Pelham Place, described by Pevsner as a “very pretty Gothic Villa" was commissioned as a Georgian mansion in 1781 by Captain Thomas Dumaresq and was considerably enlarged due to the prize money he won in the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. Further to adding a gothic façade and other enhancements, the family commissioned the architect from London, James Thomas Knowles to translate its appearance to the "Tudor Gothic" style in the years 1839-41. The house was restored to that period from 1990-1995 by the present owners who will conduct our tour. The house is set in a formal garden with wooded pleasure grounds where there are historic trees and a collection of modern British sculpture.

Avington House is set in glorious parkland bordering the tranquil River Itchen. In the mid 17th century, Avington was owned by George Brydges, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles II. He enlarged the house to accommodate the King and Nell Gwynne. The 3rd Duke of Chandos, a cousin, inherited the property and made many improvements, adding the leaded statues, fountain, redecorating and gilding the state rooms, as well as laying out the gardens and parkland, planting avenues and vistas. Whilst the interiors mainly depict a Georgian stately home, our tour will delve much deeper into the history of the house. Our tour will include a barrel organ demonstration in the Georgian church within the grounds.

Exclusive to Historic Houses members, tickets £56 including a two-course lunch

Bookings open on 2 December at 9.00 am