Would you like to join me on a guided tour? Please follow me as we enter Old Ruffold Hall, a timber framed manor house in Lancashire. The Hesketh family had been lords of the manor since 1520 and Sir William needed money, so he and his son managed through marriage to acquire sufficient money to […]

Up until the Industrial Revolution wealth was generated through land ownership and tenants. The aristocracy had first dabs on most of this due to their titles and rights of inheritance, even lesser landlords could generate sufficient income to keep buying and selling property. Country houses and grand estates are dotted up and down the country […]

My father lived in Wisbech as a child. The market town is on the River Nene in The Fens of Cambridgeshire. The fenlands are reclaimed from the sea. Flat like The Netherlands, whom helped drain it, the region with is rich farm soil is criss-crossed with dykes and man-made cuts (rather like canals). Originally the […]

Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk has just too much history. It’s bursting at the seams. From 1086 there has been a settlement in the parish of Oxborough (meaning fortified place with oxen), which adopted the shorten version of the name. The land belonged to one family for generations and the current house began life in 1482, […]

Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire, as it stands now, is the creation of the Viscount Preston, who was the owner in the late 17th Century, but there has been a house there since the thirteenth century. There are plenty of rooms – the stone hall, dining room, the oak hall, the drawing room and bedrooms, mainly […]

Continuing my theme of Great Houses – I present not one Montagu House, but several. Montagu House, Bloomsbury Sq (House 1) Bloomsbury was a fashionable part of northern London and between 1675 and 1679, Ralph Montagu, first Duke of Montagu, built a house designed by Robert Hooke. In 1686, it was destroyed by fire. Montagu […]

In 1504, wealthy Cheshire landowner, William Moreton, began to build a rather irregular shaped house. Described by the National Trust (who now take care of the hall) as a ‘stranded Noah’s ark’; it is decidedly top heavy. The way the building grows with each storey added is not unusual for Medieval or Tudor houses which […]

Have you seen the progress at Kentwell Hall?   This was the marketing ploy used by the new owners of Kentwell Hall, a Tudor property in Suffolk that had fallen into disrepair by the 1970s. The family who bought it have spent thirty years working on the restoration project in much the same way most […]

Here’s today’s post – Jodrell Hall, a country house in the east of Cheshire, built in 1779 in the Georgian style of red brick and slate roof. Since 1955 it has been a preparatory school by the name of Terra Nova. (Picture? It’s a school, so I can’t find anything that doesn’t have school kids […]

Ightham Mote (pronounced item moat) is one of my favourite houses. When I lived in Kent, I used to live not far away and relished a visit. Now in the hands of the National Trust, its long history began centuries ago and involved many occupiers. A house’s history is the product of his occupants and […]

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