One of the oldest inhabited homes in Britain has been given a new lease of life, after having a new fireplace fitted.

The Manor, Hemingford GreyThe Manor, Hemingford Grey

The Manor, in Hemingford Grey, which was built in the 1130s, is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Britain.

The building was made famous as the house of the novel Green Knowe by author Lucy Boston, in her series of children's books, which are now regarded as classics.

The house, which is famously cold due to its great age, has just had a new fireplace installed, in a bid to try and tackle the chill.

The fireplace, which was installed by St Neots Fireplace and Stove Centre, is a wood burning stove that, it is hoped, will keep the house well heated, even into the winter months.

The Manor, in Hemingford GreyThe Manor, in Hemingford Grey

Diane Boston, who lives in the house, said: "I wanted the fireplace to fit in with the house. I was really worried about having a new fireplace installed because of how old the house is.

"Steve [Ruff, of St Neots Fireplace and Stove Centre] took great care in installing the fireplace. He applied his knowledge and intelligence and realised that the house was fragile so he took great care in making sure that everything was okay.

"At first I wanted a different style, but Steve was sure that the one I had would be the best for what I wanted, and I am so glad I listened.

"This was my first time using the company and it was a great recommendation. The difference that this has made to the house is incredible; I am no longer sat here with a woolly hat on."

The new fireplaceThe new fireplace

The house has a moat and is surrounded by four acres of gardens which are known for a collection of 200 old roses. The Norman-era house, which is believed to have been built in the 1130s by Payn de Hemingford, is Grade-I listed.

Diana said: "I can already tell the difference with the house's heating. Because of the history of our house, it is sometimes hard to maintain it without taking away from its appearance."

The gardens, which are open to members of the public, were laid out by Lucy Boston, and are promoted by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Mr Ruff, owner of St Neots Fireplace and Stove Centre, said: "It was a real honour to fit the new fireplace for Mrs Boston. I felt like I was under a lot of pressure due to how old the house was but I really enjoyed doing it.

The Manor, Hemingford GreyThe Manor, Hemingford Grey

"I am so glad that she is so pleased with the final result."

For more information about visiting The Manor, go to To find out more about St Neots Fire and Stove Centre call 01480 470656 or visit