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

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

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

Lacock Abbey

BY CHARLES EVANS Sir William Sharington, a man of the Tudor renaissance, preserved the entire cloister (13th and 15th centuries) of the nunnery at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire which, c. 1550, he converted into a highly picturesque dwelling. Sharington, servant of Protector Somerset, was a pioneer, with Sir John Thynne of Longleat in the new Italian architecture, and his work here comprises some of its … Continue reading Lacock Abbey