof which supplies us with all our electricity over the year.

We continue to strive towards self sufficiency.