Deene Park is a splendid manor set amidst surrounding parkland and typifies the medieval manor house. The estate has been owned since the 16th century by the Brudenell family, descendants of the Earl of Cardigan.
The house contains fine paintings, furniture and family mementoes, many connected with the 7th Earl of Cardigan. The park contains a lake and some spectacular gardens, where visitors may picnic before exploring the house.
Pay a visit to Elton Hall, home of the Proby family for over 350 years. It stands in the midst of unspoilt landscaped parkland, and is on a site where there has been a house since the Norman Conquest. The interior boasts excellent furniture and paintings from some of Britain's most celebrated artists including Constable, Gainsborough and Reynolds. The Library is one of the finest in private hands and includes the unique Henry VIII's Prayer Book.
One of the most outstanding stonebuilt Elizabethan mansions in the country is Kirby Hall. Set in magnificent grounds where peacocks roam free, this mansion was begun in 1570, and was completed by Sir Christopher Hatton with 17th century alterations. Surrounded at one time by orchards, wild meadows and huge formal gardens, the Hall must have presented an extremely peaceful and secluded retreat. That remains the case today.
Lyveden New Bield is the name of the 400 year old banqueting house which sits alongside one of the oldest surviving gardens of the Elizabethan age. Built by Sir Thomas Tresham between 1595 and his death in 1605, Lyveden is a remarkable testament to Tresham's Catholic faith. The house remains incomplete but contains fascinating architectural detail. The garden, with original terrace, canals and prospect mounds, is one of the best preserved of the period and a magical area to discover and enjoy.
Situated opposite a fine parish church in Nassington the early 13th century Prebendal Manor forms the focus of the visit. Audio tours transport visitors back in time to the Vikings and King Cnut, who once owned the manor.
Surrounding the house are the largest re-created medieval gardens in Europe where many herbs, wild flowers, vines and old roses are grown. The large tithe barn museum, a 15th century dovecote and the rare breed farm animals are included in the visit.
You will immediately understand why William the Conqueror ordered a castle to be built in Rockingham when you catch your first glimpse of Rockingham Castle. Set high on a hillside in a commanding position, it has been a royal castle for 450 years and a family home for another 450 years. Take a fascinating journey through the evolution of the building from Norman fortress to English Country Home.
Built by Sir John Knyvett, Lord Chancellor to Edward III, Southwick Hall dates from the 14th century. As a family manor house with Tudor rebuilding and Georgian and Victorian additions, there are exhibitions on Victorian and Edwardian life, with collections of agricultural and carpentry tools and local archaeological finds.