Ilam Hall Hostel

Ilam, Staffordshire. The site of Casterne Hall, generaly known as Ilam Hostel, has been a dwelling since time immemorial and the present owners, the Hurts, came here in the late 1400s. It is a famously beautiful Grade II* manor house set in its own estate high above the Manifold Valley not far from Ashbourne. Casterne is hidden away from the rest of the world, and the only noise is that of the cattle and sheep, the owls at night and the occasional tractor.


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Broughton Castle, Oxford


Banbury, Oxfordshire, for over 600 years the home of the family Fiennes – Lord and Lady Saye and Sele; the original Manor House was built in about 1300 and the present Castle in the second part of the 16th century: location for a part of the movie ‘Shakespeare In Love’.

Belton Manor


ukthumb_em1During medieval times the manor of Belton was owned by St Mary’s Abbey at York but, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the land reverted back to the Crown. No architectural evidence has been found of the original manor house, if indeed there was one, but the surviving gate piers of a post-Dissolution residence can still be seen in the north wall by the Orangery. In the late 17th century, having inherited most of his great-uncle’s wealth as well as his estate at Belton, Sir John Brownlow decided to build a new country house for his family. Several architects have been associated with Belton House, including Sir Christopher Wren, but it is more feasible that William Winde and William Stanton were largely responsible for the design and construction of the property, possibly seeking advice from Roger Pratt.

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Bethlen Magna Curia castle

magna curiaThe Bethlen castle is located in a beautiful park at the bottom of the citadel hill, across the street from the beautiful turn-of-the-century Administrative Palace (Prefecture). Since 1882, the castle houses the history department of the County Museum, with artifacts and displays from Antiquity, Middle Ages and up to the present. Currently the castle is undergoing restoration and the museum is being temporarily housed in the Administrative Palace.

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