Penley Horsemanship





A centerpiece of the farm is the 1840’s barn at Appleton Manor. Generous in its capacity, the main original barn features:


  • Tack room

  • 2 Oversized boxstalls (for drafts)

  • 5 Generous straight or standing stalls for carriage horses

  • Wash stall

  • Overhead hayloft

Attached to the original barn:


  • 4 Newer boxstalls

  • Open area with dirt/sand footing for groundwork or other uses

Additional Details:


  • Seven arched carriage bays served as run-ins for the former owners' horses

  • 3 Double-deep bays for trucks, trailers or big farm equipment.

  • Large outdoor riding arena sits adjacent to the barns


High on a knoll above the upper pasture sets a kids' log cabin. Quaint in its appearance, it is a one-room, stone-fireplaced hideaway which overlooks the pond and its accompanying back acreage.


With varying topography Appleton Manor's land is a joy to experience. Its back boundary is a roaring brook with a hidden grotto, its own covered bridge, a "Concord Bridge" that leads to a gazebo on its own peninsula and several acres of meadow that serve as a wildlife sanctuary. The pond is a focal point of the grounds, as it provides functional purposes for fish and game, as well as being a visual delight.


If horses are your passion, there is generous turnout. The road frontage of Appleton Manor is over 600' and its 13 acres is one of the largest village parcels, hidden from the view of passersby. Privacy, yet accessibility to the amenities of the village, is the hallmark of Appleton Manor.

Historical and home details from the owners.....


New Ipswich, in the early I800's, was a small center village. Two families, the Appletons and the Barretts, who migrated from Ipswich, MA, became founding figures locally. As friends and rivals, they became intertwined in marriage and in business. Appleton Academy, second in New Hampshire only to Phillips Exeter Academy, at the time, was established by them. The birth of Appleton Manor, the Barrett Mansion, along with other stylish Federal, Georgian and Greek Revival homes, occurred back then. In the middle I800's, two Appleton daughters married prominently - one to President Franklin Pierce and the other to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Appleton Academy churned out many students who matriculated to Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Bowdoin College. Even Jonas Chickering of piano fame, was a native of New Ipswich.

With the advent of the stagecoach era in 1824 and the dirt "turnpike" from Boston to Keene, N.H., New Ipswich became a prosperous town. The first cotton mills in New Hampshire were constructed by the Appletons and the Barretts. Textiles became a large-scale endeavor. Inns also sprouted up to accommodate weary travelers and, in 1870, Appleton Manor, under later ownership, widely became known as "Appleton Arms". Much remodeling took place, and with the addition of a huge 3 story ell, Appleton Arms accommodated 75 guests. After many years of prosperity, the new railroad side-tracked "traffic" from New Ipswich and business suffered.

In 1932, the ell, the piazza, the dance hall, the billiard room and all aspects of the inn were removed. Appleton Manor once again became a private residence. Over its nearly 200 years of existence, Appleton Manor experienced several architectural transfigurations. Brick modifications, the addition of the mansard roof and the inn renovations were perhaps the most significant changes about a century ago. More recently, in 1985, a I ½ story wood frame wing replaced the solarium, which successfully retained the style of the main house. The dormers, with molded eaves, reflect the same design, as does the keystone motif of the glassed-in breezeway.


Presently, the white painted brick home stands on a cut, granite block foundation. This substantial building has many early appointments, both inside and outside, from the Federal Colonial period. Confirming this style is the recessed doorway, with its reeded, arched surround and semi-elliptical fanlight with tracery. The large, flat pilasters and flat entablature with heavy molded cornice are in the Colonial Revival style. A large pair of carriage lights flank the doorway and light up the brick front walk which leads to the substantial granite steps.


The interior of the Manor has a generous, easy flow to it. The 20' x 28' great room, resting on a slab, is fronted by a full brick wall with a huge fireplace. French doors and many windows allow for various views of the property. From this great room, the modern kitchen with sitting/dining area presents itself. With huge beams, exposed old brick, period light fixtures and a fireplace with a beehive oven, the rustic look is complete. The adjacent formal dining room, with its "Monuments of Paris" wallpaper, is a most pleasing room. Highlighted in the Richmond Room of the Federal Wing of the Metropolitan Museum, the same paper that Dr. Appleton purchased for his daughter hangs here. With a wide arched passage, one is then led into the elegant front parlor. A fluted fireplace, with much fancy dentil work, complements the mood of this fine room. Step into the spacious front center hallway with sweeping staircase and marvel at the unique curved door that leads back into the dining room. A handsome library occupies the other front parlor flanking the center entry. Oversized dark pine panels, wide floorboards and a great fireplace are the dominant features of this comfortable study. Up the butterfly staircase where one exchanges "Good Morning" to one another, the spacious second floor foyer allows for a free flow to the other rooms.


At the top of the stairs is the master bedroom with a fireplace and large double walk-in closets. Recently expanded into the front bedroom, the now two-room suite flows into a generous-sized "sitting" room with another fireplace. An elegant marble bath with twin reeded, 24K gold painted porcelain sinks and a whirlpool tub serves as the master bath. A walk-in linen closet is adjacent to the bathroom. Directly across the front-toback foyer is a comfortable en suite bedroom with its own fireplace, and charming and private bath w/pheasant painted porcelain sink and whirlpool bath.


The third floor, with its east-west central hall, allows for its own private usage. With an oversized bedroom, 3 smaller and charming bedrooms, an entertainment room, a storage room, 2 full bathrooms and a walk-in, cedar-lined off-season clothes storage room, this upper floor is self-contained. There is a rear fire escape up here from the home's days as an inn.


The basement level is a delightful surprise in a home of this vintage! It boasts a full-sized billiard room with a copper-lined ceiling. Complementing the warm glow are walls paneled with century old, wormed butternut wood. A faux fireplace lends charm to the room. Adjacent, is a pleasing paneled laundry room. Rounding out the lower level is an arched wine cellar, a paneled sauna (not being used), a workshop with sink and a large area housing the plumbing and heating apparatus. Radiant heated floors are throughout the basement rare indeed!


Much updating of the electrical, plumbing, heating, smoke, fire and security systems was accomplished in the renovation process. Proper historical paint colors and period light fixtures are utilized throughout the Manor in its careful refurbishment.


As one steps out the front or side door, one notes the handsome white fence. Separating the property from the road is about 200' of alternating 7' tall and 4' short, slender, round balusters. Six large, square wooden posts with tiered caps flank the three gated entrances. Off the circular drive, follow a brick walkway to a brick & stone patio. Steps further, is the barn appendage, formerly the "summer kitchen". Tastefully restored, it also could serve as a seasonal antique shop, a future caretaker's quarters, a workout area or an office for the professional who chooses to invite clients in. Its rustic appointments are as pleasing as its view over the field and pond to the meadow beyond. The panorama encompasses the secluded 20' x 40' in-ground pool with large, brick patio. The upper 4 car garage building has its own heating system for year-round comfort in New England. Adjacent is a two-bay carriage area for storage.

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