Hutton-in-the-Forest by Jane WarmanHutton-in-the-Forest is the home of Lord Inglewood's family, the Fletchers, and has been since 1605 when it was purchased by Richard Fletcher, a wealthy Cockermouth merchant. One hundred years later it came to the Vane family through marriage.

The home was first designed as a moated medieval pele tower built by Thomas de Hoton. The tower was added to in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Both exterior and interior reflect the styles of the changing centuries.

Hutton in the Forest House by Graeme DougalThe 14th century pele tower with its thick stone walls has a barrel vaulted basement and spiral staircase. One of Lady Anne Clifford's 17th century locks, given as gifts, is located here. The long gallery dates from the 1630's and contains oriental and Delft china. Many of the upstairs rooms are mid-1700's.

Hutton-in-the-Forest exterior by Barbara BallardWell-known architect Anthony Salvin added the south and east wings in 1800's and altered much of the home's original interior. Neo-Gothic windows and crenellations were added. The neo-Gothic south tower was built above a medieval vaulted basement. The dining room is in this tower and contains portraits of the Vane family and a Gillow Hutton-in-the-Forest Gardens by maljoetable. Interior design of the south and east wings was contributed to by William Morris.

Salvin remodelled the hall, which is set off by a Cupid staircase and oak panelling. The drawing room is from 1830 and has a collection of Gillow furniture. The Cupid Room is one of a suite of rooms and derives its name from the stucco plaster cupid on the ceiling. There are collections of period furniture and portraits in Hutton-in-the-Forest Gardens by maljoethe gallery, and china, weaponry, and late 17th century tapestries adorn the house.

The grounds are known for their 17th - 19th century topiary and terraces (remodelled by Gilpin in the 19th century), an 18th century walled garden, and a 17th century dovecote capable of housing 400 birds. Three ponds, one with an 18th century cascade, adorn the grounds. A woodland walk encompasses part of the medieval forest of Hutton in the Forest dovecote by Graeme DougalInglewood in which the house is set. Throughout the walk specimen trees are on view. Hardwoods, oak, beech, and lime date to the mid-1700's.

The church, St James, sits alone in a field with a Norse cross in its wall. It dates mostly from the 18th century, when it was renovated by Salvin in the Arts and Crafts style. There are memorials to the Fletchers in the church.

Hutton in the Forest St James church by  M J RichardsonBounded on two sides by streams, Hutton-in-the-Forest, set on the northeast edge of the Lake District, is the stuff of legend. It supposedly was the Green Knight's Castle in the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, part of the Arthurian fables.

Hutton in the Forest
Location: 6 miles northwest of Penrith on the B5305 near Unthank and Skelton.

Hutton in the Forest St Jame's church by Graeme DougalHutton in the Forest
Penrith, Cumbria
CA11 9TH
Tel. 017684 84449
Fax. 017684 84571
Open: house: mid April-end Sep, Wed, Thu, Sun and BH Mon, 12:30-4pm; tea-room, mid April-end Sep, Wed, Thu, Sun and BH Mon, 11am-4:30pm; gardens, grounds, and walks: April-end Oct, Sun-Fri, 11am-5pm
Hutton in the Forest walled garden courtesy of Graeme DougalMany special events are held during the opening months.

Note: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal and Barbara Ballard , Jane Warman , maljoe , M J Richardson

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