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- Unique historic house, but with all up-to-date comforts
- Sleeps a couple, or a couple plus 2
- Lovely for romantic breaks or family holidays
- Child, baby and dog-friendly
- Close to really good village pub (excellent food) and supberb community shop-cum-cafe
- Very close to the River Wye
- Superb local walks along the river or through the woods
- 20 minutes from the M48 Severn Bridge
A truly historic building, which once belonged to the monks of Tintern Abbey, and which is believed to be the oldest house in the Wye Valley, this beautiful property bears witness to the passage of many centuries. Originally a 12th-century monks’ hall with an ‘undercroft’ below for animals, and extended in the 14th-century, Monks Hall has recently been carefully renovated and furnished to provide a romantic, atmospheric place to stay. Very cosy in winter and beautifully cool in summer, this Grade 2* listed property sleeps 2 to 4 (plus an infant and one good dog). Situated in pretty Brockweir village, with lovely views from the garden across to the hills, Monks Hall is only a few strides from the River Wye. Conveniently, it is only a 20-minute drive from the M48 Severn Bridge, making it a really accessible location for short breaks as well as holidays.
The renovation of Monks’ Hall was an enormous feat.The owner, an expert in historic restoration, worked closely with archaeologists and English Heritage to bring this very special building back to life. In the early stages of the renovation, it was visited by Kevin Macleod of Grand Designs, who commented that it was a truly remarkable property. It is a testament to the owner's abilities that the house is warm and comfortable, and fitted out to a high standard, without compromising its historic features. Some superb modern touches – multi-coloured lights on the stairway, top spec bathrooms, and good entertainment technology make this as much a convenient and approachable living space as a historic gem.
Downstairs, a huge doorway with solid oak door leads you into a spacious well-equipped kitchen, with a range oven, a useful island topped with Welsh slate, and a big round table for convivial meals or working on enormous jigsaws. A comfy sofa means you can also relax and watch the flat-screen TV on the wall while taking breaks from the task in hand. There is also a downstairs loo.
The first floor is the main boast of the house: a wonderful drawing-room with an enormous 14th-century fire-place (and top-of-the-range wood burning stove), original leaded-light windows, antique furniture, oil paintings, generous Knole sofas and well-filled bookshelves. A doorway leads out onto steps down to the garden, and a utility space is nicely hidden behind the staircase. In summer, there is a sense of breezy elevation, with beautiful vistas from window seats across to the hills of the Wye Valley. In winter, with the gentle light from candles and the glow of the wood burner, this space becomes cosy, romantic and utterly peaceful.
The top floor has a lovely double bedroom with super-king bed and superb ensuite shower-room and loo, and a twin bedroom with a lovely bathroom and loo next-door.
The garden is perfect for sitting in the sun and watching the horses and ponies in the fields on the hillside slopes. The sound of the nearby brook, which feeds into the river, creates a dreamy backdrop to an alfresco meal, or simply some very peaceful r&r. There is also a Roman-style wood-fired pizza-oven for pizza-making fun, or for cooking roasts.
Monks Hall can simply be a place in which to relax, or to use as a base for a plethora of great things to do or interesting places to visit in the Wye Valley area. Children will love the steam train which runs through the Forest of Dean, the dedicated cycling track at Pedalabikeaway, the caves at Clearwell, and (for older ones) canoeing down the river Wye. And wild swimming is a superb way of getting intimate with the local wildlife, if that’s your bag. For those who enjoy ancient monuments, Tintern Abbey is just down the road, and the beautiful old county town of Monmouth is twenty minutes away (with all facilities and superb food-shopping). Walking in the area is superb, with many footpaths curling through the forest, or following the course of the river Wye. Eating out is excellent, from Michelin-starred eating at the Crown at Whitebrook to good pub food and a pint at The Boat Inn at Redbrook, or excellent Indian food at the award-winning Misbah Tandoori in Monmouth. And for those who would like to enjoy the luxury of a pint or two without having to drive home, The Brockweir Country Inn (which serves food, too) is just a few steps away.
The nitty gritty
Live online booking
Changeovers are normally Mondays and Fridays. Weekends are set-priced from Friday 4pm to Monday 10.30am; so you can stay 1, 2 or 3 nights for the weekend price. Check availability and book online below, or check availability for all cottages.
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From the visitors book at Monks Hall in the Wye Valley
By email: 'This is just a quick email to say how much we enjoyed our weekend at Monks Hall. It is a truly fantastic cottage to which we hope (and intend) to return. Best wishes, Justin' (from Hull).
'We are so blessed to have stayed in such a lovely house, surrounded by such beauty. We had a magnificent time. We loved cooking in the superb kitchen, and relaxing by the fire. And the bedrooms were so cosy and peaceful. Many thanks.' Valerie, London
'Beautiful house - lovely to see so much oak, old and new. Luxury and tranquility - a good combination, perfect for a relaxing weekend. The surroundings echoed this, and we wandered happily around the village and up and down the river. The village shop was great, and we made it just in time for the Saturday morning market at St. Briavels for more delicious vegetables and bread.' Pam and Mike, Penzance
'Beautiful house in a beautiful setting! One of our favourite stays. Everything was great! Thanks so much.' James and Sherry, Canada
'I was so excited about visiting Monks Hall after much searching on the net, and I have to say it exceeded my already high expectations. The house has been beautifully restored, with so much obvious love and care given to it. I kept discovering little nooks and crannies and interesting features the longer I stayed here. The house is very well equipped, the best I've ever come across, and cooking here was a sheer delight. The blackberries we picked made a lovely accompaniment to the apple pie. It's a fantastic place. Congrats on what you have achieved, and many thanks for sharing it.' Gilly, London
'A really relaxing week in a beautifully restored 14th-century house - would love to know more about it. Walking from the door was a real bonus. However, best of all has to be the village shop - we spent some time there every day, and it was a delight to cook their produce in your superb kitchen.' Sue and Derek, Norwich
'My 66th birthday. Wow!! What a place to celebrate in. We came not knowing what it would be like, but it was fabulous!! If I could have searched for years for somewhere to stay I would never have found anywhere as magical as this. The whole place is full of history and character, you just melt into its warmth. The fact that there is no TV in the lounge is its best feature: you can sit and dream endlessly, looking into the flames of the fire and the flickering candles. Well done to whoever restored this beautiful cottage, you didn't spoil a thing. God bless this house.' Sandra and Tony, Bristol
'What a house - really exciting to stay in and so imaginatively and luxuriously appointed. Quite a visit! The walks are fantastic - and rather long if you get lost on the way back from the Devil's Pulpit! Think the Devil was interfering with our map-reading. Every day we had blue sky and sunshine; every night the sky was full of stars. What else was there to want?' Jenny and Ernest, Elstree
'Felt like we have been absorbed into Monks Hall, and now that it's time to leave, we're really sad. Perfect honeymoon - thank you.' Mark and Rebecca, Tadcaster