The house both envelopes and is surrounded by formal gardens and borders which have periodically been open to public tours and via the National Garden Scheme. Further from the house the various structured gardens give way to acres of semi-formal woodland, an area which formed part of the original Manor’s ‘play gardens’. This area features a HaHa and a network of paths dividing a landscape of mature shrubs and spectacular specimen trees.
High ceilings, gothic arches, and lots of windows, create a gloriously light and open feel, offering a multitude of differing views of the courtyard and surrounding gardens. Capel Courtyard is principally a peaceful home from home, rather than a hotel. In keeping with this ethos we do not have TV’s in our bedrooms or reception spaces. WiFi is however available everywhere, and for the less technologically focused there are books and games.
The Courtyard dates from 1860 and originally comprised the subsidiary buildings – stables, cart sheds, coachman’s house and chauffeur’s cottage – to a grand mansion built by the Austen family (relatives of the famous novelist Jane Austen) and designed in Italian gothic style by Thomas Wyatt.
Though the mansion with its 26 bedrooms didn’t make it into the 21st century as a family home, the courtyard’s buildings have proved to be ideal for modern living. The current owners have converted the historic structure into a ‘contemporary country’ style, ideal for todays way of living.