Upper House Discoed

Offa’s Dyke and the Great Road – The history of Upper House

In the 16th century the ‘Great Road’ ran from London to the Welsh coast.   Both the road and the great 9th century, 137 mile long earthwork, Offa’s Dyke, pass through the lovely valley of the River Lugg which forms the modern border between England and Wales at Presteigne, once the county town of Radnorshire in the Welsh Marches.

This ancient road still serves the picturesque manor houses – built by the Tudor wool barons – that grace the rich farmlands along the banks of the meandering Lugg.  Upper House is one such.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the Manor of Discote (Discoed, or Discoyd) has a long history as evidenced by the ancient yew tree that stands protectively over the little shepherd’s church of St Michael’s which adjoins Upper House.  The earliest part of the existing house is the timber-framed range which has been dendro-dated as being built of oak felled in 1536 although, during its restoration, the remains of a medieval central hearth were found and it is highly likely that a cruck-framed hall stood there before it was destroyed by fire, possibly during the Civil War.

Described in an Estate Agent’s sales particulars in 1903 as a ‘suitable site for a gentleman’s residence’ by the time it was offered for sale again in 1984 it had become, as famously described by author Sam Lewellyn, a ‘leprous grey hulk’ – its gracious timbers having been encased in concrete in attempt to keep out the weather.

Nearly thirty years on, this (Grade II* listed) hall house has been painstakingly restored by its owners, John and Annie Nethercott, and provides the opportunity to enjoy the experience of living in an historic house but with the benefits of modern facilities.

The house has been featured in various magazines including ‘Country Living’, ‘The World of Interiors’ and the Saturday Telegraph Magazine.  Its restoration has also been televised by the BBC.