Sandford Orcas

Sandford Orcas Manor in Dorset.

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With more than 470 lots, the collection will be offered at auction by Duke’s of Dorchester on March 6.

Described by the saleroom as “one of the best preserved and least altered early Tudor manor houses in the land”, it has been occupied by only two families since it was built c.1550, the Knoyles and the Medleycotts, and the decision to sell has come following the death of Sir Mervyn Medleycott, the 9th Baronet, in 2021.

Sandford Orcas has been owned by the Medleycott family for over 300 years and many of the more important items in the collection have come from Venn House in Somerset, which was the Medleycott principal family seat.

“It is rare to visit a house that has been untouched for so many generations,” says Guy Schwinge, Duke’s consultant.


This Queen Anne walnut wing armchair is also among the lots. According to family records, this chair is a Venn heirloom and probably came to Sandford Orcas in 1929. It is estimated at £1500-2500.

“Sandford Orcas is a true time capsule occupied by a handful of families in the last 500 years. Genuine house sales like this are very rare these days and the auction will attract international interest from collectors and connoisseurs around the world.

“The auction has everything from silver by the greatest makers of the 18th century to a pair of Tudor leather children’s shoes found in a wall during restoration work. There is even a cannon ball from the English Civil War discovered in the grounds.”