This 16th century “gem” for sale was once the Manor House of the town - and offered shelter to royals during the English Civil War. 

Poolway House, in Coleford, is Grade II listed and thought to date back to 1520, having once been the Manor House of Coleford, the administrative centre of the community. 

poolway house
One of the reception rooms. (Dean Estate Agents)

The house ia said to have been heavily involved in the Civil War of the 1600s, and in 1643 its owner - Charles Winter, a Parliamentary supporter - was reportedly taken prisoner in his own home by Prince Rupert and Lord Herbert of Raglan, who were Cavaliers. 

The capture caused a “noisy skirmish” in Coleford, resulting in the burning of the market hall. 

Poolway House was then captured by Sir John Winter of Lydney, Lord Herbert’s cousin. 

poolway house
Period features of the house include inglenook fireplaces and exposed beams. (Dean Estate Agents)

Sir John reportedly sheltered King Charles I at Poolway House after the Battle of Edgehill, but when Parliamentarians took power, he was sent to the Tower of London. 

After this, Winter’s properties, including the house, were then given to Major General Massey, leader of the local Roundheads and former Governor of Gloucester. 

Massey also sheltered a royal at the house - when Prince Charles (later King Charles II) was said to be found hiding in a field of peas near Poolway, Massey brought him inside and let him rest in the ‘lion’s den’, the attic room at the top of the house, until he was discovered and escaped via a secret passageway, which has yet to be found. 

poolway house
The dining room. (Dean Estate Agents)

Later, Massey switched sides and went to join Charles II in France when he was exiled, giving the now free Sir John the opportunity to reclaim his home. 

When Charles became the king, he bestowed favours upon Sir John due to his actions during the war, including potentially saving the life of Charles I in the Battle of Edgehill. 

The favours included entitlement to use the highest pew in the church, a puppy from the Queen’s dog, and permission to brew alcohol without paying excises. 

poolway house
The master bedroom. (Dean Estate Agents)

In more recent years, the property has been used as a hotel and a restaurant. 

Period features throughout the property include flagstone flooring, exposed ceiling and wall beams, and period fireplaces. 

On the ground floor of the house is an entrance lobby leading to a lounge with an inglenook fireplace and a former bar area, while the dining room also has an inglenook fireplace and original features such as wooden shutters and exposed beams. 

poolway house
The attic room is thought to be where Charles II stayed. (Dean Estate Agents)

The front reception room has a stone fireplace and triple aspect windows, while the inner lobby and front lobby both boast window seats. 

Completing the ground floor is a panel room, a central lobby, a cloakroom, a working former hotel kitchen, and a workshop with doors to the rear gardens. 

Upstairs, the first floor comprises three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, sash windows and iron fireplaces, a store room and a cloakroom. 

poolway house
There is flagstone flooring in several of the houses throughout the property. (Dean Estate Agents)

Further landing areas lead to five more bedrooms, including the master, all with en-suite bathrooms. 

Accessed from a separate entrance is the annexe, which comprises a lounge/bedroom and a shower room. 

Outside, to the front of the building is parking for numerous vehicles, a garage/barn, and front gardens with lawns, while to the rear are “vast” gardens with fruit trees and flowering plants. 

poolway house
The garden area. (Dean Estate Agents)

The property is being sold by Dean Estate Agents for a price of £750,000. 

The agent commented: “This historic 16th century Grade II listed former Manor House of Coleford, and in more recent years a hotel and restaurant, offers discerning buyers a rare opportunity to purchase this historic Coleford property gem.

“Located in the heart of the Forest of Dean just moments from Coleford Town Centre, this property boasts 8 spacious bedrooms, multiple reception rooms and unique period features to include flagstone flooring, exposed ceiling and wall beams. The property would make an ideal family home or could potentially be developed as a boutique hotel or residential care home.

“With some investment and imagination, this historic gem could be restored to its former glory and become a true masterpiece. Don't miss out on your chance to own a piece of history and bring your vision to life with this exceptional property.”