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Delightful home with a right royal reputation; This remarkable home benefits from many historical links including visits from the Virgin Queen herself as Alison Jones discovers.

Byline: Alison Jones

John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, twice played host to Queen Elizabeth I in the remarkable looking Tudor house in Long Itchington, Warwickshire.

The honour marked something of a comeback from disgrace for the estate. It had previously been held by John De Pinkney, who was hanged for felony in the reign of Edward I. Sir John Odingsells was Lord of the Manor in the reign of Edward III and was "outlawed for divers, felonies and seditions."

Sir John's son, also called John, was pardoned after breaking into the house of William de Shareshull and stealing a plate and jewels to the value of one hundred pounds.

In the time of Queen of Elizabeth, John de Odingsells was reduced to mortgaging his lordship and became so impoverished that if a former tenant hadn't taken him in, he would have died in the street.

Happily the Duke enjoyed much greater fortune. He built the house in about 1525 although the date 151 is visible on one of the ?ve gables so perhaps this could have been recycled from a previous building.

The name Dudley has been infamously linked with the Virgin Queen, though it was the Duke's .fth son, Sir Robert Dudley, who enjoyed a close relationship with her.

The Queen visited twice. Once on August 12, 1572, where she dined in the house, and again on July 9, 1575, where she and the Royal party dined in a vast tent erected on the village green.

Tudor House became - for a time - an Inn, and then a farm before, in around 1760, being bought by Francis Hurt Sitwell.

It is believed that Dame Edith Sitwell compiled part of her Facade collection of poems at the property while living there. Tudor House was eventually sold by the Sitwells in 1947.

The property is an imposing example of Elizabethan residential design, built immediately prior to the renaissance of English architecture.

It has a timber and plaster front with squared coursed sandstone to the rear. The house is typical of its period and the character is very much intact.

The rooms are extremely well proportioned with reception rooms and bedrooms facing south-west over appealing gardens.

There are three principal reception rooms, all with large .replaces and substantial beamed ceilings.

A large kitchen adjoins a breakfast room creating a wonderfully large family space. There is scope to modernise this room.

Two staircases lead to the .rst .oor and open up onto a magni.cent gallery spanning the length of the house.

The ?ve double bedrooms are spacious and light, and here are also two bathrooms.

Furthermore there is substantial attic space offering masses of storage space.

A central tiled hallway running the width of the house from the front door to rear door opens out onto an attractive stone terrace and a secluded sunken garden beyond.

To one side a croquet lawn and pavilion border the sunken garden, and beyond an orchard/paddock with apples, plums and damsons surrounds the property on two sides.

Scattered around the property is an abundance of mature chestnut, sycamore, and poplars as well as other species including yew, weeping pear, ?owering and morello cherries.

A collection of Victorian substantial outbuildings still contain the original feed mangers and stalls. They are used as a large double garage and workshop (with the potential to extend the ?rst ?oor into of?ce space) while to the south-east a large Victorian stable and pavilion provide ample storage space for garden machinery, tools and furniture, as well as stabling for a horse and ponies.

The grounds cover around 2.5 acres and have enormous potential for the keeping of animals, building a tennis court etc.

Long Itchington is a popular village that is seven miles from Leamington Spa and 18 from Stratford-upon-Avon. It contains a number of notable historic properties with both Tudor House and The Old Manor House dating from the 16th century.

It is also large enough to accommodate two churches, seven pubs, a Co-op, small village shop, and a primary school.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 9, 2012
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