Hutton-in-the-Forest is a former pele tower bought by the Fletcher-Vane family in 1605. It belongs to Lord Inglewood and has a collection of artwork, tapestries and an 18th century walled garden.
The house began as a medieval pele tower to protect the surrounding land from Scottish invaders. It was owned by the de Hoton family, and it’s said that the building was the Green Knight’s Castle in the Arthurian legend Gawain and the Green Knight. The pele tower has been preserved and is now the main entrance into the house. The de Hotons sold the building to Richard Fletcher, a merchant, in 1605. He converted it into a country house, and his descendants continued to add rooms and decorative features to the building. The Long Gallery was built in 1635 in the Carolingian style and now showcases family portraits, furniture and china. Many of the rooms at Hutton have been well-preserved, such as Lady Darlington’s Room, which was named for the second countess of Darlington who often visited Hutton and is decorated in the Arts and Crafts style with original William Morris wallpaper.
The East Front, built in 1685, has a classical façade and light coloured stonework which is a real contrast with the rest of the building. It was probably built following a design from William Talman, who was the architect for nearby Lowther Castle. Then, in the 1820s, Anthony Salvin and George Webster were commissioned to undertake a restoration programme, adding a new wing, a parapet, and intricate plaster ceilings.
The gardens at Hutton-in-the-Forest have experienced similar changes over years of ownership. The oldest part is the Walled Garden, which is similar to the walled Dutch garden built in the 1730s to the north of the Gallery. The dovecote was built in the 17th century and still has the original rotating ladder inside. Terraces were originally laid out in the 17th century and have lots of topiary hedges. There’s also a 19th-century formal rhododendron garden which is being cleared and replanted after years of neglect, and a woodland walk with old trees and other trees planted by the present Lord Inglewood, who inherited the estate in 1989 and lives there with his wife, Cressida.