Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2BA
Brick-built Georgian house picturesquely situated on the River Great Ouse.
- Meet the owner
- Getting Here
Island Hall is an important mid-18th-century mansion, owned and restored by an award-winning interior designer.
Located on the banks of the Great Ouse in the centre of Godmanchester, this family home has Georgian rooms with fine period detail and interesting possessions relating to the owners’ ancestors since their first occupation of the house in 1800. 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. Beyond is Portholme, reputedly the largest water meadow in Britain and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Island Hall has approximately one and a half acres of formal garden with a large river frontage and a two-acre ornamental island in the river – from which the Hall takes its name – linked to the mainland by a Chinese bridge. ‘Christopher Vane Percy’s idea for this green garden is that it be idyllic and “is a bit fluffy”, but there little fluffy about it. Instead, it is a designer’s garden par excellence.’ Leslie Geddes-Brown, The Gardens of England: Treasures of the National Gardens Scheme.
The tours feature the ground floor rooms of the house, plus three first floor rooms and a guided tour of the grounds.
Candlelit tours in November and December.
2½ – 3 hours
£23.50 per person.
Afternoon tea with sandwiches and cake
Ground floor only
No dogs or stilettos
“Your illuminating commentary on the house and garden and their history very much added to the pleasure of our visit, and we also enjoyed the tea in such beautiful surroundings, and so charmingly served.”
Michael Hall, Country Life
[Mr Vane Percy] has completed the house's restoration: not only has it been redecorated but the 18th century cupola over the stables has been rebuilt, the island bought back and the Chinese bridge reconstructed. The long task of returning to the garden to the vision of the “stillest repose” which Octavia Hill enjoyed is now well advanced. She saw the house as a reminder “of what that deep attachment is to an inherited spot of old earth, rich with memories of days long ago.” By some miracle, that attachment has endured.