Hovingham Hall (North Yorkshire): living in a horse box

Living in a horse box?  Strange title?  Not really, once you understand that this house was designed and built by the Thomas Worsley, the man who reputedly taught George III to ride and who had spent time in Austria, bringing back dancing ponies that were his pride & joy.

Hence one enters via an indoor riding school.  What were once the stables have now been incorporated into the house (a dining table for use when shoots are hosted).  The house is off to the side (the left on the picture above).  While someone has meddled with the proportions of the very nice lounge by adding short bookcases in the 1930s to house a library inherited by the family (I was confused as to the bookcases and was relieved to find out they were indeed later), the house is very comfortable and very nice.  The family have been helped by a grant from English Heritage, enabling them to refurbish the upstairs rooms.  This might explain why were told that the “family open the house, for now”.

The lounge, from the house’s own website – but it looks much nicer today
The library/ionic room from Country Life, before its refurbishment (it’s much nicer now and had furniture in it)

Princess Michael of Kent was brought up at Hovingham and Thomas Cromwell was an ancestor.  The family still host a cricket pitch in their back garden.

It’s one of those houses where I wish I’d been allowed to take interior shots, and alas I can’t find many on the internet.

Dare I say it, this might be my favourite house of the year, despite its lack of symmetry, just for being so darn unique!

When visited: June 2014

Website: http://www.hovingham.co.uk/

Theme tune: Living in a Box

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