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History

The Lords of the Manor dates back to around 1649. It was originally a much smaller house which has been added to and altered over the years. The Slaughter family (originally Sclostre meaning "a slough or muddy place” who take their name from here), purchased the Manor from Henry VIII. It was later occupied by Ferdinando Tracy Travell, whose portrait hangs on the first floor landing, and a coat-of-arms is incorporated into the decoration of the Drawing Room fireplace. When Travell died in 1808, the house was passed to his nephew, the Reverend Francis Edward Witts. The Witts family were the first Rectors, and then Lords of Upper Slaughter.

When the Reverend E. F. Witts died, he was succeeded by his son, the Reverend Canon Francis Edward Broome Witts. "Broome” marked his descent from Broome Witts, a Chipping Norton mercer (draper) and is a minor corruption of "broom”, the plant (Latin "planta genista”) which gave its name to the Plantagenet Kings of England. They wore a sprig of broom in their helmets in battle and its association with the Witts and Upper Slaughter is commemorated in the family crest over the porch by the sprig of broom in the eagle’s beak.

In 1913, F.E. Broome Witts was succeeded by his son, Major Edward Francis Broome Witts D.S.O., who served in the Boer War (1901-02), and the First World War. Throughout the Second World War, the property was occupied by the Army as Major Witts had vacated it. During this time, the front porch was damaged by an army vehicle, evidence of which can still be seen.

In 1972, the Manor was converted into a hotel, by Major General Witts’ son, Francis Witts, who still lives in Upper Slaughter. Privately managed by Francis Witts and his cousins until 1985, the hotel was then sold to James Gulliver (famous for the attempted Guinness Group take-over and chairman of the Argyll Group who own Safeway). Sadly he died in September 1996, and the Gulliver family then sold the hotel in February 1997.

The Lords of the Manor remains a privately owned hotel and has been a “second home” to the Munir family since 1997. They have continued to invest substantially in the House and Gardens during this time (including refurbishment of all bedrooms in 2008), restoring it to the beautiful condition you find it in today.

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