It’s not often you come across a 17th century farmhouse with it’s own 500-year-old moat, so you won’t be surprised to hear that Friars Court is a popular wedding venue. But wedding bells or not, it’s undeniably hard not to get swept up in the romance of this charming Cotswold stone house and accompanying gardens.
Wonderfully serene water-lily-filled mediaeval carp ponds greet visitors who tail off over bridges and disappear into a fairytale woodland filled with sun-dappled glades. Although Friars Court is relatively small at three acres, it’s wise to allow extra wandering time when every foliage-draped archway is a photo opportunity. The rustic rose arbour and 50-foot willow tunnel are particularly pretty additions to this site which, in a less glamorous life, was a vegetable patch. In those days the moat was an elaborate barrier for keeping crop-hungry livestock off the grounds.
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This rural Oxfordshire gem is open to the public throughout the summer months, and is home to a museum should you wish to delve deeper into its 805-year-old history.