Explore Colne Priory's rich history tracing back to the 12th century. With over seven centuries past, the manor is a fine example of carefully co-ordinating grand and recognisable architectural styles with elegant interiors, seamlessly combining historic allure and contemporary style. Sworders are extremely pleased to present this notable collection.
21 November 2023
Image courtesy of John Watt
Impressive and visually striking, the main building of Colne Priory is believed to have been built around 1825 for Henry Holgate Carwardine, it was later extended in the 19th century, and once again in 2007 by the previous owners. The red brick exterior of the house is undoubtedly inspired by the recognisable elements of Gothic Revival architecture, and in particular Strawberry Hill house - with arched windows, intricate brickwork, and imposing chimneys. The manor was the last of a series of houses built on the site of a Benedictine priory, founded by the de Vere family, Earls of Oxford, in the early 12th century, whose remains lie buried in the grounds of Colne Priory and are protected as a Scheduled Monument.
Following the disbanding of the medieval Colne Priory in 1536, its land and buildings were granted to the 15th Earl of Oxford, John de Vere, who built a manor house on the site after demolishing the priory church. In 1583, the 17th Earl, Edward de Vere, sold the manor of Earls Colne to his steward, Roger Harlakenden, whose son, Richard, bought the adjoining manor of Colne Priory in 1592.
Colne Priory continued to remain in the Harlakenden family until 1672, whereby the ownership was transferred by marriage to the Androwes family, and eventually, in the early 18th century, to John Wale, who demolished what remained of the medieval buildings and redesigned the de Vere house, with what is thought to be ‘chimney pieces made from the ruinated tombs of the Oxfords’. That house survived for another century before the ownership was transferred, by marriage and inheritance, to Henry Holgate Carwardine, who demolished the house built by Wale, incorporating only parts of it within his new Colne Priory.
Image courtesy of John Watt
Today, the historic manor’s interior has been renovated with a modern twist, seamlessly integrating the Gothic-inspired and sophisticated exterior, with contemporary furnishings and beautiful pieces of antique furniture and works of art. The nineteen selected items in this sale stand testament to bridging the barriers between old and new.
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