|Sandford Orcas, Dorset UK.
Following a winding lane up a combe northwards from Sherborne, a striking view towards the Somerset plain opens up at the top and, on descending a steep hill, you come suddenly on the beginning of a straggling village of Sandford Orcas, which follows a stream down the valley. This contains a number of cottages and houses built of golden
|Ham Hill stone, some with stone mullioned windows and leaded lights.
On a rise beyond the centre of the village, the Church and Manor House form a fine pair of early-Tudor buildings. The Church of St Nicholas has a Norman font and a 15th century tower, and its small chapel contains a number of monuments.
|William Knoyle, who inherited Sandford in the early 1530s, in the mid 16th Century built the Manor House from the Local Ham Hill stone. The small, 16th Century Manor House is complete with arched gatehouse, stable courtyard and walled garden. There may well|
|have been an earlier manor house on the same site - the property of the Orescuilz (Orcas) family who, in the 12th Century, gave the village the second half of its name. Sandford Orcas Manor House is a lovely example of the small Manor Houses that once studded England in Tudor times. This was built by Edward Knoyle from the local Ham Hill stone in the mid 16th Century on the foundations of a medieval house, and it remains virtually unaltered, inside as well as out.|
|Only three families have owned the land, Orescuilz family, Knoyle family and now the Medlycott family, which has been in residence now for the last 263 years. County boundary changes are nothing new it would seem Sandford Orcas now in Dorset was in Somerset until 1896.|
|As nearly all old Buildings seem to have their resident Ghosts, Sandford Orcas Manor House has not been left out. It has been regarded as “the most haunted manor house in Britain” and claims it has fourteen ghosts.
The ghost of an eighteenth century farmer has been seen on many occasions,
|wandering around the house and its gardens. As the story goes, he hanged himself from a trap door in the house, and even though the door has long since been boarded up, the farmer still roams around.A rather sinister ghost of a footman is claimed to have been seen throughout the Manor House and is thought to have|
|preyed on serving maids when he was alive. A priest is also thought to haunt the Manor House and, rather terrifyingly, attempts to smother sleeping guests with his cloak.It seems a great deal of sinister goings-on have taken place in the house at one time or another, including the murder of an employer by his servant, whose|
|ghost now haunts the place, and also a young sea cadet who, after killing one of his friends, was locked in a room for the rest of his life. His screams of madness can still be heard today.Amongst the other ghostly inhabitants are an old ‘White Lady’ who has be seen on the stairs, the sound of music coming from an|
|empty room, footsteps walking down empty corridors and the sound of loud knocks and weird dragging sounds. Also there was reports of a nobleman haunting the Manor House, this was said to be Sir Hubert Medlycott, he was also a priest. For more than twenty years from 1966, there were numerous reports of various|
|ghost sightings and ghostly activity. No recent reports. Witnesses and Evidence Two puzzling photographs were obtained that allegedly show ghosts at Sandford Orcas Manor House. Colonel and Mrs F. Claridge and their daughter and son-in-law were witnesses to apparent paranormal activity here as were Mrs Gates of Taunton, Mrs M. Gallo of Hinton, Admiral Mrs J.N. Grange|
|-Bennett of Poole, a BBC production team, Benson Herbert and a team from the Paraphysical Laboratory who said, after a night or so at the house: 'there is a prima facie case for this house being haunted'.|
| Milborne Port.
Is close to the Dorset border before Sherborne, and just outside the village by the meadowland of the River Ivel’s, there is the brick and stone mansion of Ven House, it is among the best country houses in Somerset. Thomas Medlycott, a migrant from London, but of
|Shropshire origins, purchased the Manor Ven in 1696 from Sir Edward Carteret. On the manor was a farm house which was not a suitable dwelling for Thomas, so he built a new mansion ( Ven House ) in 1698-1700. The first drawings for its layout showed the parterres, and the water gardens in the Dutch manner which had become the vogue in the reign of this monarch from the Netherlands. With its ‘giant’ Corinthian pilasters and its heavy attic storey. Ven belongs to the severe Baroque of Wern and Talman. It was an innovation when, in this countryside of building in stone, the house was mainly erected in brick. This was the residence of the Medlycott’s for many years.|