"Island Hall is a delightful early Georgian house associated with my family since 1804; we would like to welcome you to this site and to our family home."
Christopher and Lady Linda Vane Percy of Island Hall

 
 

The House
Island Hall is an elegant riverside mansion built in the late 1740s. The house is situated in 3 acres of gardens including an ornamental Saxon island in the river Great Ouse. Island Hall is a family run private home and all tours are given by a member of the family. You can also stay for tea, dinner or attend one of our evening concerts. Visiting is easy by road or rail: drive a short distance from the A14 or A1(M) or alight at Huntingdon station.

Please join us for:
  • Tours of the house and grounds with a family member
  • Lunches in the stone flagged hall
  • Traditional homemade English afternoon tea
  • Croquet tea on the house's main lawn
  • Candle lit Dinners and Dinner Concerts
  • We also offer Private Functions tailored to suit your needs
All tours, given by a member of the family and last for around 1 - 1.5 hours, guests are then free to explore the house and gardens and enjoy their refreshments. Groups may book directly through Island Hall by downloading a booking form. Individuals or groups of less than 16 should book tours with our partner, Invitation to View. To arrange a group or organisation visit in the evening or a tailored event, please call.
Tel: 01480-459676 (during office hours);

To contact us:
Island Hall,  Godmanchester
Huntingdon,  Cambridgeshire,  PE29 2BA

 

 

e-mail: enquire@islandhall.com
 

News and Upcoming Events

WELCOME

"On behalf of my family I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Island Hall. I am the seventh generation of my family to live in this delightful early Georgian classical house that was first acquired by my great-great-grandfather Jacob Julian Baumgartner - a naturalised British citizen of Swiss birth.

Island Hall remained a family home for a century and a half until the Second World War, when it was requisitioned and used by the WAAF and then by the RAF's Pathfinder Squadron.

In common with many historic houses, things looked bleak after the war. It had suffered from its wartime use - with Nissen huts covering the garden. The local authority took over responsibility for the building, converting it under the Emergency Housing Act into 15 tiny flats, even using the huts themselves for accommodation.

I saw the house myself for the first time in 1957, from the river, as a schoolboy on a boating party, and dreamed of owning and restoring it one day. At that time I knew nothing of the history of the house and its connections to my family.

Twenty years later, during the 1977 Firemen's Strike, a fire broke out on the ground floor. This was brought under control, then broke out again during the night gutting the south wing, but luckily the main body of the house was left untouched, so there was no damage to any of the early Georgian panelling or to the fine oak staircase. At this point it was thought the house might even be demolished and I saw the house myself for the second time in 1979, in this dire state of near dereliction, but was pleased to find that it had just been acquired by Simon Herrtage, who carried out a major restoration of the structure back to its original 18th century design.

Then, in 1983, we bought the house, re-assuming the family connection and responsibility, as home for our three children who have grown up here and grown to love it too.

We have continued the process of restoration and redecoration, including the restoration of the mews house and the gardens. We have made an exact replica of a lost 18th century Chinese bridge to reconnect the gardens to the island, from which the house takes its name. We have also cleared the island, encouraged wild flower growth and, having lost an elm avenue many years ago, in 2009 we replanted a dozen Princeton Elms, thus creating the first new elm avenue in the county.

We have tried to decorate the interiors with a sense of history, but also a sense of style (we were flattered when Simon Jenkins included our house in England's Thousand Best Houses and referred to the interiors as "a delight" and Country Life magazine featured a visit to our house in the documentary made during their centenary year).

We have portraits and furniture relating to my family and items relating to my wife Linda's family, the Grosvenors. Her father was 5th Baron Ebury and she is the sister of the present Earl of Wilton. Linda also has a collection of vintage prams.

Although Island Hall lies in the heart of old Godmanchester near the parish church, its position on the river and the views over the water meadows give it very much the atmosphere of a classic English country house, which is one of the reasons we love it, and we know visitors respond to it too.

The interiors are attractively English baroque in character. As for the outside, some architectural experts see it as an essentially early Palladian house, others see it as having a touch of the Thomas Archer Baroque; most of our visitors find it satisfyingly domestic, comfortable and fun.

It is a genuine pleasure to welcome interested visitors to our much loved family home and I hope that you will enjoy your visit."
Christopher Vane Percy
             
  Island Hall. Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2BA. Privacy Policy. Copyright CVP Designs 2013. Designed by SWR Media Ltd.