Wantage is a great place from which to visit some of our countries historic houses, parks and gardens.
The places below are further afield, but still only between half an hour and one hour’s drive away.
This Dutch-style 17th century house is located near Upper Lambourn on the B4000. It perches on the Berkshire Downs and is famous for its close links with Charles I’s sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia.
Blenheim Palace is set in 2http://www.wantage.com/wp0 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown.
The magnificent Palace is a unique example of English Baroque architecture and is surrounded by sweeping lawns, award-winning formal gardens and the great lake.
Inside, the scale of the Palace is beautifully balanced by the intricate detail and delicacy of the carvings, the hand painted ceilings and the amazing porcelain collections, tapestries and paintings displayed in each room.
Situated in Woodstock, just 8 miles from Oxford, the Palace was created a World Heritage site in 1987.
Situated north-west of Faringdon near Buscot village, this neo-classical house (built between 1779 and 1783) is set in parkland and contains fine paintings and furniture of the Faringdon Collection Trust. Licensed tea room and picnic area.
DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE
Unique collection of steam engines, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics.
FARINGDON FOLLY TOWER AND WOODLAND
This unique unusual 100ft Tower is Faringdon’s icon and the last major folly to be built in England. It sits on Folly Hill, within a charming circular 4 acre woodland of splendid Scots Pine and broadleaf trees, some more than 200 years old.
Check out the fantastic views over 5 counties and find out about the history of Folly Hill, Henry James Pye (of Sing a Song of Sixpence fame), Oliver Cromwell and the very eccentric Lord Berners (the creator of the tower).
Seek out the 24 black birds and giant willow pie, Cromwell’s cannon, the fairly useless bridge, Lord Berners in a tree! and a variety of birds and animal sculptures lurking among the trees. You might even see a troll, but, ‘please do not feed the giraffes’. ( Find the full list in Things to do on the Folly website)
Open the 1st and 3rd Sundays from April to October.
10 minutes walk from Faringdon’s historic market place where refreshments are available, and 2 hours free parking.
The woodland is always open and entry is free.
Book a private opening, for your party or celebration.
GREAT COXWELL BARN
Built between 1300 and 13http://www.wantage.com/wp the Great Coxwell Barn is a remnant of the Cistercian Grange of Coxwell. William Morris loved this agricultural cathederal, calling it the finest piece of architectire in England.
This Grade I listed Tudor farmhouse adjacent to the River Thame was built in 1570. William Morris chose it as his sumer house.
KINGSTON BAGPUIZE HOUSE & GARDENS
17th century manor house set in mature parkland in the village of Kingston Bagpuize. The gardens contain a notable collection of plants, a woodland garden and an early Georgian gazebo.
Millets Farm Centre is not an historia centre, but is a great place to visit for a family visit. It has an extensive range of facilities including a farm shop, garden centre, cafe, craft centre and restaurant.
MILTON MANOR HOUSE
Situated in the village of Milton, east of Wantage, this beautiful Grade 1 listed family home, was built in 1663 with wings and outbuildings added in 1772. Strawberry Hill Gothick library and chapel and 230 year old chinese wallpaper. Outside, there is extensive parkland with two lakes to picnic by, pony rides for the children, rare breed pigs and sheep, and a llama. Tearooms are situated in the old kitchens, which also house a large teapot collection.
Pendon Museum was founded in 1954 and preserves the idyllic rural scene and transport of the 1920s and 1930s in a miniature form.
There is much to see, from the pioneering Madder Valley railway, through Pendon’s first complete model – the Dartmoor Scene – to the breathtaking Vale Scene that is fulfilling the original dream.
PRIORY COTTAGE STEVENTON
Former monastic buildings, now concerted into houses and part of the National Trust. The south cottage contains the Great Hall of the original Priory.
TOM BROWN’S SCHOOL MUSEUM
Located in the village of Uffington, west of Wantage, the museum details the life and works of Thomas Hughes, author of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” together with other historial material from the area including poet laureate Sir John John Betjeman and his poetry.