Not only is Rushton Hall one of the most beautiful hotels in Kettering, it was also the seat of the Tresham family for almost 200 years before it was taken over by the Crown. Rushton is now a hotel, home of a beautiful spa and wedding facilities. We continuously work with Historic England to keep the authenticity of Rushton the same that it has always been, including restoring many stunning features within the hotel.
We appreciate history and we love the stories that beautiful buildings have to tell us. So when people to come to stay with us, we always recommend that they visit other National Trust properties close to the hotel, to experience all that Northamptonshire has to offer. Below are just a sneak peek of three properties to get a taste of the grandeur the Tresham’s used to live in at Rushton Hall during its aristocratic heyday…
Lyveden is one of the most intriguing National Trust properties in the UK, because it is incomplete. The building was commissioned by Sir Thomas Tresham, of the Tresham lineage that also built our very own Rushton Hall. Sadly, Tresham fell on hard times and Lyveden was left incomplete. Amazingly, the would be lodge has remained untouched by the hands of time and stands proudly, if not a little dishevelled, as it has done for over 400 years.
You might be wondering what’s so interesting about an empty and unfinished building, but Lyveden has a lot to offer visitors. When The National Trust took on the property they took great care to restore the rare and beautiful Elizabethan garden. Not many examples of Elizabethan garden design remain among stately homes today, but since Lyveden has not been developed since 1605 when Sir Thomas Tresham died, it serves as a wonderful example of his vision and the fashion of the time. It’s also worth having a look to see how much graffiti you can see on the weathered structure. Having been left derelict for over 400 years, Lyveden is home to many additions, old and new. You might be reading words carved into the stone by someone who stood in your place four centuries before you…
There are lots of interesting features to be found in the Elizabethan house at Canons Ashby. These include the beautiful and opulent ‘Sir John’s ceiling’ in the Drawing Room. Heads of Indian princesses, pomegranates and thistles adorn the seventeenth-century domed ceiling, which was a gift from Sir John Dryden, the second baronet of Canons Ashby, to his third wife. Also to be found in the magnificent property is the stunning Tapestry Room, complete with a full suite of ornate walnut furniture. The room contains an amazing collection of early eighteenth century furniture all with stunning original embroidered covers, which feature flowers, birds and pastoral scenes. The room is kept in low lighting so as to retain the vivid colours.
Canons Ashby House is also home to the Brewhouse Bookshop, which can be found in the oldest part of the house, in what used to serve as (unsurprisingly) the Brewhouse. The bookshop is a wonderful collection of second hand books and bookworms of all ages and tastes are sure to find something to suit them!
The house of Baddesley Clinton has stood in the site of the Forest of Arden since the forest itself was still a lush woodland some 600 years ago. It served as the seat of the Ferrer family for over 500 years. The house has over the years been amended and added to, making it a sort of patchwork of 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century architecture. The Ferrers were a staunchly Catholic family and as such did what they could to protect prosecuted Jesuit priests. As a result of this, the house contains a priest hole installed by famous ‘priest hide’ architect Nicholas Owen, which can still be seen today.
Also available for your viewing pleasure, are Baddesley’s stunning gardens. Originally the medieval residents would have used the garden as a working kitchen garden, even including stew ponds providing fresh fish. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century, and the garden is still used productively, with a vegetable patch that serves the property’s Barn Restaurant. The garden is also home to picturesque planting, with stunning wisteria in the summer and impressive dahlia border which is in full bloom come autumn.