The Haunting of Stancliffe Hall

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Stancliffe Hall, not sane, stood by itself against its woods, holding darkness within; it has stood for hundreds of years and may stand for hundreds more. After reading the account of my years spent there, I hope you won’t think it too silly of me to apply the opening lines of Shirly Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House to my former boarding … Continue reading The Haunting of Stancliffe Hall

Hatchlands

BY CHARLES EVANS Hatchlands Park is a red-brick country house with surrounding gardens in East Clandon, Surrey, covering 430 acres. It is located near Guildford. The park initially belonged to Chertsey Abbey with the park being mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1544, after the dissolution of the monasteries, it was granted by Henry VIII to Sir Anthony Browne and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald … Continue reading Hatchlands

Ascott

BY CHARLES EVANS Ascott House was originally a farm house, built in the reign of James I and known as “Ascott Hall”. In 1873 it was acquired by Baron Mayer de Rothschild (of the neighbouring Mentmore Towers estate). The Rothschild family had begun to acquire vast tracts of land in Buckinghamshire earlier in the century, on which they built a series of large mansions from … Continue reading Ascott

Holmwood House

BY CHARLES EVANS Holmwood House is the finest and most elaborate residential villa designed by the Scottish architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson. It is also rare in retaining much of its original interior decor, and being open to the public. The villa is located at Cathcart in the southern suburbs of Glasgow. Holmwood is considered to be immensely influential by several architectural historians, because the design … Continue reading Holmwood House

Berrington

BY CHARLES EVANS Berrington Hall is a country house located north of Leominster, Herefordshire. During the 20th century it was the seat of the Cawley family. It is a neoclassical country house building which was designed by Henry Holland in 1778-81 for Thomas Harley. It has a somewhat austere exterior, but the interiors are subtle and delicate. Berrington Hall is home to the Elmar Digby … Continue reading Berrington

Ickworth

BY CHARLES EVANS Ickworth House is a country house near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. It is a neoclassical building set in parkland. The house was the residence of the Marquess of Bristol before being sold to the National Trust in 1998. As one of England’s more unusual houses, Ickworth has been unflatteringly described as resembling “a huge bulk, newly arrived from another planet” and … Continue reading Ickworth

Felbrigg Hall

BY CHARLES EVANS Felbrigg Hall is a 17th-century English country house near the village of that name in Norfolk. Part of a National Trust property, the unaltered 17th-century house is noted for its Jacobean architecture and fine Georgian interior. Outside the house are a walled garden, an orangery and orchards. The estate originated with the Felbrigg family. It passed to John Wyndham (died 1475), and … Continue reading Felbrigg Hall

Hinton Ampner

BY CHARLES EVANS Hinton Ampner House is a stately home with gardens within the civil parish of Bramdean and Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire. The garden was created by Ralph Stawell Dutton (1898–1985), the 8th and last Baron Sherborne, starting in 1930, making this a modern 20th-century garden. The property is now more noted for its garden than the house. Previously, the parkland came directly … Continue reading Hinton Ampner

Standen

BY CHARLES EVANS Standen is an Arts and Crafts house located to the south of East Grinstead, West Sussex, England. The house and its surrounding gardens belong to the National Trust and are open to the public. It is a Grade I listed building. Between 1891 and 1894 architect Philip Webb, who was a friend of William Morris, designed the house for a prosperous London … Continue reading Standen

Horton Court

BY CHARLES EVANS Horton Court lies in a valley in the South Cotswolds. Originally a Norman hall, now a manor house, it has an interesting and diverse history. Horton Court is a stone-built 16th century manor house in Horton, near Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, England. The building retains a 12th-century Norman hall, and displays some of the earliest Renaissance decorative motifs used in England. It … Continue reading Horton Court

Bateman’s

BY CHARLES EVANS ‘That’s She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’ was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman’s. Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer. The rooms, described by him as … Continue reading Bateman’s

Hinchingbrooke

BY CHARLES EVANS Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was built around an 11th-century nunnery. After the Reformation, it passed into the hands of the Cromwell family, and subsequently, became the home of the Earls of Sandwich, including John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, reputedly the “inventor” of the modern sandwich. On 8 March 1538, Richard Williams (alias Cromwell) had the grant of the nunnery of … Continue reading Hinchingbrooke

Syon

BY CHARLES EVANS Syon House, and its 200-acre park, Syon Park, is in west London, historically within the parish of Isleworth, in the county of Middlesex. It belongs to the Duke of Northumberland and is now his family’s London residence. After the dissolution of the convent on the site, Syon was occupied by Protector Somerset and John Dudley, Duke of Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, … Continue reading Syon

Charlton House

BY CHARLES EVANS Among several English houses with the name Charlton House, the most prominent is a Jacobean building in Charlton, London. It is regarded as the best-preserved ambitious Jacobean house in Greater London. It was built in 1607–12 of red brick with stone dressing, and has an “E”-plan layout. The interior features a great hall, chapel, state dining room, saloon and gallery. The house … Continue reading Charlton House