This fine Georgian residence overlooking the beautiful River Suck was built in the enclosure of a medieval castle between 1690 and 1720, and is of considerable historic interest - not least as the birthplace of the Gunning sisters, who became the Duchess of Hamilton (and later, of Argyll) and Countess of Coventry; celebrated for their beauty, portraits of them by Sir Joshua Reynolds hang in the main hall.
Having acquired the house as a ruin in 1997 the present owner, Kevin Finnerty, has painstakingly restored it to its former glory and, even if you cannot stay there, it is an exceptionally beautiful and interesting place to visit - guided tours of the house and grounds are offered from April to October (Tue-Sun, 2-6pm), and afterwards you can have afternoon tea with freshly baked scones and homemade apple pie, apple juice and apple chutney in The Old Ballroom.
The gardens are really lovely and include a walled orchard of rare apple trees (and none of the apples go to waste), three of the four towers of the ruined castle, a medieval bridge and even an ice house, all encircled by the river – a most romantic setting for the house.
An atmospheric cellar with a big open fire and snooker table is on a charmingly human scale in contrast to the grand proportions of the reception rooms – which, Kevin feels, lend themselves especially well to group events; thus musical events, in particular, have become important to the life of the house, helped along by the acquisition of a baby grand piano.
The bright and airy guest rooms have marble fireplaces and stucco ceilings, and are beautifully furnished with four-poster beds and sumptuous bathrooms, making a wonderful place to stay for both individuals and groups.