Godmanchester was, in Roman times, a major settlement at an important crossroads and became one of England's earliest boroughs when it was awarded its charter in 1212. Once the town was referred to, in the 17th Century, as a "very great county Towne". Yet despite that, Godmanchester has always had more the character of a village enhanced by the extensive commons which border it, commons belonging to local freemen, providing excellent recreational areas. Modern housing has now been built beyond the commons but the town centre is still village-like.
It is a close neighbour of Huntingdon and the towns are separated by attractive water meadows criss-crossed with footpaths and rivulets from the Great Ouse. A beautiful 13th century road bridge across the Ouse links the two towns.
Island Hall is in Post Street, in the centre of the town, set on the banks of the river Great Ouse, overlooking the ornamental island from which it takes its name. Beyond is Portholme, reputedly the largest water meadow in Britain and an area of outstanding natural beauty, which is also of special interest.
There is approximately 1.5 acres of formal garden with a large river frontage, and a 2 acre ornamental island in the river, linked to the mainland by a Chinese Bridge.
Groups of over 16 may book directly through Island Hall, individuals or parties of less than
16 should book through 'Invitation to View'. If your group or organisation is planning an evening visit to the house, this can be arranged.
I am sure you will appreciate we are unable to accommodate children under 13 years old in the house during the day and 16 years old in the evening.
All tours, given by a member of the family and last for around 1 - 1.5 hours (see booking form for details) guests are then free to explore the house and gardens and enjoy their refreshments. Ladies are kindly asked not to wear stiletto heels during their visit. To book please download, complete and return a
booking form to us.
Other nearby attractions, for those organising tours, with approximate driving times from Island Hall.
- The Manor, Hemingford Grey - (15 minutes away) Norman manor house;
- The University of Cambridge and the city (25 minutes away)
- Wimpole Hall, nr Cambridge (30 minutes away) late 17th/18th century house, seat of Earls of Hardwick, now National Trust;
- Elton Hall, nr Peterborough, (30 minutes away) early 19th century seat of the Proby family
- Peterborough Cathedral (30 minutes away)
- Burghley, nr Stamford, (45 minutes away) Elizabethan palace of the Cecil family
- Ely Cathedral (45 minutes away) Norman & 14th century
- Kimbolton Castle(20minutes away) An 18th Century re-building by Vanbrough, Hawksmoor and Adam
- Octavia Hill's Birthplace House, Wisbeach (45 minutes away)