Sheldon Manor was one of the very first properties to be advertised on yours2share, offering its cottages as second homes for fractional rental. Sheldon Manor is Wiltshire’s oldest inhabited manor house with a 13th century porch and a 15th century chapel.
Caroline Hawkins of Sheldon Manor hosts weddings in the grounds and sometimes needs the cottages to accommodate a variety of wedding suppliers such as film-makers and caterers for large weddings. This made permanently letting the cottages unsuitable. Sheldon Manor is Caroline’s private home and she didn’t want the cottages let for holidays as they would have a constant stream of different people using them. The ideal solution was to find a small number of tenants who would use the cottages as second homes.
One of the cottages is The Bothy, a three bedroom farm cottage. With its large living room and kitchen, big kitchen table, and private garden with furniture and barbeque, The Bothy is a perfect weekend cottage. The Bothy has access to gardens with ancient yews, a mulberry tree, a profusion of old fashioned roses blooming in May and June, and the manor’s chapel.
Adie Hannah and her husband saw an article in the Sunday Times about yours2share and Sheldon Manor back in September 2007, and immediately got in touch with Caroline.
In January 2008 they agreed a year’s contract to use The Bothy for nine weeks. All the weeks are specific dates covering most of the summer holidays, half terms and Christmas. They have just renewed this contract.
Adie: “We live in Chiswick, so Sheldon is just an hour and a half from our home in Chiswick. We like the idea that by holidaying in the UK we are reducing our carbon footprint.”
Adie: “We have two young children aged 5 and 3, and Sheldon is perfect for them. They can run around in the orchards and they are learning to ride their bikes on the long drive. The next time we’re there, I’m going to buy a croquet set as the lawn is perfect for this.”
Caroline:” I really like the fact that I am able to get to know people before agreeing to let to them. It is important to us that the people living in our cottages share our values and we become good friends.”
Caroline: “We have a further wing that we will be renting fractionally. I have a list of about 20 people that have contacted me through yours2share, so far all of them look like good potential candidates, so my main problem is deciding which people.”