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Palaces & Buildings

The Virgin Queen’s connections to a West Midlands home

The Manor House in Knowle, Solihull once had Elizabeth I as an overnight guest and the house can now be yours for the small sum of £2,000,000.

The "Darnley Portrait" of Elizabeth I of England

The “Darnley Portrait” of Elizabeth I of England


The house is suited for quite a large family and has on the ground floor a reception hall, drawing room, dining room, billiard room, library, garden room, cloakroom with a toilet, kitchen, utility room and a boot room. The first floor is home to no less than nine bedrooms, of which three are en-suite. There are light leaded windows that contain two seals from Westminster Abbey, one depicting St. Peter with engrailed nimbus and one representing Edward the Confessor. The outside includes formal gardens and woodland of almost four acres and supposedly a magnificent view!

And although Elizabeth once slept there, the history goes back quite a few more centuries. The estate can be traced back to 1200 when William de Arden granted the manor to his wife, Amice de Traci. It stayed in the family until 1284 when it sold to King Edward I and his queen Eleanor of Castile. When Queen Eleanor passed, Edward gave the manor to Westminster Abbey as part of an endowment for the singing of masses for her soul.

After the dissolution of Westminster Abbey, the manor was granted first to the Bishop of Westminster in 1541 and second to Bishop of London in 1550.

In 1559, the manor reverted to the Crown and Elizabeth I gifted the manor to her favourite, Robert, Earl of Leicester in 1573. It again reverted to the crown in 1558, and it was not granted again until 1662, to the 5th Baron Brooke. He gave it to his second son Algernon, whose son sold it a William Smith in 1743.

By 1846, the manor was being let by a Dr. Kimbell, who later became the owner.

So if you’ve got £2,000,000 burning a hole in your pocket, I’d say go get yourself a little piece of history!

Photo credit: The “Darnley Portrait” of Elizabeth I of England in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.