Breakspear House – Harefield

Breakspear House is a truly magnificent 17th century Grade I listed manor house, which has undergone a detailed restoration.

Formally the Breakspear family estate in the 13th century and home to W.S Gilbert by the end of the 19th Century. It was then acquired commercially in 1956 as a retirement home. Sadly by 1987 it lay abandon, derelict and vandalised.

Employing specialist companies and master craftsman, Bowman’s secured the contract for the leaded lights and stained glass restoration. Graded buildings ordinarily a huge undertaking, Breakspear House was extensive as the vandalism included broken glass, leading and the frames in the majority of the 2000 panes. Work included but not limited too:

  • Repairing the stained glass, some of which dates from the 16th century
  • Sash windows, many of which were added in the 1770s, have been repaired and re-balanced
  • Leaded lights of the crittall windows repaired with custom-made glass
  • The two double-storey bays on the southern side have been completely refurbished. These were added in c.1840 and are considered to be one of the finest features of the house

By using time-honoured methods and traditional materials, we have respected the character and history of the house and retained much of its aura. Beautifully restored, it is set in acres of ancient woodland and gardens.

Breakspear House completed

Yelford Manor

The tranquil rural hamlet of Yelford, 13 miles from Oxford city centre, is one of the smallest in Oxfordshire, yet, according to Pevsner, boasts ‘the best and certainly the most picturesque large timber-framed house in the county’. That house is the wonderfully atmospheric, Grade II listed, late-15th-century Yelford Manor.

Bowman’s Stained Glass was awarded the contract in 2010, for full restoration of over 100 Leaded Lights. The work was extensive and focused on:

  • Replacing the broken and damaged glass, some of which dates from the 15th century
  • Leaded lights of the crittall windows repaired with custom-made glass

The house itself has some 5,300 sq ft of accommodation, including an impressive drawing room (the original Great Hall), an intimate, part-panelled dining room, a Jacobean panelled sitting room, a music room (the former medieval buttery), six bedrooms and four bathrooms. The stone-built 17th- and 19th-century wing, with its enclosed cloister leading to the courtyard, houses a large kitchen/ breakfast room with a ‘Cook’s Kitchen’, a study and a library.