This medieval-Jacobean house was built by the Trenchard family in 1560 and is owned by one of their distant relatives, Nigel Thimbleby.
Nigel Thimbleby owns Wolfeton House, which can trace its heritage back to about 1480. Most of the house you see now was built by the Trenchard family around 1560 and the insides testify to this just as much as the outside architecture. Oak panels line the walls, and you’ll see lots of Elizabethan and Jacobean carvings around the place, particularly in the unique central stone staircase which has carved figures in the balustrade. But there are also lots of pictures (including a Van Dyk) and furniture from the 17th century.
The Trenchard family had some financial problems in the 18th century and the house ended up being let as a farmhouse until it was sold to family cousins, the Westons, in the 19th century. They knocked down parts of the house that were falling into ruin and took stone from one side of the house to use it on the other side, making it a real jumble of styles and colours. Eventually the house passed to Nigel Thimbleby’s mother, who was a relative of the Trenchard family. He and his wife started off conservation work to save the house from ruin, but there’s still lots of work to be done. If you walk around the grounds, you’ll find an old riding house for training horses and riders, sometimes thought to be the oldest surviving riding house in the country. It’s currently being restored and there’s hope that horses might return to it soon. Look out for the gatehouse, which was finished in 1534, according to a panel above the door. If you like, you can rent it from the Landmark Trust for a few nights’ stay.