The White House

Aston Munslow, Shropshire

Overview

This house belonged to the Stedmans, who had lived here from soon after 1300 in a nearly unbroken line. Half is timber-framed and medieval; half has the more considered dimensions of a small 18th-century house such as a Jane Austen heroine might have inhabited. 

 

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave

Beds 2 Single, 2 Twin, 1 Double

Sleeps
8
4 nights from
£470 equivalent to £14.69 per person, per night

A pleasing jumble of styles from every century

Until 1945 the White House belonged to the Stedmans, who had lived here from soon after 1300 in a nearly unbroken line. The tops of the great cruck trusses of their hall can be seen in the roof space. Below are rooms of Tudor and Jacobean date, with wide uneven oak floorboards and a pleasing jumble of different windows. After a fire in 1780, a polite new drawing-room was added at one end, with a bedroom above. A parlour is devoted to a small exhibition about Miss Purser and the house.

Here you can enjoy both a large farmhouse kitchen and an elegant sitting room.  Behind the house are outbuildings of all shapes and dates and sizes, many containing equipment appropriate to their original use.

Close to Wenlock Edge and Ludlow

The house stands in the deep farming countryside of this lovely county, on the south side of Wenlock Edge. The walking is among the best in England. The garden runs down the hill in front, with long views of Corvedale towards Ludlow and space for all manner of Olympic pursuits by any younger or more boisterous members of your party (not least since nearby Much Wenlock has some claim to be the birthplace of the modern Olympics).

‘The sheep grazing on the hill, the woodquest singing in the trees, the smell of the crops, the silent and restful ambience of this wonderful old house.’

From the logbook

Floor Plans

Map & local info

Standing on the south side of Wenlock Edge, The White House has long views of Corvedale towards Ludlow. The large grounds include a pleasant garden, outbuildings and an ancient dovecote.

Guests of all ages will enjoy Acton Scott Working Farm Museum, the first historic working farm of its kind in England, within easy driving distance from the White House. 

Stokesay Castle is another fascinating historical trip out. Set in beautiful countryside, it has been called the best preserved fortified medieval manor in England. 

In the thriving town of Ludlow there is a wealth of things to do. Look out for special events such as children's writing competitions, wildlife talks, markets, antique fairs and a vintage afternoon tea. The historic Ludlow Castle is at the very heart of this bustling town. 

You can gain free entry to Ludlow Museum with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it at artfund.org/national-art-pass.

For more ideas and things to do during your stay at The White House, take a look at our Pinterest Map.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

The White House
Aston Munslow, Shropshire
Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via a lane from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Craven Arms – 6 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is parking for two cars in the yard adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage heaters, a solid fuel stove and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker, two fridges, a dishwasher and a microwave.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are two bathrooms, one with a baths, one with a shower over bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are relatively steep and uneven due to the age of the building.
  • Does this Landmark have low headroom?

    Yes, the upstairs corridor has a low ceiling.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a large garden (not enclosed).

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

Lived in by the same family since the Middle Ages

Until 1946, the White House was the home of the Stedman family, who had lived there in nearly unbroken continuity since the Middle Ages. At one period, in the 19th century, the house was let to tenants. At the same time descent through the female line meant a change of name to Stedman-Smith and then to Farmer. Members of the family still visit the house.

Period 1 Probably 13th century

Miss Purser used to talk of the White House as four-houses-in-one. The earliest of these survives only in shadow, in the cellar of the Elizabethan cross-wing. It is possible that stonework here belongs to the undercroft of a much earlier wing, perhaps even dating from the 13th century. This is thought to be the date of the ruined dovecote in the garden, so there must have been a manor house on the site then, of which all other traces have disappeared.

Phase 2 14th century

Originally there was an open hall, divided by a central cruck truss (now to be seen against the chimney of the hall bedroom) into two bays, with a two-storey service bay at the east end. In the north and south walls at the eastern end of the hall were two entrance doors opposite one another. The passage between these two doors was divided from the main body of the hall by a spere truss. Two great free-standing posts supporting a collar beam narrowed the hall at this point, and braces running from each post to the collar formed an arched entrance to it. Usually there was some sort of moveable screen standing between the posts, to keep the worst of the draughts from those within. This building has been dated to the early 14th century, and Miss Purser suggested that it was the work of Roger Stedman, described as 'of Aston' in 1335. There was no chimney in the hall at this stage, only a central hearth. The smoke from this gathered in the roofspace, before escaping through a special opening, or louvre, in the ridge, evidence for which survives.

Phase 3 Late 16th /early 17th century

Soon afterwards, in the early 1600s, a great remodelling of the hall range took place. Its timber-framed walls were cased in stone. The hall (now the dining room) was provided with a fireplace, whose chimney occupied the space between the central and spere trusses. At the same time a floor was inserted to form an upper chamber, the hall bedroom. This was reached by a new stair, with typical Jacobean flat balusters, rising from beside a new entrance door. Later on, the chimney was enlarged to its present huge size, to provide a new kitchen fireplace. Slightly later again, a lean-to daily was added at the east end.

Towards the end of the 16th century, in the Elizabethan period, a new timber-framed wing was built at the west end of this hall, probably replacing the earlier wing. This now contains the History Room, the smaller sitting room and the rooms above. It is box-framed and, curiously, was built as a self-contained structure, although there were always doors between wing and hall. The earliest part of the house still standing is contained in the long wing which runs from east to west along the side of the hill. This is a cruck hall, in which the main trusses are formed from two great curved timbers rising from ground level and meeting at the top. These appear mysteriously in the rooms on the first floor, but the full sequence of trusses can best be seen by peering into the roof space

Phase 4 Late 18th century

The next, and last, phase occurred between 1780 and 1800, supposedly after a fire. The cross-wing was extended westwards to provide a new drawing room, staircase hall and main bedroom. Across the southern end of new and old work a stuccoed Georgian front was added, with a central door and symmetrical windows, so that from the outside, it all appears as one. Changes of level inside, and sections of box-framing, give clues of a richer and more complex history, whose trail was eagerly followed by Miss Purser.

Miss Purser's Museum

Between 1966 and 1986 there flourished at the White House a Museum of Buildings and Country Life. Started by Miss Constance Purser, who had moved there with her parents in 1947, it ran on enthusiasm and voluntary help for twenty years before its founder, by then in her eighties, felt unable to carry on.

The house itself, with its outbuildings, formed the heart, of the exhibition. The structure was carefully labelled, so that visitors could distinguish the trusses of the 14th century cruck hall from the Elizabethan timber-framing. The high point of the tour was the view into the roof-space, through a trap door, where the medieval building could be most fully appreciated.

To this a variety of agricultural and domestic implements was added, starting with a small display in the dairy and gradually extending into every corner of the property. In Miss Purser's words, these served to illustrate 'the unchanging simplicity of an unselfconscious rural life', and also the inventiveness and skill of our forebears, who made them and used them. Only implements which research showed to have been used at the White House in the past were accepted, many of them given by local people.

Miss Purser and her Helpers set themselves the highest standards, both of conservation and display. A full catalogue of all accessions was kept, and every item was checked in the workshop, to see whether it needed attention. Expeditions were made to other museums, to learn from their methods. Guides were given particular areas to read up, so that there was always someone able to answer questions about some aspect of the museum’s collection. At the same time the White House Museum had the special character of all amateur enterprises, where as much as possible is home-made, and therefore reflects the personality and interests of its makers.

Choosing a successor for this very individual enterprise was not easy. Eventually Miss Purser decided on the Landmark Trust, as a charity that specialises in the care and maintenance of historic buildings by making them available for people to stay in for holidays. Landmark would not be able to run the White House as a museum, but Miss Purser had always felt very strongly that it was first and foremost a home. This aspect of her wishes would certainly be fulfilled: the White House now becomes home for a short time to a succession of different families and groups of people. Miss Purser transferred the White House and all its contents to the Landmark Trust in 1990, and after minor repairs and redecoration, it received its first visitors in 1991.

 

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Restoration

Minor repairs and redecoration

Miss Purser transferred the White House and all its contents to the Landmark Trust in 1990 and, after minor repairs and redecoration, it received its first visitors in 1991. Most of the agricultural machinery had already been dispersed from Miss Purser’s collection before the Landmark Trust took over but items in the cider house are largely intact, as is the stable, complete with Captain, the life size model cart horse. The collection of implements in the middle of the barn is also largely complete.

In furnishing the house for use, the displays which filled some of the rooms were of necessity cleared away. Many objects have been absorbed around the building, however, and small displays have been reassembled in the dairy and kitchen, so that its overall character remains very much the one that Miss Purser created. Above all, the History Room has been put together to act as a reminder on a small scale of the museum as a whole in Miss Purser's time and of her achievement.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.