Owlpen Manor is widely recognised as one of the most romantic early manor houses in England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building.
The manor house is of medieval origins, incorporating fabric dated to c. 1200, but was largely built and rebuilt in the Tudor period by the Daunt family, between 1464 and 1616.
Since then it has hardly been touched except for small improvements early in the 18th century, when the east wing of the house, together with the gardens, church and Grist Mill, were reordered by Thomas Daunt IV between 1719 and 1726.
By the end of the 19th century, the old manor had become celebrated as an icon of the Arts and Crafts movement. It lay in its remote valley as a sleeping beauty which had not been inhabited for nearly a hundred years, a picturesque ruin much decayed, overrun with ivy, and dwarfed by enormous yew trees. There was concern for its survival and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings recommended that it should be vested in the National Trust, which however had no funds available for its repair.
Finally, in 1924–25, the Owlpen estate was sold for the first time in nearly a thousand years. The future of the manor house was assured when it was acquired and sensitively repaired by Norman Jewson, a distinguished Cotswold Arts and crafts architect.
Today Owlpen Manor is the Gloucestershire home of Sir Nicholas and Lady Mander. Since 1974 they have carefully repaired the manor house and outbuildings, and have re-created the formal Stuart gardens in sympathy with the manor house.
Between 2010 and 2013, Sebastien and his team undertook the restoration of this magnificent Cotswold manor house. The left gable of the South Aisle was the main object of concern, having major structural issues.
Working with Johnston Sinclair, structural engineer, and architect Toby Falconer, Sebastien and his Stone Art team took care of the building and stonemasonry.
During the restoration Sebastien carved 9 owls, which were reintroduced to the finial of each gable, visible on a picture from the beginning of the 20th century