Lady Godiva’s home for sale

(public domain)

According to the Daily Express, Lady Godiva’s former home is on sale for £3 million. The property is in Belbroughton, which is a village in the Bromsgrove District of Worcestershire, England, and sits on 34 acres. She lived in the home around 1,000 years ago before the Normans invaded in 1066.

However, the Daily Express did say that the “manor house from Lady Godiva’s time is long gone and the current property, Bell Hall, which is the third incarnation on the site, is largely Victorian.”

Lady Godiva, who according to legend was known to ride through the streets of Coventry in the nude, was a noblewoman in England. She was married to the powerful Leofric, Earl of Mercia. Only one child is known for sure, which was a son named Aelfgar. Her date of birth is unknown (900 AD is one theory), but historians have pinpointed 1067 as the year of her death.

Supposedly, her husband had made a promise to give the home back to the monks of Worcester after he died; however, when he died in 1057, Godiva made a request to be allowed to remain in the house for the rest of her life. She then paid rent to the monks for allowing her to continue living there. When the Danes invaded the area, it is believed the manor was then seized from her.

The home has changed hands many times. The Earl of Dudley and the Duke of Buckingham have both previously owned the manor. A Grade II listed Norman chapel is on the grounds, as well, with 17th-century pieces still intact. The home contains large dining, sitting, and drawing rooms; a grand reception hall; a morning room; study and billiards rooms; kitchen and breakfast room; six bedrooms; and five bathrooms.

There are all-weather tennis courts, indoor swimming pool under construction, and walled gardens.

An estate agent from Fisher German named Tom Dennes said, in part, about the estate, “It’s a very grand house. This is the third incarnation on the site and is largely Victorian – a typical grand gentleman’s residence.

“The entrance hall is one of the most impressive I have been into. It’s very dramatic with this huge fireplace. The Victorians liked highly decorative rooms and throughout the house are oak floors, original cornicing, high ceilings and lots of ornate mouldings.

“It’s perfectly usable; it has an altar and pews, so [that] you could use it for your own services or intimate concerts. A medieval chapel is not something you would normally get with an estate. It is a lovely quirky, unusual feature to have and it’s the first thing you see as you come up the drive.

“It’s a super setting, very private, and it has just got everything.”

Legend says that she rode naked, with only her long hair to cover her, through the streets to gain a pardon for the tenants of her husband for the high and oppressive taxation he forced on them. He had said if she would ride through the streets in the nude, he would lower their taxes. Later forms of the legend say that the phrase “Peeping Tom” comes from a man named Tom who would watch her ride in the streets. He was said to have been struck either blind or dead after watching her ride. Godiva supposedly then went to her husband and demanded that he keep his deal with her. He agreed and lowered his tenant’s debts.

About Brittani Barger 99 Articles
My name is Brittani, and I am from Tennessee, USA. I have a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Tennessee: Knoxville, and a master’s degree from Northeastern University. I’ve been passionate about history since I was a child. My favorite areas to study and research are World War II through the Cold War, as well as studying the ancient Romans and Egyptians. Aside from pursuing my passion for writing about history, I am a reporter for Royal News (our sister site!). I am also an avid reader who believes you can never stop learning! On any weekend in the fall, you can find me watching college football (American football) and cheering on my Tennessee Volunteers! You can contact me on Twitter @bbargerRC .

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