Enjoy exclusive tours of two fascinating country houses; a Grade II* Jacobean house associated with a much celebrated WWII counter espionage event and a magnificent Grade I Palladian House that for 500 years was home to the St John family.

Jacobean Ogbourne St. George Manor has the date 1619 inscribed on one of its chimneystacks. It subsequently underwent some Georgian remodelling including the current glazing of its windows and probably the hipped roof. During World War II the address of the manor house was used atop a fictitious headed letter as part of Operation Mincemeat, a disinformation strategy, described in "The Man who Never Was". Our tour will include the Grade II* parish church, possibly Norman in origin, which has an Early English Gothic three-bay arcade and Perpendicular Gothic windows and bell tower from later in the Middle Ages. Medieval Lydiard House, set in 260 acres of parkland, has a wealth of history waiting to be discovered in its State Rooms, celebrated for its ornate plasterwork, original furnishings and family portraits dating from Elizabethan times. Our tour will include the formal walled garden and St. Mary's Church which dates from the same period and has wonderful examples of early architecture, sculpture, painted glass and metalwork.

Exclusive to Historic Houses members. Tickets £54 including two-course gastro-pub lunch.

Bookings open at 9.00 am on 2 December 2019