The Interior Renovation of Manoir Le Hot

Manoir Le Hot forms the main part of the ancient set of buildings around the largest medieval courtyard in Manche, the area of Western Normandy that runs down the Atlantic coast from Cherbourg, and faces the Channel Islands.

It was built in the the 15th Century, and its first written mention is in 1498 when it enjoyed manorial status, belonging to the second son of the Desmaires family from St. Sauveur Le Vicomte. The sundial on the edge of one of the buildings bears their coat-of-arms.

The house was re-built in 1620 with many fine features being retained from the original buildings, including a tower in the architectural style of Flamboyant Gothic, which houses a beautiful stone spiral staircase.

The complex was used for many centuries for farming purposes, and deteriorated, until rescued by two brothers in 1965. One half is still run as a farm by one of the brothers, the other half was bought by Nigel and Elaine Fraser-Gausden in 2006.

Following the purchase, Nigel, son Toby plus a willing friend, spent a month ripping out much of the interior leaving one electric socket and a stand-pipe on the ground floor.

Then began the lengthy task of re-wiring and re-plumbing, followed by the replacing or adding of internal walls. Ancient beams were sandblasted, stone floors cleaned, and old wooden floorboards sanded and polished. Architectural features from the previous five centuries were incorporated into a contemporary interior, demolished dormer windows were restored and other windows opened up.

We renovated massive fireplaces, saved the 15th C. spiral staircase and repaired external stonework.

Decoration has remained simple but with a very modern feel to it – lots of colour, and an up-to-date kitchen, clean lines of furniture, some innovative lighting and an interesting collection of paintings and sculpture. The open-plan ground floor now has underfloor heating and easy access to the south-facing terrace and hence the garden.

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