Aynhoe Park is not just another 17th-century home. It is a country house of stories and surprises – a place where the extraordinary happens every day.
Behind every door and around every corner, Aynhoe Park has something remarkable to reveal. A polar bear in flying goggles. A pair of plaster caryatids. The tardis. A giraffe balloon-lifted to the ceiling. A wall of vintage globes. An alligator waiter…
Just 50 minutes from London, Aynhoe Park sits amid the hamlets and patchwork pastures of Oxfordshire, on the edge of the Cotswolds. Here, within the medieval village of Aynhoe, the unique country house is a countryside sanctuary promising relaxation, celebration and escape from the everyday.
Aynhoe Park was originally built in 1615, but it has been rebuilt, remodeled and embellished many times since then, as time, tragedy and the imagination of its owners changed its face across the centuries. The site itself has been in use since the 12th century, becoming home to the cartwright family. Just 30 years later, Aynhoe Park was all but destroyed in the civil war and required rebuilding from scratch. In 2006, James Perkins bought Aynhoe Park following the dissolution of the country houses association, which had converted the building into a number of flats.
In the years that followed, Perkins undertook the monumental challenge of restoring Aynhoe. The original Jacobean style rubs shoulders with Palladian grandeur and baroque opulence, all set within private landscaped gardens and parkland planned by capability brown over 250 years ago. The 28 bedrooms and suites of Aynhoe Park are all shrines to opulence and individuality with a nod to history in each. From grand Georgian parlours with wallpapers to get lost in, to bodice-straining boudoirs with colonial flourishes, every room has a personality of its own – as well as spacious bathrooms, cosy robes and sink-into-me soft beds.
The house is a living museum of art and curiosities, filled with pieces both priceless and playful, all acquired by Aynhoe’s owner over the course of his travels. An avid collector of the historic, the unusual and the beautiful since he was very young, Perkins has turned Aynhoe Park into a repository of stories told in objects and artworks. His collection of plaster is one of the largest in private ownership, ingeniously juxtaposed with modern design features, contemporary art, taxidermy and sculpture to create unforgettable otherworldly interiors. In 2012, a sale at Christies raised more than £3.5m from Aynhoe Park’s art and antiquities, inspiring Perkins to launch the “A modern grand tour” online shop, where Aynhoe’s collection of fine art, modern design and exclusive editions is available to invest in for the first time.
Photos and info Aynhoe Park | For bookings www.aynhoepark.com.uk