The Manor House is a 14th-century country house hotel in Castle Combe, Wiltshire in the south of England.
The Manor House is noteworthy for several reasons throughout history. Its land is the site of a Norman castle settlement which has hosted a number of Lords throughout its history, the most famous of whom was Sir John Oldcastle, the figure Shakespeare based his character of Sir John Falstaff upon in his play Henry IV in the late 16th century.
It was also the home of English geologist and political economist George Poulett Scrope throughout the 19th century. He lived at the Manor House from the start of his first marriage until the death of his wife Emma (the great-granddaughter of Sir Robert Long), in 1866; his wife's family had owned the land since the 14th century.
Scrope was responsible for the creation of the grounds' Italian, Classical and medieval Gothic styled gardens and summerhouse in the mid-19th century, which can still be seen today.
During World War II, the New Zealand Forestry Officers had the Manor House as their headquarters. In 1947, the owner of the Castle Combe estate sold the houses of the estate and the Manor House became a country club. After 18 months the club left the premises, and the house was shortly thereafter sold to Bobbie Allen, an amateur hotelier, and her husband. Over time, they established the Manor House as a premier country hotel, run almost as a club. A quite glamorous clientele ensued. Certain of the London hotels would refer guests in search of authentic England to the Manor House. Mrs. Allen was a noted horsewoman, and the grounds of the Manor House were known for their suitability for riding. Mrs. Allen was from Lancashire, and known for her directness. She wrote a book of her experiences, From Claridge's to Castle Combe, which reflects her character and the post World War II era. After many years, the Allens sold the Manor House to Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Clegg, who sold it to the present owners.
The building was recorded as Grade II listed in 1960.
Manor House is located in Castle Combe, near Chippenham in Wiltshire.