Hutton-In-The-Forest is a historic house and gardens located in Penrith, Cumbria.
No one actually knows exactly when this house was built but the first historical reference to it was in 1292 when Edward I visited Thomas De Hoton.
Hutton-In-The-Forest was believed to be a medieval stronghold and still includes to this day a Pele tower. Pele towers were square defensive buildings that were situation all along the Scottish/English border, with their primary use as being a watch tower for invading enemy forces.
Over the years the house has been added on, extended and incorporates architecture from multiple centuries. A gallery was added in the 1630’s which was a rare feature for the North of England. The hall was built in 1680 leading to 18th century rooms upstairs, the drawing room dates from 1830 and the library from 1870.
The Pele tower which is the oldest part of the building was turned into the entrance way but not until the late 19th century. Lady Darlington’s room is an 18th century room that was redecorated with green paint and William Morris wallpaper during the arts and crafts period (between 1880 and 1920).
Unfortunately we checked the opening times, as the garden and house are open on different days, but the day we went the house was unexpectedly closed so we only got to walk around the gardens.
The de Hotons lived in Hutton-In-The-Forest until 1605, after that the house was sold to Richard Fletcher who moved there from Cockermouth and was said to be a known entertainer of Mary Queen of Scots.
At this point the house started to resemble that of a mansion rather than a defense castle. Fletcher was knighted by James I and Fletcher’s son Henry was the one that built the gallery. Henry died at the Battle of Rowton Heath in 1645 and his son George lived there until 1700.
Henry had been a baronet and when he died that title passed onto George, even though the estate belonged to him, George died in France in 1712.
After George’s death there was some dispute over the will, but eventually the house was given to his nephew Henry Vale.
Henry, who later went by the surname Fletcher, had a love for trees which lead him to plant over 50 000 of them. He was the creator of the walled garden and the middle pond.
Henry died unmarried and without children, leaving the estate to his younger brother Walter. Lyonel, Walter’s son, was made a baronet a few days before Walter died in 1786.
After Lyonel died, the house passed onto his son Frederick and after that it was to his son Francis.
Francis extended and renovated the house, leaving it to his son Henry. Margaret whom Henry married in 1870 is the one responsible for creating the arts and crafts decor in Lady Darlington’s room. They died without having any children.
After their death the house remained in trust for a number of years, until a distant cousin, William Vane inherited it in the 1940’s. William married Mary in 1949 and the eldest of their two sons, Richard is the present owner and Lord of the house, which he inherited in 1989.
Blessed Be )O(