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A Place Unlike Any Other

The picturesque ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, a 15th century Oxfordshire manor house, lie in a beautiful rural setting beside the River Windrush. They include a fine hall, tower and nearby dovecote.

Minster Lovell Hall was built in the 1430s by William, Baron of Lovell and Holand - one of the richest men in England. It was later home to Francis, Viscount Lovell, a close ally of Richard III. After several changes of hands the hall was abandoned and eventually demolished in the 18th century, leaving the extensive remains that stand today

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Where History Comes Alive - and Ghosts?

There has been a manor house at Minster Lovell since at least the 12th century, but the major part of the ruins seen today are those of a large new house built by William, Baron of Lovell and Holand, in the 1430s after his return from the French wars. Through marriage and good fortune William was one of the richest men in England, and he built his house as a demonstration of his wealth.

William’s son John, a prominent Lancastrian and servant of Henry VI, was rewarded with the position of master forester of the neighbouring royal forest, Wychwood. By contrast, John’s son Francis, the ninth baron, served the Yorkist cause, and was created Viscount Lovell by Richard III.

Following the defeat of the House of York in the battle of Bosworth in 1485 the hall passed into the hands of the Crown and eventually, in 1602, into the possession of the successful lawyer Sir Edward Coke. His descendant Thomas Coke, later Earl of Leicester, was in residence in 1721 and in 1728 he assumed the title Lord Lovell of Minster Lovell.

The hall was, however, abandoned in favour of the Cokes’ seat at Holkham, Norfolk, begun in the 1730s, and in about 1747 most of the buildings were dismantled, the east and west ranges and the kitchens being demolished for building stone.

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Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, OX29 0RR

Parking: The site sits at the end of a narrow, dead end lane where parking is not permitted and no turning is possible. 

If there is space, use the small car park which serves St Kenelm's Church and which is roughly a five minute walk from the site.

The streets of the village are very narrow so please do not block access for emergency vehicles or entrances to private properties.

Please do not climb on the walls.

Facilities: There are no toilet facilities at this property.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Guidebook: A guidebook is available to buy from St Kenelm's Church, adjacent to the site.

Please be aware:

English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions.

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