Houghton has a very special, unspoilt atmosphere with its herd of white deer in the park, and peacocks strutting on the west front. The house itself has changed little since the 18th-century, and it is easy to imagine Sir Robert Walpole entertaining his guests after a hard day's hunting.
Outside there are new developments in the Walled Garden, which was planted in memory of my grandmother; while a long-vanished ha-ha has been put back on the west side of the house, separating the lawn from recently laid-out parkland.
The Soldier Museum:
The 6th Marquess started collecting model soldiers as a schoolboy. He was fascinated by the campaigns of the Napoleonic period, and had great knowledge of the various battle and parade formations, and of regimental uniforms.
Lord Cholmondeley served in the Royal Dragoons during the Second World War, when he was awarded the Military Cross, and later transferred to the Grenadier Guards for a further three years after the war.
Renovation of the 5-acre walled garden began in 1991. The former kitchen garden had fallen into a state of disrepair and Lord Cholmondeley was keen to restore it as a memorial to his grandmother.
Although an area of productive kitchen garden has been retained, the larger part of the garden has been laid out as a series of ornamental gardens in various styles.
Areas of particular note include:
The rose garden (below) planted with nearly 150 varieties of both new and older roses. The central, box- edged parterre is based on the William Kent design for the ceiling in the White Drawing-Room. .
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