Cottage where William of Orange held first Parliament on sale

Thatched cottage where William of Orange held his first Parliament 330 years ago goes up for sale for £575,000

  • The five bedroom Grade II listed Parliament House in Longcombe, Devon, has gone on sale for £575,000 
  • It is named after the occasion when the Dutch prince held a meeting in 1688, starting the Glorious Revolution’ 
  • In the garden of the property is a carved stone saying how William of Orange held his first parliament there
  • Originally thought to be four cottages, the house has a quirky layout with different levels linked by staircases 
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A thatched cottage where William of Orange is said to have held his first parliament 330 years ago has gone on the market for £575,000.

The Grade II listed Parliament House in Longcombe, Devon, is named after the historic moment the Dutch prince held a meeting in November 1688 as he started his ‘Glorious Revolution’ to remove James II from the throne.

And in the garden a carved stone’s inscription reads: ‘William Prince of Orange is said to have held his first Parliament here in November 1688.’

Originally thought to be four cottages, the five-bedroom property has a quirky layout with different levels linked by several staircases and lots of period features.


Originally thought to be four cottages, the five-bedroom property has a quirky layout with different levels linked by several staircases and lots of period features


The living room of the house, with its cone shaped roof, that is on the market for £575,000 with Woods estate agents


One of the five bedrooms of the quirky property, which has still retained many of its period features

It is now on the market with Woods estate agents.

William of Orange landed in England eight miles from this property, in Brixham, at the invitation of leading Parliamentarians and Anglicans who did not like the idea of a continuing Catholic monarchy after James II had a son.

William arrived with about 20,000 troops and started making his way inland.

At the spot where Parliament House is he met up with Sir Edward Seymour, an influential privy counsellor and opponent of James II, along with a number of unnamed ‘Gentlemen of the West’.

This meeting was dubbed his first parliament on English soil.


The house, which is now in need of some updating, has a drawing room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room (pictured) library, living room, five bedrooms and three bathrooms


The property is a chocolate box-style picturesque cottage with a thatched roof, a traditional stone circular staircase, wood panelling, leaded windows and ornate fireplaces.


The drawing room of the thatched cottage, where William of Orange is believed to have held his first Parliament 330 years ago

As well as its historic importance, the property is a chocolate box-style picturesque cottage with a thatched roof, a traditional stone circular staircase, wood panelling, leaded windows and ornate fireplaces.

The house, which is now in need of some updating, has a drawing room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, library, living room, five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

It is surrounded by its own gardens with a stone wall and cobble path, a raised garden to the side with lovely seating areas and Wisteria and other creepers climbing the house.

There is also two storage sheds and greenhouse next to a kitchen garden, which is now overgrown, but could easily be restored to be productive.


The house is surrounded by its own gardens with a stone wall and cobble path, a raised garden to the side with seating areas


One of the cottages three bathrooms. William of Orange landed in England eight miles from this property in Brixham


A floor plan showing the layout of the property. It is clear from the graphic that it was once a number of different properties

Nick Wood, from Woods Homes, said: ‘Parliament House is a wonderful character house, in need of improvement, nestled in the South Devon countryside and steeped in history.

‘It is said that William of Orange held his first parliament here after landing in Brixham in 1688.

‘The property is laid out in a totally unique way with the various levels linked with a number of staircases, one of which is a traditional stone circular staircase.

‘Located to the rear of the property is an impressive living room forming part of an octagon with several windows and log burning stove.

‘Parliament House stands in extensive gardens that surround the property, they are a reasonable size but need maintenance to return them to their previous splendour.

‘Behind the stone wall abutting the lane is the ‘parliament stone’ which refers to William of Orange’s first parliament here.’

What was the ‘Glorious Revolution’?


King William III, who was also widely known at William of Orange

The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688 resulted in the deposition of James II from the throne.

In his place was his daughter Mary II and her husband, William II, Prince of Orange.

James II, who came to the throne in 1685, was a Roman Catholic, and this alienated most of Britain.

Despite James promoting Roman Catholics in numerous institutions, such as the Army and Oxford University, no moves were made against him.

However, this changed in 1688. Parliament refused to accept the idea of a Catholic succession, and when his wife Mary gave birth to a son, they decided to act.

Parliamentarians and senior members of the Anglican church invited the Dutch Prince William of Orange to invade. 

As a grandson of Charles I, William had only a tenuous link to the throne, but his wife, Mary, daughter of James II, had a much stronger claim to the succession. 

William of Orange landed at Brixham Harbour in Devon on 5th November, 1688, accompanied by an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 troops. 

He headed inland, to a cottage six miles from Brixham, called King William’s Cottage.

Travelling a further three miles he came to a farmhouse where he met with Sir Edward Seymour, an influential privy counsellor and opponent of James II, and other dignatries.

This meeting has been termed his first Parliament on English soil.

He advanced slowly on London as support fell away from James II. James’s daughter Anne and his best general, John Churchill, were among the deserters to William’s camp. Thereupon, James fled to France.

William was now asked to carry on the government and summon a Parliament. 

In January 1689, the now-famous Convention Parliament met. After significant pressure from William, Parliament agreed to a joint monarchy, with William as king and James’s daughter, Mary, as queen.

The two new rulers accepted more restrictions from Parliament than any previous monarchs.

The new king and queen both signed the Declaration of Rights, which became known as the Bill of Rights. Experts believe the Bill of Rights was the first step toward a constitutional monarchy. 

 

 

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