Crickley Court was bought at the end of the 19th Century by Sir William Thistleton-Dyer who was a director of Kew Gardens. Whether he had renamed it or not we are unsure but at that time it was called “The Ferns” and the sloping land at the rear of the house was apparently well looked after and contained many rare and unusual plants. Sadly, little sign remains of his efforts today although the masses of Spring daffodils are highly picturesque! On his death, his wife, Lady Harriet, moved to Devon and we believe the house was then rented out until sold in the mid thirties to the Barnwood Mental Asylum as an annex to the main hospital. It became a private home again in the mid fifties.
In the 1980s it was bought by the then Ministry of Transport whilst improvements were made to the A417 and it lay empty for some time. The Pilgrim-morris’ bought it at auction in November 1997. The main house had quite a few problems – dry rot, wet rot, woodworm, asbestos lagging, lead piping, crumbling plaster and so on. Gradually all walls and ceilings were stripped and re-plastered, new central heating installed, new plumbing, new wiring, doors, windows – a total refurbishment. Today’s TV house improver programmes would have been proud of their achievements! It was good fun, though with hindsight…..! While the work was being carried out we lived in a caravan on site which Geoff enjoyed but Lis did not. When the children flew the nest we decided to offer B&B guest accommodation. They opened in 2001 which, being ‘foot and mouth’ year was perhaps not the best time to choose! However, they were soon awarded the English Tourist Board / ‘VisitBritain’ 4 Stars and Silver Award for comfort and service.
Geoff and Lis then decided to convert the old stables into holiday cottages. They applied for, and received, all necessary permissions and work started in October 2005. There has been little change to the stables, all the Cotswold stonework and original beams being retained. It was completed at the end of March and on the 1st April 2006 their twin granddaughters – Amber and Jasmine – (after whom the cottages are named) officially “opened” them in a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Cottages were awarded a 4 Stars rating in Summer 2006.
In mid 2014, John Kingston and Pamela purchased Crickley Court and the attached cottages, “we believe we can continue the great service and comfort that Geoff and Lis have offered over the last 8 years.”
There was a weather vane on the roof of the stables, removed during building work which had a date of 1705 on it. We believe that at around that time the property was a coaching inn called “The Crown” and the stables housed the horses which were added to coaches going up the hill to Stow on the Wold.