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Island Hall

Brick-built Georgian house picturesquely situated on the River Great Ouse.

Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2BA

Island Hall photo in 2021

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Historic Houses members must pay for entrance for this property.
Historic Houses members must pay for entrance for this property.
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Island Hall is an important mid-18th century mansion, 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 further two-acre ornamental river island – from which the Hall takes its name – linked to the mainland by a Chinese bridge.

Today, Island Hall is home to Grace Vane Percy, her husband and young family. Her father Christopher Vane Percy leads the tours. Eight generations of his ancestors lived in this finely proportioned, intimate, Georgian family house and he was responsible for bringing the family back here. The house has endured much since its WWII requestioning and subsequent compulsory purchase for emergency housing, but following a major fire in the late 1970s, the council felt it was time to release the historic derelict structure.

Christopher Vane Percy, one of the country’s leading interior designers, began his restoration in the early 1980s: not only has it been renovated, but also redecorated in the Georgian style. Key features such as the 18th-century cupola over the stables and the Chinese bridge have been reconstructed. The long task of returning to the garden and island 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”, Michael Hall, Country Life.

Even today the work continues. Building on the past, the renovation and restoration, as well as maintenance, are always at the forefront. The house enjoys hosting visitors, not only to support this historic building, but also to share the house and grounds with great pride.

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.

Tours that are scheduled will be listed below. If none are scheduled yet, please check back later, or find other tours you might enjoy on our tours listing page he

Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall special candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall special candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall special candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall special candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall Christmas candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall Christmas candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall Christmas candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

Island Hall Christmas candlelit tour, Cambridgeshire

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.

What a wonderful tour we had with Christopher Vane Percy. He was so informative about the history of this stunning house and gardens and also the history about his ancestors and himself. I could have listened to Christopher for hours! The afternoon tea was beautifully presented as well with delicious sandwiches and cake in the lovely setting of the foyer of the house with stunning bone china and linen napkins. A real treat. Ten out of ten for the best tour I have done so far!

My wife and I thought it was a wonderful tour and much appreciated by all. It is a real home but serves as a vivid framework for your family history and anecdotes. Historic Houses is indeed fortunate to count Island Hall as a member property.

Getting here

Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2BA

Leave the A14 at the Godmanchester turn off and follow the sign to Huntingdon and Godmanchester. After half a mile, pass through the town centre (with the Chinese Bridge on your left and the church spire on your right). Just before the pelican crossing, turn left into the Mill Yard public car park (free). Island Hall is a red brick house set back from the road to the north of the car park. For Mill Yard public parking adjacent to the house please use the car park’s postcode: PE29 2AQ.

Coaches are welcome to drop off passengers in front of the house, which is in Post Street just beyond the pelican crossing. For long-term parking, coaches can park in at Bridge Place Pay and Display Car Park – ½ a mile from the house – at a charge of £10. To book a coach to park at Bridge Place, Godmanchester, please telephone Huntingdonshire District Council on 01480 388388 and ask to speak to the Operations Division or you can email: crm_ops@huntingdonshire.gov.uk.

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