An utterly charming old rectory in the village where Sir Christopher Wren grew up

The greatest British architect, Sir Christopher Wren, was the son of a rector in East Noyle, where he was born and raised. And while that even older parsonage is long gone, the old parsonage that followed it still exists—and is now looking for a new owner.

Dr. Christopher Wren was rector of the village of East Knoil in Wiltshire for 20 years, and it was at this time that his son, the future astronomer, geometer, physicist, mathematician and architect, was born on October 20, 1632. And up for sale today. is the old parish house of East Knoil, but although it predates the great polymath, it is not the place where Sir Christopher Wren was born.

It seems unbelievable in an era when there are far fewer sights worthy of a turnstile and gift shop, but (according to local lore) Wren’s actual birthplace was demolished during a road widening project. Today, a plaque stands in the village marking the spot where it once stood.

A plaque in East Knoil is all that remains of Christopher Wren’s birthplace…although the slightly vague wording “near this place” leaves plenty of room for ambiguity. Credit: Wire723 via WikiCommons

So we’ll never know what Wren’s childhood home looked like, but given his future career, there’s every reason to assume it was just as charming as the current Old Rectory, sold by Strutt & Parker for $2.5 million. pounds.

This Grade II listed property dates in part to the Tudor period (has an arched Tudor doorway with overhead light); an extension was added by Canon Cross in the 1930s when he moved out of the original vicarage.

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The size and level of craftsmanship detailed inside suggest that the Old Rectory was always meant to be an important home. Sold from church property in 1976 when parish reorganization merged the parishes of neighboring Hindon, Chicklade and Pertwood, it was purchased at the time by the current owners.

They have created what Annabelle Blackett of Strutt & Parker’s Country Department describes as the perfect family home. “It’s well-suited to modern family living: the interior layout has plenty of room for entertaining, with spacious dining and living areas, a quiet library and five large bedrooms.”

In the center is a large kitchen-living room with elements designed by Smallbone of Devizes.

East Knoil lies within the Cranborne Chase AONB, about six miles north of Shaftesbury and six miles west of Tisbury. The village has an active community with various clubs and societies, as well as a church, pub and mail shop (Wren’s Shop) run by village volunteers.

There are some very popular pubs, cafes and delis in the area, including the Beckford Arms at nearby Fonthill Manor, the Grosvenor Arms at Hindon, the Pythouse Kitchen Garden which is set in an 18th century walled garden in Tisbury. and Compton McRae in nearby Semley. The pithouse is also home to the local tennis club.

The Old Priest is surrounded by a little over an acre fenced regular garden that is mostly lawn and woodland, with a one-acre paddock to the east, ideal for horses or a small allotment. Also in the garden there is a large potting shed and a botanical garden.

Access to London is via Tisbury Main Station, from where trains to Waterloo take one hour and 48 minutes.

An old parsonage in East Knoil is up for sale through Strutt & Parker for £2.5m – see more details and photos.

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