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Holdenby House and Gardens

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Just across the fields from Althorp lies Holdenby, a house whose royal connections go back over 400 years. Built by Sir Christopher Hatton to entertain Elizabeth I, it became the Palace of James I and the prison of his son, Charles I. Now a family home, the house is a splendid backdrop to a beautiful garden and Falconry Centre, where visitors can watch magnificent birds of prey soar over the scene of so much history.

Holdenby House as you see it today is based around the remaining Kitchen wing of the old Palace. It was restored and added to by the present owner's great great grandmother, Lady Clifden in the 1870s with the Victorian architect, Carpenter. It is approxiamately 1/8th the size of the original palace.

The 20 acre Garden of stately lawns and hedges has several special features. The Elizabethan Garden was replanted in 1980 by Rosemary Verey using only plants available in 1580. King Charles's walk recalls the period of his imprisonment: he was a brisk walker and Lord Pembroke (his keeper) had difficulty keeping up with him. The Too Too border was named after a pet dog belonging to Lady Clifden's daughter which is buried in the garden. The 1980 replanting here was started by Rosemary Verey and completed by Rupert Golby as a Fragrant border. The Silver Border houses the owners' ever growing collection of silver leafed plants.

The Falconry Centre contains many different species of beautiful birds of prey, which are flown by the resident Falconer. There may be opportunities to fly them yourself. King James I practised his falconry at Holdenby, his favourite bird probably being the Peregrine (falco pereginus) famed for its steep power dive.

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7 miles north-west of Northampton, between A428 and A5199

Holdenby House and Gardens Postcode for SatNav: NN6 8DJ


+44 (0)1604 770 074
+44 (0)1604 770 962

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